Young Adult Ministry Thriving in Johnstown Area

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By Geoffrey Stumpo
For Proclaim!

Over the first six months, our Johnstown area young adult group has generated a ton of excitement, grown to over 55 members strong with new members joining us monthly, and been an overall success.

Our young adults range from around 20 to 40 years old and come from a variety of different walks of life including college students as well as college professors, public and Catholic school teachers, medical professionals, lawyers, musicians, missionaries, security guards, bartenders, IT professionals, and everyone in between. Vocations include single, married, and those discerning vocations.

Our group has been blessed with young adults from a variety of different faith backgrounds as well. Not only do our ranks include many cradle Catholics, but also recent converts from both Protestant and Orthodox denominations, current RCIA candidates, Christians from different faiths including Protestant and Russian Orthodox Churches, as well as a few Catholic-curious potential converts.

We have drawn members from as far as Hollidaysburg in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown as well as two members from the Diocese of Greensburg and two UPJ students from two other Pennsylvania dioceses.

Many of the servers and bartenders at our venues have gained an interest in the group and Catholic faith, and one of them has even joined our young adult group. One member has even in part credited her recent decision to convert to the Catholic faith to her time with our young adult group. Some currently non-Baptized young adults have also even shown an interest.

Father Peter Crowe, Pastor of Saint Andrew Parish in Johnstown and Diocesan Director of Vocations, spoke on the priesthood at our August Theology on Tap at the Crow’s Nest to an excited and engaged crowd of over 30 young adults as well as one couple’s newly born and newly Baptized baby.

In mid-September, we hosted a bonfire and Rosary at a member’s house, which was a tremendous success with great attendance including the Very Reverend Matthew Baum, Rector of Saint John Gualbert Cathedral in Johnstown and Pastor of Saint Patrick Parish in Johnstown, and Father Antony Sudherson, HGN, of Saint Benedict Parish in Johnstown.

We continue to meet the last Wednesday of every month from 6:00-8:00 p.m. for Theology on Tap and will continue to schedule additional events in the future. We have formed a leadership committee and have also created a group on the GroupMe app as well as an Eventbrite webpage.

Our September 27th meeting is at the Boulevard Grill, 165 Southmont Boulevard, Johnstown, with Father Brian Norris, Administrator of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus Parish in Altoona and Sacramental Minister at Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School in Altoona, speaking on Evangelizing in a Secular Age. The food will be buffet style including pizza, wings, four flavors of pierogis, seasonal salad, and another item to be determined along with a cash bar.

Bishop Mark will speak at our October 25 gathering at the Boulevard Grill in Johnstown. When asked about the speech topic Bishop Mark, responded that it would be a discussion rather than a speech and that he didn’t want to elaborate any further as to not give away his surprise.

Our November 29th speaker will be Father Malachi Van Tassel, TOR, President of Saint Francis University in Loretto. Location and topic are to be determined.

Our group looks forward to the future and wants to thank everyone for their prayers and support. Please continue to pray for us and help us to spread the word. All young adults aged 18-40 from all faiths are welcome! For additional information please contact Geoffrey Stumpo at (814) 659-7415 or geoffstumpo@gmail.com.

Thank you to Knights of Columbus All Saints Assembly 954 for their sponsorship.