By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
The countdown to the biennial National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) is underway. This year’s event will be held Nov. 19-21 in Indianapolis. NCYC is a powerful “three-day experience of prayer, community and empowerment for Catholic teenagers and their adult chaperones,” according to the NCYC website.
More than 23,000 attended the event in 2013. From the Diocese of Davenport, 702 people are officially registered to attend. Don Boucher, diocesan director of the Office of Faith Formation and youth and young adult ministry, expects more than 800 to represent the diocese.
For those registered, a diocesan T-shirt is provided. “It’s not fully designed yet, but we’re working on it.”
T-shirts are often made at the parish level as well.
Donna DeJoode, youth minister at St. Mary Parish in Oskaloosa, said her youths have several different shirts for this year’s event. Starting last month, St. Mary Parish began selling parish apparel. The logo was designed by a recent high school graduate of the parish. The apparel sale is one of two fundraisers left to help offset the cost of NCYC. In addition to the parish shirt, participants receive a free jersey. “We have to pay to have them printed for our special team,” DeJoode said. So the youths will wear the parish shirt one day, diocesan shirt another day and jersey on a third day.
“In addition to shirts, hot trade items are hats. We are very excited and delighted that parishioners had a hand in making ours this year. That is all we can disclose at this time,” she joked. Hats are often traded by youths across the U.S. at NCYC. Another fundraiser at St. Mary’s was a Treat Yourself Event. Youths sold 100, 2-inch boxes for $10 each. Each box is a winner, containing anything from a piece of chocolate to $100. Boxes are not opened until “reveal” time when desserts for sampling and selling occur.
So far, 20 youths are registered for NCYC from the parish. “While we would love to fill the bus, we are delighted with our number,” DeJoode said.
Our Lady of Victory Parish in Davenport has 42 youths planning to attend NCYC. The parish pays for its shirt — designed with input from youths, a graphic designer and former youth minister Tommy Fallon.
Lisa Willows said the parish is doing the best it can without an official youth minister since Fallon moved to Muscatine. “I think we are doing pretty well,” she added.
One last big fundraiser is a trivia night scheduled for Oct. 17 in the parish center. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and games start at 7 p.m. Cost is $10 per person and each table seats eight people. For more information or to make a reservation contact Christine Sigwarth at (563) 381-1854.
St. Joseph Parish in DeWitt has 21 youths going to Indianapolis. Pat Sheil, the parish’s youth minister, said the parish shirt will be titled “Steeple People.” It will be green and yellow “so it looks ‘Iowa-ish’ with John Deere colors,” she said. Youths have been creative in coming up with ideas and following through to prepare for NCYC. Fundraising events still to come include a bake sale, Footprints of Faith, Parents Night Out, Take Stock in Our Youth and hosting an anniversary party for a parish family.