By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger
The Diocese of Davenport is hosting its first Diocesan Catholic Youth Conference (DCYC) Nov. 22 though 23 at St. Ambrose University in Davenport.
The event, which will occur biennially on even-numbered years, is replacing the annual high school youth rally.
Don Boucher, diocesan coordinator of youth and young adult ministry, said the change was made in an effort to offer high-school-aged youths a more complete faith-building experience. “It gives us an opportunity to really help our kids go a lot deeper into faith than just a rally would do.”
With the extra time, the conference will offer more prayer experiences, small groups for reflection, and holy hour including eucharistic adoration and confession. Additionally, keynote speaker Doug Tooke, who has spoken at World Youth Day and National Catholic Youth Conference, will have more opportunity to speak with youths than speakers in the past, Boucher said. “We could not do that in one day (at a rally).”
Bishop Martin Amos will celebrate Mass with a homily on corporal works of mercy. On Sunday morning, the youths will act on this message by volunteering with Kids Against Hunger – a nonprofit that aims to package and distribute meals to starving children around the world.
The students will attempt to package 16,000 meals in one hour, assembly-line style. The cost of the food and shipping will be about $4,000 total, and the Faith Formation Office has encouraged parish groups to seek donations for the project.
Several local parishes will host the students overnight; they will not be staying overnight at St. Ambrose University.
Youths can contact their parish’s director of religious education or youth ministry coordinator to register for the event. Registration includes four meals, overnight lodging and a t-shirt.
Boucher noted that the annual junior high rally is not affected by the change.
Persons interested in donating can make out a check to the Diocese of Davenport, and address it to the Faith Formation Office, Attn. DCYC Action Project. 780 W. Central Park Ave, Davenport, IA 52804.