When my brother attended the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) in Indianapolis, he returned with a bunch of funky hats and fun pictures. At the time, I figured NCYC was just a weekend getaway where you hang out with friends, swap hats, and clip clothespins to others. I’m so glad to admit how wrong I was.
It was an incredible experience to be in a huge stadium with 20,000 high schoolers who were all there to strengthen their faith. The Adoration was so powerful; some people prayed, some sang along to the songs, and others, including myself, were moved to tears and walked down to kneel on the floor by the stage and be closer to Him.
The one certainty we have in this world is God’s love for us. NCYC helped me recognize this, and I am a better person because of it. I noticed firsthand that others were more involved in mass and our church community after the event. NCYC gave the young church the inspiration to view themselves not as the future of the church, but rather as the present.
I attended NCYC after a death in the family that had me questioning my faith. I expected to return equally confused and doubtful but instead returned with a sense of peace and a stronger relationship with God. I needed to see thousands of youths who seemed unequivocally excited about their faith. This was a gift that I’m incredibly grateful for, and I pray that other young adults will get the chance to receive it.