Church-based Groups Attract Single Catholics

As a single Catholic, where does one find faith-sharing, fellowship and friendship with like-minded people? For many, the answer is a Church-based singles group, of which there are several around the diocesan area. The wide range of activities available include cultural, recreational, religious, service and social. Many of the events are held in Northern Virginia, but some are in D.C. and Maryland. All groups are run by volunteer leaders and committees, and a lot have a chaplain or association with a Religious for spiritual direction. Many have minimal annual dues, which entitle members to discounts at events. Most have monthly or bi-monthly newsletters for information on upcoming activities and recent developments. The Blessed Sacrament Single Adults, based in Alexandria, have 146 members. Most of them are in their mid-to-late 30s, although the wide range is from the 20s to 50s and up. There are no membership restrictions, although some of the events, such as the New Year’s Party, require attendees to be at least 21. Annual dues are $7. Contact Dan Walt at 751-7347 or Dawn Cavallo at 684-7521. The Brent Society SinglesGroup is co-sponsored by St. Timothy’s Catholic Forum in Chantilly, where it started. It has 130 members, most of whom are in their 30s, although no age restriction applies. No dues are required, but at one of the monthly events, a small donation is requested to cover administrative costs. For information or to be added to the mailing list, call Maria Garvey at 703/378-9143. The Catholic Alumni Club of Washington (CACW) is affiliated with Catholic Alumni Clubs International (CACI). At 400 members, it is the largest group in the area. Comprised of single Catholics from their 20s to 70s, with a median in their 30s, it also has a 40 plus arm. Membership requires a minimum age of 21, eligibility to marry in the Catholic Church, graduation from a four-year accredited college. A certain percentage of non-college graduates may also join. Dues range from $35 for new members to $37 for non-member subscribers. To obtain a complimentary copy of the monthly newsletter, or hear of the upcoming events, call the activities line at 301/899-0221 or access their web site: http://www/ The Catholic Young Adults Club (CYAC) is a 250-member organization holding almost all of their extensive events in the greater Northern Virginia area. Open to those between the ages of 18 and 35, most in the group are at least 25. Alumni association is also available to previous regular members in good standing. Dues are $20.Information can be obtained by calling Jeanette Kucinski at 703/913-0963. The Prime Time Single Catholics (PTSC) have about 230 members, open to those age 30 or older, who are free to marry in the Catholic Church. The average age of the membership is upper 40s or 50s. Membership dues are $25 per year. Qualifying potential members may obtain two complimentary copies of the monthly newsletter and attend three events as non-members. The contact person is Neal Hyatt at 301/229-1455. The St. Catherine Society for women and the St. Lawrence Society for men are both based at St. Matthew Cathedral in Washington, D.C., but draw a portion of their membership from Northern Virginia. It plans to open chapters in some Arlington diocesan parishes. Their primary purpose is spiritual development, though they have a number of other events, which they occasionally co-sponsor. Attendance is open to all at most of the activities, with only the meetings and retreats restricted to respective members. The women’s group has 85 members, most between the ages of 25-35, and draws 25-30 percent of them from the Arlington diocese. Stipulations are that one must be between 21-45, free to marry in the Church and be a practicing Catholic. Annual dues are $85. The men’s group has 70 members, most of whom are in their 30s and draws 75 percent of their people from this diocese. There are no age or other restrictions. Annual dues are $20. The membership chairpeople are Lisa Hunter at 703/739-9448 or Clem Mesavage at 703/641-0091. Plenty of parishes also have their own smaller singles groups. By investing some time and energy in one of these groups, many members have deepened their faith, formed friendships and even found romance. Copyright ?1997 Arlington Catholic Herald, Inc. All rights reserved.

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