How Single Catholics Can Find Christ-Centered Community

How singleness can be a blessing for faith and fellowship.

(photo: Unsplash)

Many single Catholics belong to the Church, but at times they still face the challenge of finding Christ-centered fellowship with singles and others. Campus organizations and Newman Centers reach college-age Catholics, and parishes offer young- adult groups, but as singles see their friends enter a vocation or move away, they may finding themselves seeking more companions of faith.

From getting more involved in a parish to starting a prayer group and meeting many Catholic singles at a national conference, single Catholics are using ingenuity to form lasting Christian friendships.

Almost 100 years ago, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati brought young adults together to grow in their Catholic faith while enjoying Christ-centered fellowship and the outdoors.

Joseph Herro has made lasting friendships during his three and a half years in the Frassati Society of Minnesota, one of a number of groups inspired by the Italian “blessed” throughout the United States.

According to the Minnesota society’s Facebook page, “it fosters Christian camaraderie among young adults, encouraging all to discover Christ and the life of the Church through service, outdoor, cultural and spiritual events.” Frassati members are generally in their 20s and 30s.

By gathering friends to pray, Ann Lazor, 53, also has found fellowship. Before the 2016 presidential election, she felt called to invite women she knew to her Minneapolis home to pray the Rosary for the United States. At the first gathering, her living room was full of friends from different areas of her life who now have become acquainted with one another and continue to meet frequently to pray and spend time together.

Though parishes may not have specific ministries for single Catholics, singles can find fellowship while serving with other parishioners in various parish ministries.

In recent years, Michael Gross, 46, has been helping with several ministries at his West St. Paul parish, including ​monthly men’s nights, a weekly fellowship and study group, ​and a First Saturday devotion/prayer group that prays in front of Planned Parenthood. He has formed friendships with other parishioners of different ages.

According to Gross, participating in a parish men’s group with both married and single men has been “a huge opportunity to learn and grow in community, shoulder each other’s struggles and grief, and walk alongside one another in faith.”

Along with men’s and women’s groups, some singles find fellowship through close friendships with married friends and their families. Fellow Minnesotan Stacie Zens, 39, has a circle of single friends, but she also regularly spends time with her married friends and their children.

And she has had opportunities to live with some of those friends. Sharing in their family life has been rewarding and a way to expand Christ-centered community.

Vivian Sutch, 70, has found Christ-centered fellowship with singles and married Catholics of all ages through the Community of Christ the Redeemer, a West St. Paul-based Catholic community of which she has been a member for 34 years.

The Community of Christ the Redeemer is one of many lay movements in the Church and a public association of the faithful. Sutch also has found Christ-centered fellowship with a group of friends who meet for coffee weekday mornings after Mass at a St. Paul parish.

Parish young-adult groups offer a place for single Catholics to serve, grow in faith and form friendships. For years, Sonya May, 48, was active in several groups in and around Minneapolis. Although she no longer participates in the groups, which typically are aimed at those under the age of 40, she has met many friends with whom she continues to get together for prayer and fellowship.

As the Catechism states, “Those who are united with Christ will form the community of the redeemed, the ‘holy city’ …” (1045).

Single Catholics who find Christ-centered fellowship are building their own unique part of that holy city.

Susan Klemond writes from

St. Paul, Minnesota.

 

 

 
Singles’ Conference
Minnesotan Sonya May will never “age out of” the National Catholic Singles Conference. May has attended at least 12 of the 17 conferences held annually or semi-annually in different U.S. locations. She plans to attend this year’s conference, which will be held June 8-10 near Minneapolis. She finds it a way to meet friends from around the country. 
 
More than 500 single Catholics, ages 18 and up, from the United States and beyond, are expected to come together at this year’s conference for talks by Catholic speakers, prayer, liturgies, socializing, dancing, dining and fun, all inspired by the theology of the body, Pope St. John Paul II’s profound teaching on the human person. 
 
Sharing their perspectives on faith and the single life at the conference will be Mary Beth Bonacci, Hudson Byblow, Jim Martini, Vicki Thorn and Deacon Ralph Poyo.  
 
When she attends the singles’ conferences, May also enjoys excursions before and after, which give her a chance to spend time with new friends. This year she’ll help welcome other attendees who come early to go dancing and enjoy some of the local sights together, including museums, gardens and historic churches. 
 
After the conference ends June 10, Catholic singles can stay in the Twin Cities for a few days for canoeing, kayaking or boating on Minnesota lakes or enjoy a river cruise. May will lead pilgrimages to the Wisconsin shrines of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse and Our Lady of Good Help in Champion.
 
Another trip is planned for Isle Royale National Park in northern Minnesota. To find more information about the conference and to register, visit NationalCatholicSingles.com