The Lucas Oil Stadium was filled the weekend of Nov. 23, but not with concert goers or excited football fans waiting for the Indianapolis Colts. Instead, it was filled with 20,000 young people and their adult chaperones and youth ministers for the National Catholic Youth Conference. This event is held every two years during November in Indianapolis, Ind. The theme this year was “Blessed, Broken, Given.”
Juniors Ashley Tran, Samantha Pelan and Molly Griffin, members of FIAT along with four other students on FIAT Core Team attended. This experience helped the girls learn valuable skills they could bring back to Marian, but also deepened their individual faith. “Being surrounded by such a big Catholic community allowed me to really focus on what I wanted to say to God and have a genuine conversation with him,” Tran said.
The goal of the convention is always to help build a future generation of youth that is active in their faith.
“I used to see it as a habit and routine I just have to check off the list,” Pelan explained. “But everyone at NCYC inspired me with their energy and attitude of loving their faith.” Griffin also had a similar experience, “I gained a new desire to be confident in my faith. I learned about and met many other high schoolers like myself who share the same beliefs and values as me which was very inspiring.”
NCYC had a multitude of different activities to participate in throughout the day, such as workshops, breakout sessions and team building activities. In the stadium, all 20,000 participants were able to join together in song, adoration and a closing mass. With different faith stories, this event was able to strengthen the lives of the young people who attended, as well as the adults who came, including Marian chaperones Mrs. Anna Kolterman, and Deacon Kevin Fuller, theology teacher.
“The beauty, diversity, variety of ways to pray and sing,” Fuller said, “Just being with young people excited about their faith and about God is life changing!”