I spent exactly 5 years working on the diocesan level in evangelization, new media, and catechesis (for the Diocese of Sacramento, California). During that time, the team I worked with accomplished some pretty amazing things, such as establishing the annual On Fire NorCal Kick-Off for Youth & Young Adult Ministry, implementing a diocesan-wide Catholics Come Home campaign, and bringing marriage preparation to the parish level, just to name a few of many endeavors.
I learned something significant during those years that I would like to share here: Today, most of the great evangelical and catechetical efforts of the Church are not initiated and run by the hierarchy and diocesan offices, but rather, from the apostolate of the laity.
On November 18, 1965, Pope Paul VI promulgated one of the 16 documents of the Second Vatican Council titled: ”Apostolicam Actuositatem: The decree on the Apostolate of the Laity.”
This beautiful document, in sum, speaks to the call every baptized Christian receives from the Father, in union with Jesus Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit in baptism to go out and make disciples of all nations.
Back when I was a graduate student at Franciscan University of Steubenville between 2001 and 2004, a central aspect of my formation was to read through each of the 16 documents of Vatican II and to soak them up, filling my heart and mind with their beauty. I’ll never forget the first time I encountered Apostolicam Actuositatem, and I wholeheartedly recommend a thorough reading of it.
The purpose of this blog post is to introduce you, the reader, to Veritas Catholic Young Adults and a budding website I designed for this effort at CatholicVeritas.com.
Imagine, on a recurring monthly schedule, young adults scattered throughout a darkened downtown cathedral in silent adoration of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, present in the Most Blessed Sacrament, led by the bishop or one of his priests.
Imagine these same souls gathering in a local pub a week later to listen to a speaker address the call to marriage, commitment, and holiness.
Another week, the group engages in an active work of charity, whether it be a service project or pro-life witness.
To continue, the next week, these young adults gather for Benediction, the Divine Liturgy, Compline, and a social.
This is Veritas, established and grown by young adults in the greater Sacramento and Bay areas. No, it wasn’t a diocesan initiative. There was no master plan initiated by the bishop. No diocesan director created this program of prayer, liturgy, catechesis, fellowship, charity, and witness. It sprung up from the heart of the lay faithful and is nourished by the Holy Spirit.
I have had the privilege of designing and developing the website for this group at CatholicVeritas.com. The site features a calendar, maps, search engine optimization, email notifications, blog entries, interactive commenting, and a beautiful, mobile-first design. (For an explanation of how the website is mobile-friendly, utilizing advanced design, you may be interested in the post I published over on my web development blog.)
Here’s a screenshot of the website:
It is our hope, that with time, other groups of young adults in various cities/areas will adopt the Veritas model and name (with no pesky licensing fees!)… and even their own iteration of the website to facilitate communication and advertising. If you happen to be reading this post and wish to inquire, please do so at this link.
I’ll conclude this blog entry with one final truth about Veritas (pun intended). Many of the presentations speakers give are recorded and published online, and below, I have linked to several of the YouTube videos.
- Fr. Leatherby – Divine Mercy
- Dominican Brother Brad Elliot – His Conversion from Lutheranism to Catholicism
- Islam in a Catholic Light