I recently went to a Blessed is She brunch for young women in Chicago and had a lovely time. There were six of us in our twenties all working to live our faith more fully and connect with others on similar paths. I found the whole experience so enjoyable and uplifting. We went to a delicious bar and grill called Rockit which had an amazing vibe and is definitely a place I would recommend. Although it was a cold and wet November Saturday in Chicago, the food and company were warm and encouraging.
Rockit is an awesome place. It had such a cool vibe, I can’t even tell you. At 11 am on a random Saturday there was a surprisingly talented musician playing acoustic covers of popular songs. I don’t know who that guy was, but he was good. The menus were in old record sleeves which added to the musical theme. The staff was young, friendly, and a little hipster, but not annoyingly. But I’m sure you’re reading this waiting for me to tell you about the most important part, the food.
I, along with several of the other ladies, ordered the breakfast sandwich. It was a chicken sausage patty (way more delicious than it sounds) on a whole grain english muffin with egg whites, spinach, and tomatoes with a side salad. It was delicious and filling. The four of us who got it were very pleased. One of the gals got the strawberry pancakes which looked divine with strawberries cooked inside. The last girl ordered the avocado toast which was a contender for many of us. It was whole grain toast, mashed avocado, a soft poached egg, sprouts, and pumpkin seeds. The food was beautiful and delicious. I thought about taking a picture, but I didn’t wanna be the weird blogger at the table. We all left with full tummies and smiles on our faces.
Although each of us came from different walks of life, different careers, different interests, we all are sisters through our faith in Jesus Christ. Several of the women were new to the area and were church hopping so recommendations were given. We talked about careers, ministry, and events for young adults. One of the topics was the recent (re)Encounter event hosted by the Archdiocese of Chicago where Mark Wahlberg shared his faith. It was an awesome night and we all hope there is another event next year.
One of the things I learned from my companions is, the reason we are so hard for the Church to minister to is because ware so fluid. I don’ know why I didn’t consider this, since I myself am fluid in my faith. By “fluid” I mean we meet our needs at various parishes, we aren’t parish loyal. We may go to Sunday liturgy at one church, young adult ministry activities at one church, and receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation at a different church. On the one hand this is awesome, we feel welcomed in God’s house wherever it is. On the other hand, it’s hard to know what we need. It’s also hard to get us to show up to things. The wonderful woman who planned the brunch was explaining how people RSVP then don’t show up. I tried starting a young adult ministry at my home parish a few years ago and found myself sitting alone in the Ministry Center several times. Is the only way the Church can minister to us through big events with Catholic celebrities?
If there is one thing I took away from that brunch, other than my amazing leftovers, is that young people are seeking community in the faith. I’m so grateful to the woman who coordinated it for us because there was a common thirst for sisterhood among us. So much of my spiritual journey has been done in a vacuum or with people of other generations. We are hungry for God, hungry for community, and the Church is working to rise to the needs of Catholic millennials. We’re a tough bunch, but we love brunch so maybe we should start there.
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