Salt & Light reaching out to young adults to bring them back to the faith

Leaders of the Salt & Light young adult ministry stand in front of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Kansas City, Missouri, while attending a Young Adult Leaders Institute in August. Front row, from left, are Alex Rausch, Malerie Davied, and Madelyn Halstead; back, from left, are Fr. Clay Kimbro, Sean Martin, David Purcell. (Courtesy photo)

Want to learn more?

For more information about Salt & Light for Catholic young adults, visit Find a calendar of activities and more details of their mission. The November Theology on Tap will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 15, at Chicken N Pickle, 1240 N. Greenwich Road, in Wichita. Bob Peck of Promise Bound Charities will be speaking.

Many young Catholics fall away from the church after college. Salt & Light wants to pick them up and bring them home.

Fr. Clay Kimbro, the young adult ministry’s spiritual advisor, explained one reason for the loss. He says priests frequently hear from parents and grandparents about how children are no longer going to Mass.

“In that transition after college we often lose people – until they get married or baptize their children,” he said. “Salt and Light hopes to provide a community of growth and discipleship in the meantime. Please tell your children and grandchildren about us!”

The young adult ministry is not intended to replace parish formation, Fr. Kimbro said, but “to provide a community of people striving to become saints at a unique and singular time in their lives.”

Fr. Kimbro, the parochial vicar at St. Anne Parish in Wichita, said there were several reasons he is happy to be working with the ministry and hopes to make young adults more aware of it.

S&L fulfills pastoral plan

Not only is it a great apostolate, he said, Salt & Light also fulfills the diocesan Pastoral Plan’s mission to evangelize and the plan’s vision to “become fully alive as missionary disciples.”

Malerie Davied, the director of the ministry for Catholic young adults, said Salt & Light is fortunate to have Fr. Kimbro involved.

She added that the ministry’s leadership team is currently working to organize activities for fellowship, community, and formation.

Salt & Light is best known for hosting Theology on Tap events. “Last month we had almost 80 people come out, Davied said. “It was great to see so many, yet I know there are many more we have yet to reach. Next month Theology on Tap will be at Chicken N Pickle.

Davied said the ministries leadership team attended a Young Adult Leaders Institute in Kansas City, Missouri, in August where they were able to meet with representatives from the dioceses of Denver, Omaha, Oklahoma City, St. Louis, Jefferson City, and Kansas City.

“Our group of leaders left excited, inspired, and equipped to continue to grow our group here with a re-focus on empowering individuals and forming leaders, rather than simply programs. We have a wonderful community, yet there is always so much room to grow and refine what we do.”

She said Salt and Light has been around for over five years and has provided opportunities for formation, fellowship, and friendship to young adults.

Outreach to college grads

“We reach out to new college graduates, transplants to the Wichita area, and those who are simply seeking out more community with other Catholic young adults,” she said. “What started out as a group that met monthly for Theology on Tap has grown to a community led by 15 volunteer leaders who are passionate about living out their faith in everyday activities – from competing in sports leagues to chatting over drinks to praising the Lord in Adoration.”

Davied said the her favorite characteristic of Salt and Light is the community: the connections, the conversations, and the growth of the individual – all while remaining grounded in our Catholic faith.

“People come up to me and tell me how Salt & Light provided them with new friends, helped them through a difficult phase of life, or inspired them to sign up for a Holy Hour. It is all through the power of community and the Lord.”

Davied invites young adults from 21 to 39 to consider coming to an event or joining a small group.

“We’re also known for our sports leagues, we have been adding in new sports as they have become very popular and a great evangelization opportunity,” she said. “We have indoor sand volleyball coming up in January.”