Cardinal Dolan assured young adults of God’s eternal plan for our salvation as he celebrated the Young Adult Mass on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
“It’s all about God’s loving, providential eternal plan for our salvation,” said Cardinal Dolan at the Dec. 8 Mass sponsored by the archdiocesan Office of Young Adult Outreach. “God created us. God saves us. God invites us to spend all eternity with Him.
“There’s his plan. We come from God. We’re destined to live with Him and for Him now and for all eternity as St. Paul gushes in our second reading, his letter to the Ephesians. That was His intention as He initiated the human project.”
In the first reading from Genesis, Adam and Eve failed in this mission, but in St. Paul’s letter, Mary accepts the archangel Gabriel’s invitation from God “to restore His creation and His creatures.”
“Thus, my friends, never do we despair that there is no plan, no providence, no God,” Cardinal Dolan said. “Never do we conclude that life is all random and senseless and meaningless. That we’re all alone. We’re cursed. We’re forgotten. We’re left to ourselves. Never.
“Not to deny that we’ll go through tough times when we’re tempted to conclude that Lucifer (in the first reading), not Gabriel, was right. Eve, not Mary, made the shrewdest choice when things are dark, desperate, confusing and frustrating because see God’s plan can be at times hazy. It can take its time to unfold and to become evident. It can be questioned and doubted, but it can never be derailed.”
Cardinal Dolan closed his homily with two stories, including one that remembered the life of Pat Quinn, the co-founder of the Ice Bucket Challenge that raised almost a quarter of a billion dollars for research to find treatments and a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Quinn, 37, lost his battle with ALS Nov. 22, and Cardinal Dolan celebrated his Funeral Mass at St. John the Baptist Church in Yonkers Nov. 28.
“It was remarkable how his friends, his cousins, the priests that knew him well said at the beginning he kind of figured that he had God’s plan all figured out that he was going to be cured immediately,” he said. “That didn’t happen. He kind of sunk into a little despair and frustration. When he bounced back, he said God’s plan may not be too evident to me right now but I still believe He’s got one for me and I still believe I’m in His providential hands, and I still believe that in the end He’s going to take care of me.
“I think Pat Quinn knew it’s all about God’s loving, providential, eternal plan for our salvation.”
Jackie Mulligan, 34, said Cardinal Dolan’s homily during Advent in the year 2020 gave her renewed hope and a sense of community and belonging. It allowed young adults to think ahead to their eternal future with God instead of temporary difficulties in the present.
“We invite Him at the center of our life with radical trust like Mary,” said Ms. Mulligan, a parishioner of St. Mary’s in East Islip, Long Island.
“Mary was not prepared, but it was her full trust in the Lord that gave her the tools that she needed.”
Young adults began meeting at St. Patrick’s an hour before Mass for Eucharistic adoration, confession, prayer and live music from Fernando Torres.
Cardinal Dolan celebrates the Young Adult Mass during the Lenten and Advent seasons.
The cardinal celebrated the Young Adult Mass during Lent before about 1,000 people on March 4, just before the Covid-19 pandemic shut down churches across the country. Mass ended with a prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. A social gathering after Mass was canceled due to the pandemic.
“We were very happy for His Eminence to once again celebrate our Advent Young Adult Mass, especially this year,” said Colin Nykaza, director of the archdiocesan Office of Young Adult Outreach. “It has been a very challenging year for many young adults and I love that the opportunity was given for the young adults to encounter the cardinal’s love and fatherly affection.
“We all need to remember how much God loves us and this comes through the cardinal.”