Youth Leadership Conference in Joliet, IL
Again this year, we at the Vocation Office participated in the Youth Leadership Conferenceof the Diocese of Joliet, IL. Bro. Chris Meyer, O.F.M. (Friar in foreground in the picture on the left) joined Bro. Tim and me this time so there were three brown habits mingling among 600 young people (mainly high schoolers with a few graduates) plus their adult chaperons. Saturday morning we had to move inside for Eucharist (picture on right) due to a healthy rain storm Friday night. The campus was fairly soggy.
Bro. Chris managed to to sneak in a picture of me setting up our vocation display table. The table is a bit of a formality since most of our contacts with the students are in the workshops, on the outdoor recreation area, and at meals. Although there were some brave souls who stopped at the table, most are a little shy about being seen my their peers seeking out a talk with a vocation director. So to make it easier, we wandered among them talking with them and taking the initiative to begin a conversation.
Again this year we were mightily impressed with the conference. There is a spirit of openness and welcome at the conference and in the diocese that begins with the local Bishop, Peter Sartain, and carries down through his priests, seminarians, lay leadership and students. I enjoyed being there so much last year that we asked to be invited back--and I asked again this year. :-) I'm happy to have been a part of it all.