Active planning began in March 2017 (although we began setting the stage, so to speak, in November 2016 at the Diocesan Youth Convention).... MANY pieces of paperwork have needed completed, copies, filed and sent in.... Fundraisers and budgeting had to take place since I will admit this isn't a cheap pilgrimage... and meetings have been held to prepare. So, why do it? We know it makes an impact on the faith-lives of so many pilgrims!
I'll share responses next month from the high school teens that will be participating this week in the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) in Indianapolis, Indiana, but know that many parishes have witnessed to the enthusiasm, energy and increased faith in past pilgrims that have been brought back to the parish and school communities making it all worth the work.
One group leader flat out admitted that they are taking a group to this NCYC because the teens demanded it after having a great experience in 2015! To that end, these parishes are "repeat" groups participating:
Holy Spirit Uniontown
Holy Trinity, East Liverpool
Little Flower, Middlebranch
St. Brendan, Youngstown
St. Charles, Boardman
St. James, Waynesburg
St. John the Evangelist, Summitsville
St. John School/Assumption Parish
St. Joseph Calasanctius
St. Joseph, Canton
St. Joseph, Massillon
St. Jude/Our Lady of Lourdes
St. Mary, Orwell
Returning after a few years hiatus:
St. Patrick, Youngstown
And we are excited for the following new parish groups:
St. Andrew Bobolo
St. Joan of Arc, Streetsboro
Here are the reasons that adult chaperones listed as hopes for the NCYC or things for which they are looking forward to the NCYC:
What 2017 Chaperones are looking forward to/ hoping for from this conference:
► Saturday evening Mass
► Teens experiencing the whole event with 25,000
► The faces of awe and revelation on our young people that repeats many times during those days
► The excitement that will be brought back to our Church
► Seeing the enthusiasm of the flock, especially the 2 disciples I am accompanying
► Watching how my teenagers are transformed
► That young people will leave NCYV with a better idea of their relationship to Church and that Christ is special to each of us.
► Teens’ enthusiasm
► That the students fill their hearts with joy and understand who Christ is
► The kids experiencing the different liturgical experiences. Also to see how the students can bring back all the wonderful information to the parishes and schools.
► Spending time outside the classroom with the students sharing in a spiritual experience.
► The community and the fellowship
► Teens grow closer together and closer to Christ.
► That the kids will grow in their faith of the Lord and be shown how to live more like Jesus. Clarity of faith.
► A renewed sense of purpose in this faith as we are “called”
► The learn more and grow closer to God.
► To be strengthened in their love for God
► Our group will grow closer, building stronger relationships and continue in Church more involved.
► To share my experience of faith and encourage the young Church!
► HOPE! (Hear and see the enthusiasm, Open to others, Pray together and Enjoy and return)
► That the new kids going this year have a great experience and come back home and participate more at Mass and service projects. And to be examples to the adults in our Church.
► Life-changing event for newbies – become more secure in their faith
► That everyone has safe travels, an inspiring experience, and a willingness to be positive influences in the community
► That my daughter receives the blessings of the experience and we can experience out faith together.
► Our teens return from NCYC excited even more about their faith – feeling loves by God.
► That the teens (and adults) have a deeper appreciation for the love that God has for them each and that it fills their hearts so much that they have to share it, thus building up our diocesan Church by their witness, example and service!
► For the youth to leave on fire for our Lord and to go out and share the Good News!
► I hope this experience will be transformative for each teen and adult participant; that it will spark a renewal of faith in the Church.
► I hope I come home with all the kids that I am taking ;-)
Please pray that ALL of these come true,
and that the diocese will be renewed by the spirit of these 135 pilgrims!
Cindee Case, MAPS
Director of the Diocese of Youngstown Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry.