US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Cool Catholic Church

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Start with one hour of Eucharistic adoration, follow that up with a party in a nightclub-like setting, and you get one hip ancient church.

That’s the model of Catholic Underground, a ministry started by Bronx-based Franciscan Friars of Renewal to take on Pope John Paul II's challenge to keep faith in dialogue with modern culture. It’s caught on among young adults and now has eight locations across the country.

“It wouldn’t work without the Eucharistic adoration,” Michelle Chandy, a 20-year-old University of Illinois at Chicago student told the Chicago Tribune recently. “We pray first and that’s like a source of energy. Then we come in here and it’s loud and crazy. So, we burn of the energy.”

When the Chicago CU'ers  moved from the chapel to a lounge decorated as a nightclub, hip-hop artist Yung PK greeted them, rapping, “Everybody in the house throw your C’s up. Throw your C’s up in the air if you’re Catholic.” The young adults respond by raising their hands, cupped like a “C” in the air. (See Tribune photos here.)

Sounds sort of cheesy to me, but it seems work for many young adults. It’s great that they’re connecting to the church and each other. Has anybody been to one of these?

(Photo from Chicago Catholic Underground's Flickr page. You can also listen to some of the music at MySpace.)