Is there anyone my age going?
Bernard, Angelus was born our of a need we recognized in our community of Catholic friends who all happen to be within a certain age demographic. Most parishes with singles ministries have more than one group that are geared towards different ages. This is necessary and appropriate. I am sure you understand that we have to make the age cut-off someplace.
I agree that there is probably a need for another singles ministry that serves the 50+ crowd, however, that is not something we are equipped to do (at least not at this time) because all of our contacts are in their 20's, 30's and 40's. It is not within our current abilities to start another group for 50+. I am not saying it will never happen, as it is something I would very much like to do, but given that we are 100% volunteer-run by only 2 individuals, and that we are doing this in addition to our already busy lives (and are not doing this as our way to earn a living), this is how things will be for the forseable future.
You may have to do what we did--if you see a void and no solution, you may have to start your own group!
I just read your information & I, like Bernard, would be interested to know if there might be a possibility of getting a meet-up for those who are 50+. Since I am new to this part of the country, I would not be the person to do that no matter how interested I am or how fervently I feel the need for such a group!
Any advice? Thanks. I hope your event is successful.
Thank you for your message and well-wishing on the success of our events. I appreciate that very much.
Please know that I live in Los Angeles, and I'm not very familiar with the San Diego area and what is happening down there in terms of Catholic singles groups. I will share with you my thoughts, though, in general.
If you feel the need for such a group, you are probably not the only one. It is possible that such a group may already exist in your area. Ask around at parishes, here on CM, search for key words on Facebook, CraigsList, Meetup, and contact the archdiocese of San Diego. Brainstorm and think "where might these groups already be?" That is the easiest path--to find an already existing group.
If you seek and do not find any groups that already exist, or the ones that already exist don't meet your needs, here are my thoughts:
You say that you cannot start a group because you are new to your area. I imagine that you might feel that you are limited in "who you know", and that is why you think you cannot start a group? It's a reasonable concern, but I think it is based on a false assumption--namely, that if you were to start a group that you would need to do it "all by yourself". Knowing people who are local to your area is only one of the skills needed to start a singles group. Other skills are needed too! I am sure you have some of them! You are already online, you know how to use a computer, you know how to reach out to others (like me) who run groups and ask for help...you know more than you think you do! :-) I suggest that you look for (and pray to find) other people who are like-minded, people who want a singles group for 50+, and your are bound to find at least one person who is well-connected in your community in terms of knowing people. Then you will have something!
I will give you an example from my own life. While I have lived in LA for a decade, I have only been Catholic for a little less than 3 years. When one of the original founders of our group met and married a woman he met though our group, the remaining co-founder needed someone new to help with leadership. She came to me because I had expressed interest for months in helping with the group (up until then I had only been attending the events as a guest, but had no involvement in the leadership of the group). But I know myself and my skill set and I happen to be very good at planning events, hospitality, being sociable, using the internet to reach out to people, etc. I had let her know this, and was practically begging to help...and after months, she finally said yes when the appropriate circumstances arose. It was a combination of prayer, timing, circumstances and wishful thinking.
Now, if I had started a group like this by myself, it probably would have been a very small group (at least at first :) because, only having been Catholic for a short time, I didn't know that many people. Whereas, the founder of our group has lived in the Los Angeles area her entire life, comes from a very large and strong Catholic family, and is well-connected. So it makes for a good combination--she knows a lot of people personally (enough to get the group started), and I plan the events and do the online outreach to attract new people.
So, while you may be limited in who you know personally, with the internet and social media being such a strong force in our society, I do not think that your newness to the area is a big of a deficit as you perceive it to be. There is a TON that can be done to reach people online--thus you are more able to connect now with people you don't already know than in any time in human history. I admittedly do not know how savvy the 50+ age group is when it comes to social media, though, so that is something that would need to be looked in to.
Between the internet and teaming up with someone else (or maybe more than one person) who is already established in the area, you can do this. You may want to read 1 Corinthians:12 (the whole chapter--it isn't that long) for inspiration. I don't know what your specific gifts are, but I KNOW that you HAVE gifts--and your gifts are needed and essential to the Body of Christ!
I hope that this has been helpful. If you have more questions please let me know!
Thanks so much Cynthia, for you advice.
It's true, I do have some skills in getting things together but when I did that, I had help from the Family Life office in my archdiiocese. I certainly can pray for discernment & enlightenment to see what transpires.
I think what irks me a little is that there is a very active social group for Catholics in this area who are widowed. Because I am divorced, I feel a lack in something for that particular group & for those never married. I don't mind if all 3 types of single people get together for an event, just that something is available out there -- and especially for those who are over 50!
I will take your information to heart. Thanks again!