January 14, 2022
Father Eliot Schwer, an archdiocesan priest in residence at St. Cecilia Parish, explains why Veni is needed and fills a significant gap in evangelization efforts for young adults in the archdiocese.
How do you feel Veni is filling a genuine need felt by young adults?
Eucharistic adoration can be a great communal experience and a great individual experience. When we go to Mass, there is rightfully this sense of obligation, and sometimes, maybe more subconsciously, we believe this is the primary reason a lot of people are there. Eucharistic exposition events can be very life-giving for the faithful who treasure the gift of the Eucharist. You feel a sense of greater connection and belonging while being with a group of people who share that same love. There is not that sense of solely fulfilling an obligation. That helps cultivate our second greatest need, spiritual friendship with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
What do you hope or dream will happen as a fruit of Veni?
My dream is that it will continue to grow until the Cathedral is packed with souls hungry to expand their love for Jesus and each other. It would be wonderful if this became an embedded tradition at the Cathedral. I pray the Archdiocese may experience a great increase in vocations to Holy Orders, religious life, and holy marriages. Marriages where husbands and wives are truly intent on helping each other become saints and single people may experience the grace and freedom of having a life completely dedicated to the Lord. The Lord wants to awaken the sense of spiritual fraternity among us. His plan for us is not to be isolated. He desires that we live in a way that we are not afraid to be available and vulnerable to our brothers and sisters. I believe Veni can be part of bringing about that reality in a more extensive network of young adults in Omaha and surrounding areas.
What was the moment of the night most memorable for you?
Being part of the Lord’s grace in the sacrament of reconciliation was the most memorable. Adoration of the Eucharist coupled with confession always seems to bring about a better examination of an individual’s conscience. It is a blessing to be used by the Lord to heal wounds, doubts, fears and alleviate and console the hearts of those He dearly loves.
What is your role in launching Veni, and why do you feel passionate about being a crucial part of this?
My role in launching Veni is to help coordinate all the aspects of the evening for now. Thankfully, we have a talented team, and I have a lot of help in making sure we have music, hospitality and ministers all come together. Something like this is not possible unless a few great people are highly motivated to make it happen. The Lord has provided those people, and it says a lot about their faith and love for God that they are willing to give their time, talents and treasure to this endeavor in such a generous way.