By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger
Katie Prejean McGrady, a delegate to the Pre-Synod Gathering of Young Adults at the Vatican last year, spoke about the importance of accompaniment — especially among young people — during her general session talk at Vision 20/20 on June 7.
Speaking to the crowd at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, she explained that accompaniment looks a little different for everyone. “The person who comes to Mass every single Sunday and wants to be there? Accompaniment with them is going to look very different than for the person who was drug there kicking and screaming. It’s going to be different to the person who is there because they don’t know what else to do.”
Prejean McGrady’s general session talk is now available in podcast form online, as are a majority of Vision 20/20 presentations. These podcasts can be helpful for Vision 20/20 delegates who wish to hear a presentation again or were unable to attend a session. Catholics who did not attend the Vision 20/20 convocation are also encouraged to utilize this free resource.
During her talk, Prejean McGrady spoke about her 2-year-old daughter, Rose, and the uncertain future of her generation as it relates to church. “We are ever ancient, and ever new. Our truths are never going to change. But the way we articulate those truths has to. We have to find a way to articulate that Mass comes first, that Jesus should be the center of our lives because he is the one we are drawn into relationship with.”
Among high school and young college students who are part of an increasingly secular generation, “we still have a chance, I think, to engage and get them back on the same page of faith.”
Accompanying others takes vulnerability and the ability to break from the “rhythm, rote-ness and routine” that characterizes the faith life of many Catholics. “Accompaniment calls us to get a little bit out of those comfort zones and actually pay attention to the person right in front of us,” she said. “It forces us to pay attention to the individuals who are asking questions, who are confused and hurting, who are on fire and passionate, and sometimes have way too many ideas and don’t know what to do with them. We can love that individual into deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s (forming) a relationship with someone so they are on fire to grow in relationship with the Lord.”
You can hear this presentation, and others, at https://diocese-of-davenport.simplecast.com. Topics include: sharing faith stories; reaching out to families; evangelizing the churched; evangelizing youths and young adults; sexuality and sexual identity; reaching out to the nones; evangelizing in an age of secularism, atheism and scientism; hospitality; immigrant voices; accompaniment; evangelizing in smaller parishes; and evangelizing to married couples. Videos on YouTube.