Loyola University New Orleans Receives $1.5 Million Grant to Support Young Adult Ministry
Lilly Endowment grant will provide support for young adult initiative to practice synodality in ministry
(New Orleans, La. – April 5, 2022) Loyola University Institute for Ministry has received a $1.5 million grant to support development of a new project, “F.I.E.L.D.: Faithful Innovation through Encountering, Listening, and Discerning: Practicing Synodality in Ministry with Young Adults.”
Through this project, the Loyola Institute for Ministry will serve as an innovation hub to train and support parish ministry teams in research and practices that help them become a more synodal, co-responsible, participatory church especially in relation to young adults.
“Our goal is to help parishes become more welcoming communities for young adults, capable of developing innovative ministries with and for them,” said Tracey Lamont, who is the project director and assistant professor of religious education and young adult ministry at Loyola.
Lamont is an expert on what Gen-Z are seeking from their churches as they transition from young adult life to adulthood. She has been a member of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops National Young Adult Advisory Team since 2017 and currently serves as member of the board of directors for the National Institute for Ministry with Young Adults. Lamont has spoken on a national level about what the Catholic Church must do to engage and be more welcoming to young people.
From employing deep listening and creating increased access to quality mentors, to enhancing the use of technology, she believes there is more the church can do to help nurture the spiritual lives of young people, learn more about their faith, grow in their spirituality and create meaningful relationships. Young people want help grounding their religion in their day-to-day lives, Lamont said.
With this grant, Lamont and her team will help to explore how the Catholic Church can become one that listens to young people, strengthens their leadership potential, and helps them to engage in deep and meaningful relationships with God, themselves, and others.
Lilly Endowment established the Young Adult Initiative to help congregations develop and strengthen ministries that build relationships with young adults, nurture their religious lives and foster their engagement with religious communities.
Lilly Endowment Inc. was founded in 1937 by J.K. Lilly, Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. for the “promotion and support of religious, educational or charitable purposes.” Throughout its history, Lilly Endowment has sought to nurture the human spirit, intellect and character. When once asked what the main purpose of the Endowment should be, Eli Lilly said, “I hope we could help improve the character of the American people.”