Third and Final Day at the National Catholic Youth Conference
First I need to make a correction. The young man climbing the wall in the post on day One is Jacob Jones, not Jacob Johnson. My apologies.
Saturday, our third and final day, opened as did Friday with prayer and song and a keynote speaker. This time we heard from Renee Bondi who gave a powerful testimony to God's providence and care throughout her life. Renee had a terrible accident two months before she was to be married and broke her neck. The paralysis that followed changed her life but led to a life of fantastic faith.
I returned last evening about 8:00 p.m. having left before the big closing Liturgy at the Nationwide arena. The Mass was scheduled from 8:30 - 10:30 p.m. and I had a two hour drive, so I came home to prepare for the Liturgy here at St. Anthony this morning. Again today there were various workshops and entertainment offered along with opportunity for the Sacrament of Penance. I heard confessions again this afternoon for a bit, but priests had been celebrating the sacrament most of the afternoon.
I find words hard to come by that adequately describe what I experienced these last three days. Being with 23,000 teenagers who are excited about their Catholic faith is in itself a moving event. When you add to that the enthusiasm and energy of the young along with their wanting to share their love for the Lord, I found them to be a walking gospel of hope. THE CHURCH AND THE CATHOLIC FAITH IS ALIVE AND WELL IN THE UNITED STATES AMONG OUR YOUNG PEOPLE. In spite of all the negative press the young are getting these days, I found much to celebrate and hope in. I came home revived and refreshed about the faith and my work as a Vocation Director. I'm don't know what else to say.
One quick final note. All of the individuals pictured and named are either over the age of eighteen or I obtained permission from appropriate adult(s) to use the photos.