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Young Catholic Professionals forming SF chapter

April 27, 2017
Christina Gray

Career-minded young Catholic men and women in San Francisco who want to live Gospel values at work and share them with others will soon find support for both their professional and spiritual aspirations through an organization called Young Catholic Professionals.

Amanda George, the new coordinator of youth and young adult ministry for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, told Catholic San Francisco that Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone endorsed the formation of a San Francisco chapter of the nonprofit ministry for young adults on April 6.

“How do you live an authentic Catholic life while pursuing your career, often in very secular environments?” said George, describing the dilemma that helped a group of young Catholics found YPC in Dallas in 2010.

YCP inspires and empowers young adults in their 20s and 30s, single or married, to strengthen and witness their faith at work and through work. With guidance from the national office in Texas, local chapters host networking and social “happy hours” to help young Catholic adults build a local community, offer speaker events, spiritual direction, retreats, service projects, career support, monthly newsletters and more.

San Francisco will become YCP’s 16th regional chapter following Austin, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Fort Worth, Houston, Jacksonville, New Orleans, Omaha, Orange County, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego and Silicon Valley.

George, who lives in Redwood City, is on the leadership panel of the Silicon Valley chapter of YCP. She said that a central element of YCP is connecting young adults with seasoned Catholic peers who made the choice to live out their Catholic faith in all aspects of their lives and have a story to tell.

“Executive speakers are at the top of their game professionally and they are also super serious about their faith,” she said. Members can learn how they got to where they are, the challenges they faced, and how, according to George, “we can take what we learn from their experiences into our own work lives.”

According to the YCP website, the St. Joseph the Worker Prayer is read aloud at the conclusion of each chapter event, reminding members to see all forms of work as true Christian work.

A YCP chapter in San Francisco meets a great need in the San Francisco business community, which George said is “not friendly to the faith.” She said this is especially true in the Bay Area’s tech community where, “many people around you will be atheist.”

“For those who are practicing their faith, it’s a relief to be able to come somewhere and meet others who care about their faith and speak openly about it while also talking about your career,” she said.

Because faith enters the conversation through the language of business, the YCP model can be an “approachable” re-entry to the faith for young professionals who, according to George, “may no longer be practicing their faith but still call themselves Catholic.”

YCP’s low-key, social nature can be a vehicle for evangelization for non-Catholics too. Work colleagues of members are welcome at the monthly happy hours hosted at bars and restaurants in locations in the heart of each chapter’s business district and at speaker events.

Catholic professionals with a vision for “business, politics and civil society working together for the common good” have been meeting for the better part of the past century. In 1931, a group of Catholic employers in Europe formed the International Christian Union of Business Executives on the 40th anniversary of Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical “Rerum Novarum.” The encyclical discussed the relationships and mutual duties between labor and capital and is considered a foundational text of modern Catholic social teaching.

The San Francisco chapter of YCP, like the other 15 regional chapters, will operate under the direction of a local leadership team selected, trained and supported by the YCP national office.

 

Learn more about Young Catholic Professionals
The San Francisco chapter of Young Catholic Professionals is seeking young practicing Catholics between the ages of 20-39 to apply for its leadership team, said archdiocesan young and young adult ministry coordinator Amanda George. Interested individuals should apply directly to youngcatholicprofessionals.org. The website details leadership team roles and responsibilities.

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