From the pre-pandemic brew-pub and coffee-house gatherings to the virtual “Pints with Priests” and “Sips with Sisters” during the pandemic, young adult Catholics are craving for community.

And now the Diocese of Albany is offering the first in-person event for young Catholics since the second week in March. A “Diocesan Young Adult Holy Hour” will take place Sept. 24 at Corpus Christi Parish in Round Lake. The event starts at 7 p.m., right after the parish’s regular 6 p.m. weekday Mass.

“After our extended quarantine, everyone is desiring to meet in person,” said Thomas G. Cronin, advisor to the Bishop for Family & Parish Evangelization. “What better way to meet in person for the first time… not in a brew pub or coffee house, but in the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.”

For the Holy Hour, Father Rick Lesser will provide a brief personal reflection on the Eucharist and Adoration, which will immediately be followed by Adoration and Benediction. Worship music will be a collaboration between Corpus Christi and St. Pius X Parish in Loudonville and the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be offered. The in-person event will also be livestreamed via Facebook Live. All COVID-19 guidelines will be followed regarding contact tracing, physical distancing and wearing face masks.

Cronin said the brew pub gatherings, which started in Advent across the Diocese, “were incredibly well-attended and started building up some really great young adult momentum.” These were followed by the Lenten coffee house events which “gained even more momentum.” Cronin added that he was seeing many familiar faces as the “young adults were hungry for community and to talk to other young Catholics.” Even when face-to-face gatherings were halted due to the pandemic, the first Pints with Priests Zoom call with Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger had over 100 young adults participate.

Cronin described the young-adult demographic as “post-college age to 39, but if you are young at heart, nobody is going to be turned away. We are trying to focus on this demographic by engaging with them more regularly and responding to their needs.” Cronin hopes more young adult Holy Hours can be planned in partnership with other area parishes in the future.

“Logistically Corpus Christi Parish in Round Lake was an ideal location for the first one; very large church, good seating arrangement for social distancing.” he said. “The icing on the cake is Corpus Christi Parish is celebrating a ‘Year of the Eucharist’ and when I asked Father Rick if his parish would host this diocesan-wide Holy Hour, he was thrilled.”