BOSTON – After its launch just three months ago, the new ministry of St. Anthony Shrine to young adults is reporting much success.
The 20/Boston-30/Boston gives young adults a way to get to know each other and the friars better, according to Gary Convertino, the Shrine’s director of human services. And, more importantly, he added, “to garner more interest in the Church.”
“The first meeting brought out 22 people,” said Convertino, who chairs the group. “I think that is really good.” The group met for refreshments, prayer and a spiritual talk given by David Convertino, OFM, executive director of St. Anthony Shrine. The group attended the Shrine’s 4 p.m. Mass and was invited to have dinner with the friars and members of the music ministry.
Young folks are a “missing link” in the Church today, according to Gary, and the group hopes to close that loop. “We hope to get them to better understand the Catholic Church.” They, in turn, said Convertino, want a better understanding of the friars’ commitment to not only preaching, but also to serving.
One participant, who recently graduated from college and moved to Boston, said: “I knew I had to find a Franciscan church. I Googled Franciscan churches in Boston and the Shrine was first on the list. I am so happy that I found this church and that this new ministry has begun. My family is thrilled and so am I.”
The group meets next, according to Gary, on April 9 to take a personality profile test like the widely-known Myers-Briggs test. Called the Colors Profile, Convertino said the fun personality testing will allow group members to understand the diversity and differences in personalities and cultures.
In May, the group will meet for a Seder meal to recognize the Jewish holiday of Passover. The program will also discuss how food is related to and symbolized in the Bible.
This ministry to younger folks is being touted as another way that St. Anthony is reaching the community. “We already have a lively senior program, and the 20/30 group adds to that,” Gary said.
“We love it. The friars are thrilled. It’s a diverse group with different educational backgrounds, culture and lots of vigor.”