Don’t miss YA events in upcoming weeks…

Looking for something to do with other young adults? Looking to deepen your faith among other Catholic young adults? Then check out this week’s upcoming events sponsored by the CYO/Youth and Young Adult Ministries:

  • October 6: Theology on Tap series; 6:30 p.m. at the Fox & Hound with Martin Gutierrez, “One Nation Under God”
  • October 9: Matt Maher in concert; 4p.m. (doors open at 3 p.m.) at the Ohana Pier in Slidell; tickets are $15 in advance/ $20 at the door

For more information on future events, check out the Young Adult Ministry’s website or contact Rachel Longest at

Respect Life Series: Postabortion Journey

In honor of Respect Life Month, I’ve already posted Abby Johnson’s testimony, and now I’ve come across a moving testimony by an anonymous blogger. I first came across it on the Priests for Life website, which can also be found on the Postabortion Journey blog. I’ve excerpted sections of it, but you can read it in full over at the blog.
I lost (or gave away) my virginity at age 15 to my high school sweetheart – who was about as clueless as I was about what sex truly was about.  Although – to his credit – he seemed to be more ahead of the game than most of his peers.  We felt our relationship to be special of course and we weren’t like our peers who were just jumping into bed for the heck of it.  We tried a few times and failed or otherwise chickened out of “doing it.”  Being 15 does not lend itself to having a lot of freedom since neither of us drove – but we did visit each other a lot and our parents left us alone enough – and let’s face it – two hormone filled teenagers are going to find a way no matter what.  I’ll spare you the gory details of it all – but the thing that is most important about this is that fact that I was so willing to give away my virginity to a 15 year old boy, not aware of my worth, not ever being told that I should wait, not ever thinking or being told of the consequences.  Yes, I knew pregnancy was a risk – but not to me!

Faith is a funny thing

Lately, I’ve been taking a lot of things on faith–hoping that everything will turn out the way it’s supposed to and placing a lot of things regarding my future in God’s hands. I keep telling myself that everything will work out because, let’s face it, it always does. It may not be in the exact ways that we expect it, but everything in some way or the other works out.

When we were little kids, we believed in Santa Claus, fairies, princes and princesses living in castles and fairy tales. We had fantasies of the way our lives would be, the way that everything would turn out. For me, I would be a bestselling author, writing novels and stories day after day for the reading public.  But somehow, as we get older and grow up, we open our eyes. The fantasies and the beliefs in fairy tales disappear and we are left with reality. Yet, deep down inside of us, we never really let the fantasy go. We have the smallest glimmer of hope that one day, we’ll open our eyes and the fantasy will come true. Continue reading

Theology on Tap Lineup

Looking for somewhere to meet other Catholics in their 20s on up, socialize and talk about your faith? Then mark your calendars for Thursday nights in October for the Theology on Tap series! The Southshore will host the four-week series at Fox & Hound in Elmwood Village Center (2100 S. Clearview Parkway) beginning at 6:30 p.m. Show up early for a drink and Catholic fellowship!

The lineup includes:

  • Oct. 6: “One Nation Under God” with Martin Gutierrez
  • Oct. 13: “Life Isn’t Fair but Trade Can Be” with Paula Taylor and Traci Taylor
  • Oct. 20: “What the Mass Says About Us” with Todd Amick
  • Oct. 27: “When the Well Runs Dry” with Sr. Rose Bowen, O.P.

For more information on the individual talks, visit the Archdiocese of New Orleans Young Adult Ministry or contact Rachel Longest at

Don’t Miss…

Looking for a way to get involved in the young adult community within the Archdiocese of New Orleans? Check out some of the events sponsored by the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry of the Archdiocese of New Orleans:

  • What Next? Finding Answers with Faith Retreat; September 16-17 at the Camp Abbey Retreat Center in Covington. Register by September 14 for a $70 registration fee; $75 for on-site registration.
  • Archbishop Hughes to celebrate Mass and teach changes to Roman Missal; September 27 at 6:30 p.m. in the Cenacle Retreat House Chapel.
  • Social Justice Series sponsored by the Jesuits of the New Orleans Province; September 8, 15, 22 and 29 at the Columns Hotel at 6 p.m.

For more information on these and other upcoming events, contact Rachel Longest at

What we need to know about ’emerging adulthood’

In a recent column, I brought up the topic of ’emerging adulthood,’ which has garnered the attention of psychologists and sociologists, particularly Jeffrey Arnett. This concept, this developmental stage, has peaked the interest of scholars across the nation, but it also explains a number of trends that have become more prevalent among 20-somethings.

For instance, in the 1970s it was commonplace for a 21-year-old to be married or about to be married, caring for a newborn or expecting a newborn, finished with education and settled into a full-time, long-term job. These phases in adulthood have been shifting. Today, for the typical 21-year-old, marriage is anywhere between 4-5 years (often more) away, parenthood is commonly not thought of, education is ongoing through graduate school or an extended undergraduate program and job changes are frequent. The road to adulthood is a long one for many 20-somethings as they attempt to find their place in the world, their interests and passions that will keep them fulfilled.

Continue reading

The earth shook…

We’ve arrived home, but not after one final bit of commotion.  After landing in Washington, D.C. from our flight from Europe, we were greeted 20 minutes later by the earthquake.  One of our seminarians commented that perhaps our plane touching down with all that grace shook the earth itself. 

Esta es la juventud del papa!


– John Smestad, Jr.