A total of 127 youth, young adults and youth ministry workers (pictured above) represented the Diocese of Raleigh at the 2021 National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) Nov. 18-20 in Indianapolis, Ind. NCYC is a bi-annual gathering of youth from all over the USA that attracts tens of thousands of youth and young adults. Participants experienced keynote addresses on the sacraments, witness talks by nationally known Catholic speakers, break-out sessions on special topics, activities and games in “The Village” at the Indianapolis Convention Center, as well as concerts, a powerful Holy Hour and the celebration of Holy Mass with hundreds of priests and many bishops.
“NCYC is an amazing experience of the universal Church and compliments the experience our youth have in their local parishes,” said Patrick Ginty, director of Faith Formation in the Diocese of Raleigh. “It helps them understand that they are not alone in their belief in Jesus Christ and his Holy Catholic Church and that they can be bold in living their faith and proclaiming it to others.”
The breakout sessions touched on topics such as the existence of heaven and hell, the harmony between faith and reason, the call for young people to evangelize and much more.
"The youth were positively impacted by the experience with many of them receiving forgiveness in the sacrament of reconciliation and feeling the call to go back to their local communities to live their faith more boldly and help others do the same," Ginty said.
Local leaders who helped organize and carry out the event included Susan Clifton, director of Faith Formation at St. Matthew Church in Durham, and Gabriela del Rio, coordinator of Youth Formation for the Diocese of Raleigh. The diocese’s own Dana Catherine was musical presenter to thousands of youth in the breakout sessions.
Parishes participating included:
- St. Matthew, Durham
- Holy Infant, Durham
- Immaculate Conception, Durham
- St. Juan Diego, Robbins
- St. Stephen, Sanford
- St. Michael, Cary
- St. Mark, Wilmington
- St. Brendan, Shallotte
- St. Catherine, Tarboro
- Vagabond Missions, Greenville
- St. Francis de Sales, Lumberton,
- Maria Reina de las Americas, Seven Springs
- Santa Teresa del Nino Jesus, Beulaville
- Our Lady of Guadalupe, Newton Grove
- St. Ann, Clayton
Also traveling with the group were three priests: Father Bernard Kayimbw Mbay, Father Eric Imbao, and Father Peter Grace.
Faced with many choices, youth urged to choose wisely, honor Father and Son (Catholic News Service)