My name is Maggie May and I am a parishioner at St. Paul Parish in North Canton. Within my youth group, I have been blessed to attend many conferences and retreats throughout my three years in high school; however, nothing has been as remarkable as the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC), which was held in Indianapolis last month, from November 16 to 18.
I felt like I was on cloud nine. There was so much to do and so much to encounter! While there, I met so many new people, trading hats multiple times (if you know, you know). I encountered God in a whole new light. The theme for this year was “Fully Alive” and by the end of this long weekend, I truly felt this way.
I think my favorite part about this conference was the sacrament of reconciliation. The priest I had was so encouraging and really just had a great conversation with me about my sins. My second favorite thing would, without a doubt, be the homily that was given on Saturday night at Mass. It was around thirty-five minutes long, but I could have listened all night.
Brooke Mcintire (Divine Mercy Parish, Massillon), attended the conference with us. She said, “[NCYC] really helped me grow in my faith with Jesus and see that there is still hope … I learned a lot, but something that I really loved was to always bring the light, not drag it out, and to be curious and have wonder and all! This trip really helped me see what I want my future to look like.”
Another student that attended, Brady May (St. Paul Parish, North Canton), said, “It was the most extraordinary experience of my life. It was the closest I have felt to God, and the opportunity I was presented with was once-in-a-lifetime. To hear various speakers bring in an insight that I have never thought of before and strengthen my relationship with God to the fullest was the best part.”
From my experience and the experience of those who went with me, I believe NCYC changed all of our views on being a Catholic youth today.
For more information on Youth and Young Adult Accompaniment in the Diocese of Youngstown, visit the website or email Madeleine DiSalvatore, Director of Youth and Young Adult Accompaniment, Discernment, Formation and Missionary Discipleship.