Young people and staff from the diocesan Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries gather with Father Edmund Luciano III, from the Diocese of Metuchen, left, for the "Faith Uncorked" event. Katie Cerni photo
Young people and staff from the diocesan Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries gather with Father Edmund Luciano III, from the Diocese of Metuchen, left, for the "Faith Uncorked" event. Katie Cerni photo

By Katie Cerni | Digital & Social Media Coordinator

Young adults in their early 20s to late 30s gathered June 28 at Iron Plow Vineyards, Columbus, for “Faith Uncorked” – a night of wine-tasting, fellowship and an engaging talk on God’s will.

In his keynote talk, Father Edmund Luciano III, from the Diocese of Metuchen, offered spiritual advice as well as practical tips on how young people can discern if they are following God’s will.

“People are looking for answers, and they’re looking everywhere but where the relationship is,” Father Edmund said. “If we’re going to be discerning things in our life, it’s got to be in a conversation with the one who has created us. If we know God’s voice, we can more easily tell what he’s saying to us. So the first thing about conversations [and discerning] is that we have to know the person we are talking to.”

The event, sponsored by the Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, had as its theme “Is God in all you do: your finances, career and relationships? Ever wonder: How do I know God’s will?”

“Knowing the voice of God in sacred Scripture, knowing how he acts, having those things that help us to know him … helps us to recognize when he’s being active in our life in a way that he’s trying to get our attention,” Father said. “Make no mistake about it, whether you know it or not, God is doing something in our lives right now. He is constantly at work.”

Father Luciano cited the lives of inspirational saints such as St. Teresa of Calcutta, St. Augustine, St. Ignatius and Blessed John Henry Newman as he shared what each one had to say on discernment. He also shared his own discernment story about his journey to the priesthood.

“It’s really interesting to hear other people’s vocations stories because I think it helps us figure out our own,” said Amy Honnig of St. Katharine Drexel Parish, Burlington.

Honnig, a student at Rowan University, Glassboro, said the event was a great opportunity to share faith with others. “I feel like it’s really easy to invite people to this. I think it can be a good, open dialogue.”

The event came on the heels of the highly attended Theology on Tap June 20 in Triumph Brewing Company, Princeton, where Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., gave the keynote talk. It was at that event that Susan Jennie and her husband, Scott, of St. Katharine Drexel Parish heard about “Faith Uncorked.”

“It was kind of a coincidence because we wanted to keep coming to more young adult events in the area,” Susan Jennie said, adding that meeting other young adults at events such as this was refreshing. “Going to these events for the Diocese is awesome … it’s a growing community.”

Andrea Hodges, former member of the Princeton Area Young Adult group of St. Paul Parish, Princeton, attended “Faith Uncorked” during her return to New Jersey to visit family. “It seems like this is a message that a lot of people needed to hear right now… and I definitely feel like that is a message we can take home, because there’s a ton of trials in life.”

The event was not only filled with young adults from across the Diocese, but from across the state as well. Danielle Sakowski is also a student at Rowan University, but her mother lives in Freehold. She said her mother informed her of the event.

“I came to just meet more people around my age. As I get older, I’d like to know ways that God could be more present in my life.”

With a smile, Father Luciano said “Faith Uncorked” was a great way to reach people of all ages. “The first miracle Jesus ever worked was, ironically, over wine.”