STEUBENVILLE YOUTH CONFERENCE 2016 WRAP UP!
On the weekend of June 24-26th St. Mary's youth took off on an adventure of a lifetime. We started at St. Mary’s with Mass. From there we went on a seven hour journey to Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. It was plain to see that a few of the youth did not know at all what to expect.
Once they arrived in the field house with 2,500 other Catholic youth you could see their eyes light up. One of the participants commented, "Is this what you mean when you say the Catholic Church is Universal?". I was shocked to see them connect the dots of all the lessons we taught over the year so fast.
Paul Kim was our first speaker, his unusual approach of "beat boxing" had us all on our feet. The main point of his talk was that we can get stuck in our faith, often just going through the motions, that as Catholics we have so much more and can live the great adventure of our faith. In the small groups to follow, almost all the participants said that the conference was way better than they expected. We were challenged to take advantage of Reconciliation before we headed to bed. Our youth were very motivated and made sure to be first in line!
Saturday was packed with amazing talks, Mass and separate sessions for boys and girls. During these sessions they challenged us to put Jesus as number one in our lives. That He will teach us how to love others and show us our vocation in life. We wrapped up the day with a Holy Hour of Eucharistic Adoration. Seeing 2,500 students enter into the hour with passion and dedication was a taste of Heaven. Our chaperones were amazed and mentioned that it was worth taking the weekend off just so they could be witnesses to God's amazing treasures we have in our youth.
Sunday morning we wrapped up with Mass by Bishop Jeffery Mouforton of the Diocese of Steubenville. He spoke of the unique time the Church is in as we fight for our religious freedom. He challenged us to go and bless our local parishes and enter into the life of the Church. We as Catholics have the fullness of truth and we need to grab ahold of it.
As we got back in the vans to return home it was obvious that we were not done. Many conversations and questions were shared with the teens. Everyone is excited to return next year.
Next year's date will be June 23-25th 2017, we are looking to fill a charter bus so we can relieve our chaperones from driving duties and liabilities. It will be open for all students headed to high school or college as of the summer of 2017! Email me if you would like to reserve a spot. Everyone one that attended this year will be attending next year as well!
Coordinator of Middle School and High School Youth Ministry
St. Mary's Parish / 406 E. Savidge Street Spring Lake, MI 49456
616-935-6974 / www.stmarysl.org/ firstname.lastname@example.org www.facebook.com/stmaryslym