Jan 9, 2019
From the desk of Fr Stephen…
As you know, this past week I had the good fortune of going to Indianapolis for a young adult conference. In fact, before I left I had asked you for your prayers and I thank you for that because everything went very well. The conference was intended to bring young adults together from around the country and it did that with about 17,000 being gathered. Most of these people were from universities who had a group called FOCUS working on their campus. FOCUS is an acronym that means Fellowship Of Catholic University Students. This group helps to bring Jesus alive to the different universities that welcome them on their campus.
Everyday started with mass at 8:30. Besides the students being in attendance, there were 350 priests also gathered. The space where the mass was celebrated was about 200 yards long with chairs spread out. It took a good 5 minutes for the clergy to walk down the aisle to the altar to begin the mass. I must say, I was overwhelmed by it all. I say overwhelmed, but in a way that was a tremendous shot in the arm of my faith. To see so many students on fire with their faith, and then to see 350 priests, most of them from the universities represented, did my heart well. It was nice to see.
After mass, we had the opportunity to attend a talk from some well renowned speaker who spoke on some aspect of the faith or some pertinent topic that might have been interesting to the students. In the afternoon the same choice was given to go to a certain talk. This happened for the next 3 days, and so there was plenty of opportunity for a person to be uplifted with some aspect of the faith. The campus ministers also had their track they could go to. I went to most of these presentations. These talks were designed to help the ministers devise better strategies in presenting things to the students on their campus. It was all very informative. I learned a lot.
During every day there was also the opportunity for Eucharistic Adoration. Many hundreds of young people took advantage of this and spent as much time as they could before going on to the next event. There was also time given for individual Sacrament of Reconciliation. Every day there were time slots in the morning, afternoon and evening where people could go to confession. It was like the lines going to see St. John Vianney. Hundreds of students waiting for up to an hour just to go to confession. It was very touching for me, as a priest, to be a part of. I wish I had more space, but that’s it for now. Maybe next year we will be able to bring some of our young adults to be lifted by the Spirit.