Every Friday, young adults from around Tampa Bay gather for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament to spend time with the Lord. These faith-filled Catholics are members of Apostles of the Eucharist, a ministry based out of St. Paul Catholic Church in Tampa.
They also gather weekly for snacks, faith sharing, fellowship and formation. Most of the formation is connected to teachings on the Holy Eucharist, as outlined in a book about the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist written by St. Peter Julian Eymard, a French Catholic priest who founded two religious institutes: the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament for men and the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament for women.
Twenty-year-old Haley Nash joined the Apostles of the Eucharist two years ago after moving to Tampa from Kentucky. She found the group’s Facebook page by googling the phrase: Catholic Young Adults. She was eager to find people in her age group with similar interests and values.
“I didn’t know anyone so basically I was looking to make some friends and I did that,” said Haley, who works and attends college through on-line classes. She says joining the group has helped her to learn so much more about the Catholic faith, even though she has been Catholic her whole life.
“I didn’t know what Adoration was but now I have grown so much. Joining this group has given me a new perspective on my faith,” added Haley.
The Apostles of the Eucharist has been in existence for five years and it’s open to young adults ages 18-27. Those who attend regularly become keenly aware of the role of the Holy Eucharist in the life of a Catholic and it can be an eye-opening experience.
“Learning more about the Eucharist has been transformative, life changing in my relationship with Jesus,” said Geovanny Hillis. “St. Peter Julian Eymard shows us that Jesus is our friend through the Eucharist and his book encapsulates so much of our faith by teaching about the Eucharist.”
Valerie Merimee is the group’s mentor and her daughter Amanda is a member.
“This is not a parish-based group, but it is an outreach of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament,” said Valerie. “This group is meant to be a supplement to the young adult groups already established in our diocese. This group is for young adults who are interested in digging deeper into their faith through the lens of the Eucharist.”
In addition to Friday night meetings, the group often gets together for social events each month and a service project. They are hosting their annual retreat July 25-26, 2020 at St. Paul Catholic Church and invite all young adults in the Diocese of St. Petersburg to attend. If you are interested in attending or learning more about Apostles of the Eucharist, please contact Valerie Merimee (email@example.com) or request to be added to their Facebook page: Apostles of the Eucharist Young Adult Group.
Mission Statement for Apostles of the Eucharist
As Apostles of the Eucharist we share in
the charism of St. Peter Julian Eymard, as lived by the
Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. By putting the Eucharist at the center
of our lives, we share in a life of mission striving to become the hands and
feet of Christ as Eucharistic Evangelizers.