The 'young church is a powerful church'

Photos by Rich Heffern

Kansas City, Mo. – The 2009 National Catholic Youth Conference opened Thursday evening, Nov. 19, at the downtown Sprint Center here with a welcome by National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministers executive director Bob McCarty. An estimated 22,000 people were attending. This year’s conference is titled “Christ Reigns.”

Friday morning at a general session, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Galveston-Houston archdiocese led a prayer session, in which he said that the “young church is a powerful church.”

A Eucharistic Adoration followed, conducted by Bishop Robert Finn of the Kansas City, Mo., diocese. A procession led by the Knights of Columbus took youth, youth ministers, religious, and clergy from the Sprint Center to the Kansas City Convention Center five blocks away, where workshops and presentations were held that included:

  • “…We Cry Justice,” an MTV-like presentation of music videos on a giant screen with live songs presented by former British rock musician Sal Solo and representatives from Catholic Relief Services.
  • “Women of Worth,” an interactive talk by Joia Farmer and Amanda Vernon on finding one’s true value in God as a woman.
  • “The Unit,” a session utilizing current media, stories and Catholic principles to help youth have a holier family, presented by Randy Raus, a member of the National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministers.

Other sessions offered were “Best Practices for Parenting Teens;” “There’s Something About Mary” (a presentation on the importance and beauty of Marian devotion); “Youth Ministry 101: The Nuts and Bolts;” “What Does Climate Change Have to Do With My Catholic Faith?” “Making Room for Christ: The Adult Spiritual Journey;” “You Booze, You Lose;” “Modest is Hottest;” and bishop's roundtables in which groups of 20-25 youths could meet with some of the U. S. bishops in attendance, along with a facilitator, to discuss topics of the attendee’s choosing.

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