The lights inside the Queen of Life Chapel at Blessed John Henry Newman’s in Irvine are dimmed, and stirring worship music can be heard from the full parking lot.
Inside the darkened chapel, several pews face the altar, where candles illuminate a gold, glittering monstrance containing the Blessed Sacrament.
More than 25 young adults gathered in the chapel of Blessed John H. Newman’s on Monday, as they do monthly, for the Bible study, praise and worship, adoration, and fellowship known as King’s Cross.
“Last year, I had my encounter with God, and I’ve just been so eager to seek truth, especially through personal encounters with Christ, and with young people my age whom I can relate with,” said newcomer Krizia Rocha, from St Emydius in Lynnwood.
Started in September of last year, King’s Cross gatherings began when a group of students from various colleges and parishes in Orange County wanted to start a regular praise and worship event, utilizing the chapel space.
Blessed John Henry Newman is tucked inside the Busch Group Offices business center on Dupont Drive in Irvine. The chapel, recently converted from an unused garage in the space, serves as the regular place for daily masses, prayers, and events.
The church’s pastor, Father Andrew Bartus, began to organize and facilitate King’s Cross in September 2015, which now has a regular turnout of young adults—both in college and post-college—from around the diocese.
“It’s nice having Holy Adoration and confession so available to us, especially here [at Blessed John’s],” said Alan Lemire, a second-timer at King’s Cross, from St. Thomas More in Irvine. “I’m always drawn to community, and it’s nice to be able to talk about the message with people my age.”
Talks at King’s Cross typically incorporates Gospel readings, church teachings, holy days and happenings in the Catholic Church.
Fr. Bartus’ message on April 18 focused on the weekend’s Gospel readings, celebrating Good Shepherd Sunday, and talked about Jesus as the Good Shepherd, who lays down his life for his sheep (the people of God).
“Fr. [Bartus] was telling a funny story about an old college roommate,” said Lemire. “He makes Bible study engaging and relatable for young adults.”
“He talked about how it’s important to follow God’s will, and that His plan may not align with ours, and that’s totally fine,” said Raymond Minutello from St. John Nuemann in Irvine. “It reminds me to keep praying, and putting my full trust in God.”
As it continues to grow, King’s Cross has become a collaborative effort of ministries, with music provided from local praise and worship band, Adore. Its main outreach continues to be through word of mouth and—the biggest—social media.
“I heard about [King’s Cross] through Facebook,” said Rocha. “Young adults need consistent support, and we seek connection in different ways. We go out there, surrounded by life’s temptations, and it’s hard. I want to be with people who understand me and my Catholic journey, and I want to be able to support them, too. That’s why I took a chance and came here, to meet people!”
After the message, praise and worship, attendees gathered for snacks and lively fellowship in the back hall.
“This is my fourth time going [to King’s Cross],” said Minutello. “From the beginning, it’s been really awesome. I’m originally from Riverside, and I really wish that they had something like this out there. King’s Cross provides a space for young people to gather with like-minded Catholics, to grow in our faith, and to make new friendships with other young adults. I’ve met people through this group that I wouldn’t have before.”
The final King’s Cross monthly gathering will be held on Monday, May 16, at 7:00 pm in the Queen of Life Chapel at Blessed John Henry Newman Catholic Church.
Added Rocha, “As young adults, I think we can all relate in the sense of what we’re looking for, and the type of people that we surround ourselves with…I want it to be with people who are falling in love with God, just like I am.”
For more information: http://www.newmanonline.org/events/2016/5/16/kings-cross-destroying-death