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Young adult Mass is like a ‘family reunion’


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SAN DIEGO — Between 300 and 400 people are expected to attend the annual Young Adult Adoration and Mass.

The event, which is organized each year by the diocesan Office for Youth and Young Adult Ministry, will take place on Sunday, Aug. 14, at The Immaculata Church on the University of San Diego campus.

It will begin at 5 p.m. with Eucharistic adoration. During a “holy hour” of silent prayer punctuated by praise-and-worship songs, young adults will adore the Blessed Sacrament exposed in a monstrance.

The 6 p.m. Mass, celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Ramón Bejarano, will be followed by refreshments on the East Lawn adjacent to the church.

Maricruz Flores, director of the Office for Youth and Young Adult Ministry, said the Young Adult Adoration and Mass draws young adults from all corners of the diocese, who may not get to see one another often. She likened it to “a family reunion.”

“It really does reinvigorate our office, myself included, and it gives me hope for the future of our Church,” Flores said of the event.

Pamela Poe, associate director of the Office for Youth and Young Adult Ministry, said what makes this event special is that attendees are gathered around “the source and summit of our faith, Jesus in the Eucharist.”

The experience is different from the typical Sunday Mass, she said.

“This Mass is especially for young adults,” she explained. “It is meant to encourage our young adults, to help them see that they are a part of something so much bigger than themselves, their respective groups and individual experiences of the Church.”

“This (young adult) Mass,” she said, “allows us to gather together as a community, to be nourished by the Bread of Life, celebrate the gift of community and then to go out and be Christ to others.”

Flores said the Young Adult Adoration and Mass basically follows the same format as past years’ — something that provides a sense of stability and familiarity for returning participants.

But that’s not to say that this year’s liturgy won’t see a few changes.

The upcoming event will be bilingual, with Mass readings and praise-and-worship songs in both English and Spanish, Poe said. For the first time, there also will a blessing and commissioning of young adult leaders at the end of the Mass.

After the liturgy, Flores said young adults will be invited to attend the next major event on the Youth and Young Adult Office’s calendar: the annual Diocesan Young Adult Retreat, which will be held from Sept. 16 to 18 at Whispering Winds Catholic Camp in Julian. Registration opens Aug. 1.

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