After more than a year without in-person events, the Cleveland Chapter of Young Catholic Professionals embraced the opportunity to gather for Mass and a networking social on June 7.
Bishop Edward Malesic celebrated Mass at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist with Father Joe Previte, pastor of Holy Rosary Parish and YCP chaplain, and Father Martin Dober, parochial vicar at St. John Vianney Parish, concelebrating.
In his homily, the bishop told the group that only God could fulfill God’s promise. “God is God,” he said. And Jesus was the Messiah, the long-awaited savior God promised to us.
He said we can’t say both “yes” and “no” to our vocations. “We have to be as true as possible to our vocations, to be holy and witnesses for Christ.”
In the day’s Scripture reading, there is a mention of salt of the earth. “We must be salt of the earth,” Bishop Malesic said. He noted that salt is dry; it preserves what is good, protecting things from becoming rancid. It also improves the taste of good food and masks things that don’t taste good.
“We must protect what is good from the devil and evil,” the bishop said, “by being salt of the earth.”
He also mentioned that Jesus is the light of the world. “Light allows people to see. Let them see Jesus in you, to light up the truth and the way,” he added. “You must light up the earth wherever you are and be salt of the earth. Make a difference in the lives of people you live and work with.”
Bishop Malesic said God always says “yes” to us and repeatedly fulfills each of his promises to us.
“God is patient and kind to us and he asks us to do the same. He wants us to fulfill our destiny to become saints. His ‘yes’ to us is this Mass,” he said.
Bishop Malesic told the congregation that they’re not alone. “We do this together,” he said, acknowledging that sometimes things are difficult and we may feel like we’re swimming upstream.
“Love the Lord by your faithfulness in Jesus Christ,” he added.
The bishop told YCP members they have an advantage: They can go places he cannot because of what they do.
“Thank you for what you do and for being such faithful Catholics,” he said.
After Mass, the group recited a prayer to St. Joseph the Worker, the YCP patron saint, before walking to a local eatery for a networking social. Bishop Malesic spent time chatting with YCP members and guests and enjoying refreshments.
Sarah Yantek, chapter president, said local YCP leadership was uncertain how many people would participate in the Mass and social, but the turnout was larger than expected with more than 100 people registering for the event.
YCP is a national nonprofit “on a mission to challenge, train and inspire young adults working in various professions to work in witness for Christ.” The organization brings together young adults and experienced business professions in a variety of events to foster Catholic identity, encourage community and inspire action.
The Cleveland YCP chapter, which launched five years ago, is the 10th YCP chapter.
The group is planning another networking happy hour 6-8 p.m. on July 13 at Collision Bend Brewing Co., 1250 Old River Road, Cleveland. Click here for more information or to register.
More information on YCP Cleveland can be found here.