On the first Friday of each month, with guitar in hand and songs of praise and worship on his lips, Father Aaron Kuhn leads an evening of faith, fellowship and fun for young adults from the parishes of St. Ann in Wadena and St. John the Baptist in Bluffton.
The night begins with an hour of eucharistic adoration at St. Ann — half the time is spent offering praise and worship in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament and the other half is devoted to silent prayer.
Afterward, those in attendance are invited to the parish house for conversation — and snacks — with Father Kuhn.
They discuss a gamut of subjects ranging from serious topics like marriage, politics and pro-life issues to brainstorming ideas for enhancing parish life to more lighthearted news like the latest “Star Wars” movie.
“Community building is the primary focus,” said Victoria Bulcher, youth and young adult ministry coordinator for the parishes. “We want to help young adults feel connected in the parish.”
Bulcher, a young adult herself, experienced praise and worship nights while attending the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, and Father Kuhn experienced similar events while studying for his doctorate at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
“It was something I did in college a lot,” Bulcher said. “I missed it and this is one outlet that is consistent for personal prayer. It also helps my ministry by getting to know people and staying connected with them.”
The evening, which is geared toward ages 18-39, has attracted young adults from other nearby parishes, including Emily Malone, who travels from the Staples area to attend. Malone learned of the young adult nights while working in Wadena and has been joining the event for almost two years.
“I enjoy doing things with other young adults,” Malone said. “I used to live in the [Twin Cities] where I did activities like this and thought it was great.”
Malone said she especially likes the praise and worship music during adoration as well as the social activities that follow.
“The music helps bring me closer to God,” she said. “And I’ve learned many things from Father Aaron. If you have a question for a priest, it’s the perfect time for that.”
For more information about young adult nights in Wadena, call the St. Ann parish office at 218-631-1593.