Close to 150 high school students and 56 adults representing 12 parishes from the Diocese of Orlando attended the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) in Indianapolis Nov. 21 – 23.
They joined 23,000 other Catholics from around the country who participated in this annual event for young people that includes speakers, music, and workshops with well-known Catholic singers, song-writers, and presenters such as Jesse Manibusan, Jackie Francois, and Matt Maher. Youth were given the opportunity to attend workshops, receive the Sacrament of Penance, spend time in prayer in Adoration, and other faith enriching activities.
Below are reflections from some of the youth and adult participants.
“NCYC was such an incredible experience. I’m so blessed to have gotten the opportunity to be a part of this amazing weekend. From the music to the workshops, all topped off with the celebration of Mass in the Colts stadium. I wish everyone could have the chance to participate in the Eucharist with hundreds of bishops, priests, and deacons and 23,000 of your family members. It’s an absolutely breathtaking experience. Seeing tens of thousands of people your age getting so excited about our Lord is truly inspiring. NCYC is definitely an adventure I will never forget.” (Madison Scaringella, 10th grade, St. Patrick Catholic Church, Mount Dora)
“NCYC was absolutely amazing! During Mass, when you saw all 23,000 Catholic youth celebrating their faith and praying together, it’s jaw-dropping. It makes you realize that you are not alone. So many other teenagers share your religion and aren’t afraid to show how faithful they are to God. It really inspired me to be who I want to be and to step out of my comfort zone.” (Kenzie Engel, 9th grade, St. Patrick Catholic Church, Mount Dora)
“I had the opportunity to attend NCYC as a parent and adult chaperone in 2011 and 2013. The experience has changed my opinion of today’s youth and given me hope for the future of our young church. As a Catholic woman and mother I feel humbled and honored to be a chaperone for St. Ann’s. I thank God for guiding me through this journey and empowering me to be a mentor and watch the transformation and growth in faith.” (Ruth Kelly, Adult Chaperone, St. Ann Catholic Church, Debary)
“NCYC was an experience to remember. Never before have I been among so many fired up Catholics. In the quiet, in the music, in the laughter, I heard God. In my friends, in the speakers, and in teens I didn’t even know I saw God. NCYC brought me to a state of joy that I am determined to keep. It showed me who I am with Jesus, and that’s the way I want to stay. It was also beneficial for my youth group. We all connected on these personal, faith filled levels. We all got along in a way we really hadn’t gotten along before. Jesus worked in each one of us, and it was beautiful. Between the music, the speakers, Adoration, and the workshops NCYC really gave us a chance to experience what Jesus has in store for the youth of our Church. NCYC was beautiful, fun, special, extraordinary, faith filled, Jesus filled, and one of the best times of my life, not only for myself, but for my soul. Thanks to everyone who made it possible. You really helped give us all something faithtastic.” (Rachel Otero, 11th grade, St. Ann Catholic Church, Debary)