Generation Christ – Ann Arbor at 530 Elizabeth Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104 US – A Generation for Christ

A Generation for Christ

 by Fr. Chas Canoy, Chaplain Emeritus

 (with slight edits added 14 October 2009)

Many parishioners have come up to me after Mass or at a parish event to comment on just how many young people come to our church, more than they can remember in the past.  They often add to their observation that having our church filled with so many young people is so very encouraging to their faith.  You’ll notice that even a large percentage of our daily Mass goers are young adults, those between the ages of 18 to 35. 

Is it Fr. Jeff’s good looks?

      As you know, our immediate neighborhood is comprised mostly of young adults.  Our parish is surrounded by homes occupied in most part by university students.  Thus, it is only natural that we have as part of our parish family a larger percentage of young adults than your normal parish. But what has accounted for such a large increase over the last year?

      I don’t think it is because of Fr. Jeff’s dashing good looks.  I suspect that it is because, here at St. Thomas, they truly encounter Jesus Christ, the one for whom their hearts yearn.  As many of you know, we have a very vibrant young adults group here called Generation Christ.  It is our parish’s welcoming response to the many young adults that enter our doors. 

      Last academic year, we had no less than 40 people gather at every meeting, sometimes welcoming over 80.  It is a good mix of University of Michigan students, both graduate and undergraduate students, Ave Maria School of Law students, and young adults who work full-time, either married or single.  Just last week, we had a joyous and successful kick-off with over 80 people adoring Jesus in the Eucharist!

So what do we do at Generation Christ?

      We meet every Sunday at the Parish Hall, and there we truly encounter our Lord.  We begin at 7:00pm.  After about ten minutes of gathering and saying hello, we begin our Eucharistic holy hour.  Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is processed out in a monstrance for us to adore.  We have a Scripture reading, followed by a 10-minute meditation given by me, Fr. Jeff, or a guest speaker. 

      Then we have a few minutes of just sitting in silent adoration of our beloved Lord.  That is followed by a few songs of worship.  Kevin Spizarny and Louise Vasievich head up our music ministry, and they do an excellent job of leading our praise and worship.  We end with offering our prayer intentions and having benediction.  After a closing song, we follow the holy hour with a social hour for those who want to stay for wonderful fellowship.  Getting to know these young people fills me with great hope!


      Our Sunday evenings are our primary gatherings, but a good number of “Gen Christ,” as it is called, also meets socially at Dominick’s every Wednesday night at 8:30pm…a little too late for me, but I’ll make it out there once in a while.  In addition, we have an annual “Alternative Spring Break,” various works of mercy initiated by the young adults, road trips to conferences or retreats, among other things.

      An integral part of Generation Christ are our two houses of discernment, one for women, the St. Catherine House, and one just forming for men, the Fr. McGivney House.  But these two houses deserve a column on their own.  Also, peruse through our website for more information:

Here at St. Thomas, they find a place of welcome.

      So, when you notice how many young people there are in our parish, you now know a little of bit of why that is so.  They meet Jesus here.  They also are amidst a welcoming parish whose members not only know about Jesus Christ, they know him.  They have encountered him, and his heart of welcome shines through you.

                                    Blessings to you,

                                    Fr. Chas Canoy 


Retired NFL Superbowl Quarterback & UofM Grad Elvis Grbac Testimony giving testimony at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Plymouth MI on 3/13 from 8pm-9pm
This is the generation of those who seek Him. -Psalm 24:6

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