A few weekends ago members of our high school youth group led by Ken Patin went by bus to the Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio and joined thousands of students from around the country for the annual Youth Conference.
They were asked to write something about their experience and what they learned or what impressed them.
We begin with Ken Patin’s impression.
While at Eucharist Adoration, Saturday evening, I was able to secure an outside aisle seat (not that easy in an auditorium with 2,299 other worshippers). I realized the good fortune in this, when the procession began, and the Blessed Sacrament was carried among His people, in the monstrance, by the priest, with candles, thurifer, smoke (and much reverence). As the procession approached, I had anticipated a passing glance, much as you would expect from a dignitary or rock star. However, the priest slowly processed, then stopped, and turned The monstrance toward me, and Jesus and I gazed upon each other.
In reflecting on this, whether at Adoration, Holy Communion, in our prayers, or in any other thing in my life, Jesus is not interested in just a “passing glance”; that is not enough for Him. My prayer is that I may never settle for a “passing glance” when it comes to My Lord and Savior.
Holy Family Parish- thank you for praying for me and the group while we were at this youth conference; we have been blessed.
Jordan Patin shared these thoughts:
It was a nice experience in which I was able to strengthen relationships with friends and God.
Sean Towery jotted down his impressions:
Steubenville was a profound experience, pulsating with faith, hope and especially love. This beautiful experience cannot be justly described in words and I would recommend that anyone able to attend do so. The incredible and powerful emotion which permeated the air was completely worth the cost and trip.
Isabel Miller shared these thoughts:
My experience going to Steubenville was life changing in more ways than one. I met new people, heard some amazing speeches and above all, worshipped God through song, Eucharistic adoration and prayer. We had a chance to confess our sins in confession and learned to pray. Also learning more about cyber safety. I was shown that God is in everything and is there for you even if you don’t realize it. This trip was a unique experience and one I won’t forget. I want to go back.
Bethann Golden wrote this:
It was a good opportunity to grow spiritually through the guidance of knowledgeable speakers and confession that seemed to always be open. Experiencing adoration among a number of open individuals that weren’t afraid to break down in the Lord’s presence was truly a unique experience.
Sydney Patin wrote this:
At Steubenville the speakers were both amusing and relatable. The people who spoke were superb at their job due to the fact that they recognized their audience and planned accordingly. This helped me to listen and grow closer to God.
Hunter Green expressed these thoughts:
Steubenville was an amazing opportunity that helped me reevaluate my understanding of the Catholic faith and my place in it. It gave perspective to the World of Christianity and the true beauty of it. I would recommend every high schooler to give it a shot. I enjoyed the speaker’s charisma and the enjoyable band performances.
Jake Towery shared these thoughts:
The trip I had gave me one which moved me to tears; made me think of how God makes so many people filled with joy and yet some don’t accept it and never give it a chance.
Hannah VanWert wrote:
There is nothing more empowering than being surrounded be thousands of teenagers whom share your same love of God. I am so grateful that I I was able to experience that feeling at the Steubenville Youth Conference weekend. I had always thought about going to the conference, but have never had the opportunity to go until now. This was the best conference that I have been to so far! The speakers were absolutely phenominal, and the entire atmosphere was so positive and fun! I was able to meet many different people from around the country and deepen my faith with them. I can’t express how important it is that more teenagers, specifically within our parish, attend this conference. I’m looking forward to next year where hopefully more of us can go and grow together!