The National Catholic Youth Conference, or NCYC, was one of the only things that the world did not have to miss last year. That’s because it has been hosted every other year, every odd year, since 1983. NCYC lasts three days and their mission is “to support and strengthen those who accompany young people as they encounter and follow Jesus.” Therefore, the whole event focuses around faith, liturgy, service and recreation.
This year NCYC was Nov. 18-20 and Campus Ministry took seven juniors to the event in Indianapolis, IN. The trip was funded by Marian to help train young women in ministry leadership. They were all members of the Faith in Action Team (FIAT) of Campus Ministry. Deacon Kevin Fuller and Mrs. Karen Coolidge were the two teacher chaperones. “I think the girls had a great time and took good care of each other and of us adult leaders!” Deacon Fuller said.
Each day consisted of a 90 minute session in Lucas Oil Stadium, the home of the Indianapolis Colts, and two or three breakout sessions during the day. The stadium usually seats the 25,000 students in attendance at NCYC, but this year, the stadium only saw around 10,000-12,000 students. In addition to this, everyone had to wear a mask inside the stadium and with their breakout groups and had to provide proof of vaccination in order to attend. This requirement for vaccination was a rule by both Marian and NCYC. “I had to sign a form with NCYC saying all were vaccinated,” Deacon Fuller said.
Each day ended in Lucas Oil Stadium for a large group session. “The sessions included adoration and Mass. At the large group sessions, there were famous musicians, witness speakers and keynote speakers,” Deacon Fuller said.
This was junior Maggie Morris’s first time going to NCYC. “I really liked that it was very flexible and we were able to pick which things we wanted to go to throughout the day,” Morris said.
Students in attendance were able to choose their breakout sessions at the Indianapolis convention center each day. Marian students spent their days walking around and exploring the different booths and activities.
Morris also bonded with her class- mates during the trip and on the long car ride to and from Indianapolis. “The most exciting part of the trip for me is seeing the FIAT girls enjoy each other and the experience,” Deacon Fuller said.
Morris said she loved the experience of being able to go on a school trip and said she would be open to go again. “It was unlike what I expected,” Morris said. “It was very lively, and everyone there seemed to have a very strong faith and connection with God.”
The National Catholic Youth Conference exceeded the expectations of students and helped them experience Jesus, especially Morris who said, “I learned that there are many different ways to express your faith and that not every person is going to have the same exact view of religion.”
She was able to look at religion with new perspectives. “I was able to see God through different things in my life,” Morris said.
One of the main goals they had by going to NCYC was bringing something back to the community to use for Campus Ministry, especially for all-school Masses. The girls came back inspired by their new experience, and hope that future generations of students will do the same.