Night of Worship engages youth Print this post

By Bob Reddy (Florida Catholic)

8/7/17

With busy lives and many distractions, getting teens, young adults and families to become more actively involved in their faith can be a challenge on many levels.

Eucharistic Adoration was a key component of the the St. Patrick Parish “Night of Worship” retreat for youth, young adults and families on July 30 in Sarasota.

Fun activities may encourage some to attend one gathering or another, but there needed to be more. This is why Tom Lelyo, Director of Youth & Young Adult Outreach at St. Patrick Parish in Sarasota, decided to hold a “Night of Worship” July 30 that was centered on Eucharistic Adoration.

“For the past year, we have continued to see students really engage when we brought them to the chapel to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament,” Lelyo explained. “During that time, our Young Adult community was growing through club sports and weekly trivia nights, but there was always a desire to go deeper in our faith. Along with both of these, as I met more and more families, I knew they wanted a chance to pray in Adoration too.”

Tom Lelyo, Director of Youth & Young Adult Outreach at St. Patrick Parish in Sarasota, leads the participants of the first-ever “Night of Worship” retreat for youth, young adults and families at the parish on July 30.

The “Night of Worship” was the culmination of all of these efforts, Lelyo added. “We finally had a chance to bring together Youth, Young Adults, and Families in a night of worship before our God.”

Opening with some friendship and community over pizza in the Parish Hall, more than 100 people then made their way to the Parish Chapel. Lelyo and some of his youth began with inspirational music.

Diocese of Venice Vocations Director Father Eric Scanlan address the participants in the St. Patrick Parish “Night of Worship” retreat for youth, young adults and families on July 30 in Sarasota.

As the Blessed Sacrament was placed in the monstrance for Adoration, the music stopped and everyone remained silent.

Diocese of Venice Director of Vocations Father Eric Scanlan addressed the group and encouraged them to open their hearts and minds to the Lord as they prayed. “You must be open to receive His graces for the Lord is offering eternal salvation.”

Father Scanlan also stressed the need for the youth to partake in the Sacrament of Reconciliation which he was there to offer. “The Lord knows of our sins and offers each of us this special avenue to seek forgiveness. Ask, let the Lord to take that burden of suffering off your shoulders.”

Lelyo said the evening was a combined effort of bringing together different segments of the Parish population for a special night. He plans to continue to offer the “Nights of Worship” every other month on the last Sunday of the month (Sept. 24) following the 5 p.m. Mass.

For details, please visit www.churchofsaintpatrick.com/now.

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