By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger
IOWA CITY — St. Mary Parish debuted its Faith Journeys program in late February of last year. Nearly 100 people gathered to hear parishioner David Drake share his personal experiences with family and forgiveness.
The success of the program inspired organizers to make Faith Journeys a quarterly event. “We had a lot of positive responses from participants,” said Dan Teets, director of Adult Spiritual Formation at St. Mary Parish. “We can all learn something by listening to the faith journeys of others.”
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the follow-up program, originally scheduled for April 2020, had to be postponed. With the pandemic appearing to ease, the parish is ready to restart the program, which originated in a Vision 20/20 Convocation brainstorm session.
On Aug. 1 at 1 p.m., parishioners Will Colony and Charlotte DeCoster, 2020 graduates of Regina High School in Iowa City, will speak at the first Faith Journeys program since the start of the pandemic. Guests will gather in the church to hear the young Catholics talk about their church involvement growing up and how they continue to work toward growing in their relationship with God in adulthood. Originally, they planned to speak at the April 2020 program. Colony is now a student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and DeCoster is a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; both will share how COVID-19 affected their first year at college. A cookie and lemonade reception will follow, weather permitting.
“It is important for the young adults in our church to have the opportunity to share their stories,” said Teets, who also serves as director of RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) for Newman Catholic Student Center at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. “We all have a story to share no matter what our age.”
Teets hopes people from throughout the community — including fallen-away Catholics, the unchurched and the marginalized — will consider taking part in the event. For those who cannot attend in person, a livestream and recording will be available. “All are welcome! We hope to have an intergenerational audience.”