Youth Ministry News
There will be 7 youth and 2 adults from our parish that attended the National Catholic Youth Conference in Indianapolis, IN in November of 2017. Here is a little something about everyone going and why they want to go.
AK, MB, PB, KB, CW, AM, AD are all excited to go and have an amazing experience.
Here is what past teens have had to say about their NCYC experience
Two years ago 3 teens and 2 leaders from our parish traveled to Indianapolis, IN to attend the National Catholic Youth Conference. Thanks to this parish and your generous support these youth were able to go and have an amazing, life changing experience. Not only did they experience their faith on a bigger level with 24,000 other Catholic Teens but they got to see what 24,000 people can do together to celebrate our faith. Each youth was asked to bring a small stone with us. Little did we know that that stone would build an altar, that we would use for Eucharistic Adoration and Mass.
These teens had truly an amazing experience from start to finish. With national and internationally known speakers, and musicians. Concerts, dances, team building exercises and so much more.
This past weekend at NCYC I experienced the Holy Spirit like never before. Upon arriving I was immediately consumed into the fun and lively atmosphere I remembered from two years ago. But as the weekend progressed, I realized that God had much bigger plans. The weekend became an intense spiritual journey that completely altered my faith. Through my teenage years I have continuously struggled with my faith and what it meant to be Catholic. I thought that if you wanted to call yourself a ‘good Catholic’, there was a long list of rules you had to follow without question. I now realize how naïve that theory is. I have learned that the term ‘good Catholic’ is meaningless, simply a cheap trick I employed in an attempt to convince myself that I wasn’t worthy of God’s love. But this weekend gave me the opportunity to reflect on the essence Catholicism-- embrace Jesus-- because in him you will find eternal life. Embrace him in your triumphs and your failures, your happiest days and your saddest. Embrace him and in your worst sins you will find forgiveness. After over a year of pushing him aside and swimming in my mistakes, NCYC helped me to realize that He is the source of all my strength.
I will never forget the night that I, along with 24,000 of my brothers and sisters, gathered in complete silence to adore Jesus. I will never forget going to confession in a stadium, and how amidst all the madness, I felt an unparalleled sense of peace knowing I was forgiven. But above all, I will never forget how the Holy Spirit touched my heart and allowed me to see myself the way God sees me. In his eyes I am priceless. I am loved so deeply that he would suffer and die for me. I am his true love. And he is mine. Thank you all for the overwhelming support, I am so proud to be a member of St. Winifred’s, the one and only.
~ Madeline Grade 12
NCYC was something I had never experienced before. Thousands of teens wearing hats or costumes took over an entire city with kindness and a sense of humor only really described as obnoxious. My group and others would wander three or so city blocks walking and chanting as loud as we could. We danced the Catholic Dance (feel free to ask me about it) and screamed along with thousands of others one big “Amen!” the echo seeming to pierce through the sky to heaven itself. There was a kindness in every person I met.
I am embarrassed to say that the last night was not the most influential night for me even though it was meant to be. On the second night of our conference, we were in the stadium and seated close to the ground level. I had been feeling lonely and self-conscious about everything I wanted to hide from the crowds. I stayed though through the mass and faked a smile hoping I was just tired from the day before.
Matt Maher, a Catholic singer I had met from earlier that day during a lecture, came out and began to lead mass and unknown to me one of the most powerful experiences of my life. I wasn’t crying until we sang the theme “Here I Am Lord”, all 24,000 of us together in one room. My palms were open and my eyes closed as tears ran down my face begging for something to help me, to show me what I was doing and give me guidance on my life, juggling school, friends, and the whole idea of church in my life.
I had stopped crying after the song and continued to search for something from God. They eventually brought in Jesus, adorned in gold and a priest (I later found out it was Father Louis Merosne) wearing a stainless cloth over his hands to dare to hold the host. It was time to have the Adoration of Christ. Soon the crowd (if able) was on their knees. And then silence took over. And then the Holy Spirit.
24,000 silent, teens sat in silence for God. I don't know how long we were there because I had left time. My body was calm. I stared at my God and he stared back at my open heart. I have never felt that sort of peace in my entire life. I don’t know if I ever will again either. We knelt and laid eyes on Jesus until Father Louis Merosne simply chanted his name a couple of times before beginning to drop him off wherever Jesus was spending the night. I felt the Holy Trinity and from the bottom of my heart wish for everyone in the church to someday feel the same.
Thank you for the opportunity to experience my faith in a new light, Here I Am Lord!
~ Isabelle Grade 11
Going to NCYC really changed my outlook on our Catholic religion. I was fortunate enough to meet so many more people that had walked a completely different life than me. Although, we had one thing in common we were raised in the Catholic religion. This one thing we had in common made it seem like we had known each other for our entire lives. Being in a stadium with 24 thousand people completely silent during prayer was something I had never seen before and it was an absolutely amazing site.
All in All, NCYC has changed me as a person. During my 3 days, I experienced so many different amazing things and I was able to listen to so many amazing people that inspired me in many different ways.
Thank you so much for letting me experience NCYC it is a trip that I will never forget.
-Courtney Grade 9
Thank you to everyone who came to the Mardi Gras celebration and supported our youth who will be attending NCYC this Fall. Our amazing youth are extremely excited about the trip.