By Mary Agnoli
More than 20,000 people joined together to celebrate their faith at the closing liturgy during the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) last month in Kansas City, Mo.
The Sprint Center was overflowing with high school students from across the country ready to fully participate in expressing their faith. After the trip, Amanda Merritt, a junior at Assumption High School and a member of St. Paul the Apostle parish in Davenport, reflected, “It was truly incredible to see over 20,000 teenagers united in faith and love, and all striving to grow stronger in their relationship with Jesus.”
The Saturday night Mass on Nov. 21 that concluded the three-day event connected the young congregation with Christ through songs, Scripture and Eucharist in a remarkable way. Most high school students found worship at NCYC to be both a familiar and a unique experience.
“The Mass had thousands more people in it, a different crowd, more singing, more priests, and it pretty much took everything we have in regular Mass multiplied it by 100 and made it REALLY AMAZING!” said Maria Biddick, a senior at North Scott High School in Eldridge and member of Our Lady of Victory parish in Davenport.
The Mass was very special because in no other place could one find so many high school students so fully committed to their faith. This unity created a truly authentic sense of community among those participating.
Bishop Martin Amos hopes to see this sense of community continue.
“I would love to see the youth of our diocese sing like they sang there! I would hope that those who were there saw how important their participation was, and that they bring that same enthusiasm back to their parishes.
“I was very impressed by the readers and song leaders, their poise and ability; I would hope that our youth would also be willing to share their gifts and take on those ministries in their parishes.”
(Mary Agnoli is a junior at Assumption High School in Davenport.)