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Adapting Mass with Help of Young Adults

June 17, 2020

Since their inception, Viatorians have accompanied young people on their spiritual journeys. These days, in the midst of a global pandemic, they’ve have had to change with the times. And in reaching young adults, that means celebrating Mass through Zoom.

“Using Zoom as the platform allows the experience to be more interactive,” says Br. John Eustice, CSV, “rather than passively watching a livestream Mass.”

The idea came from the Viatorian Young Adult Board, whose members expressed a hunger to pray actively together and asked if they could have a Mass using Zoom as the platform.

Br. John Eustice works out logistics before Mass with Kyla Guerrero.

“During this time, when mental health and stability for so many may be unstable — especially for young people of different backgrounds — these Zoom gatherings give us a sense of inner peace,” says Justin Daus, of Las Vegas. “They remind us of the connections we share that transcend borders and geography.”

Justin Daos, right, during the Young Adult Think Tank session in December.

It is the young adults who write many of the parts of the Mass, including a call-to-worship and choosing the music. They also organize the prayers of the faithful, and invite participants to submit a prayer request to one of the organizers, which will be read out loud.

What’s more, depending on the presider, at the end of his homily, he may ask for reflections from those gathered for the Mass, which makes the experience much more personal. So far, presiders have included: Fr. Corey Brost, Fr. Dan Hall, Fr. Jason Nesbit, Bishop Christopher Glancy, Fr. Dan Lydon, Fr. Dan Belanger, Fr. Mick Egan and Fr. Patrick Render.

However, Mass doesn’t end with the final blessing. Afterwards, young adults go into faith sharing groups in Zoom’s breakout rooms.

Fr. Patrick Render presided at the most recent Young Adult Zoom Mass..

“I find these other forms of dialogue just as important — whether it’s the status of the world around us, or issues that young people are facing, or how we as Viatorians approach new challenges,” adds Justin, who will be a senior engineering student at the University of San Diego.

“No matter how long it has been or where we are at, this is a family reunion that always takes place,” Justin says. “Sounds like the work of Jesus to me.”