Steubenville Youth Conference Reflection

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to take the young people of our parish to the Steubenville Conference in Steubenville, OH. This conference, hosted on campus at Franciscan University draws over 2,000 young people for a weekend of talks, worship, confession, all culminating with Adoration on Saturday evening. When I proposed to the youth a chance to attend this retreat, I was overwhelmed by the response. From Holy Cross, we brought 30 teens, and 15 young adults & adult chaperones (including our very own Fr. Matt & seminarian Ben Schrantz). What a gift to see so many people respond! In fact, of the Diocesan trip of 145 people, we were the largest youth group, making up almost one-third of the trip. I wish to take a moment, not only to point out the amazing things the Holy Spirit is beginning to do in our young people, but especially to give glory to God in the ways He’s moving them. Since our trip, its been amazing to see a real group form, with a deeper identity in Him. I was amazed to hear that our teens this week have been video-calling each other every night and praying the rosary, as well as a weekly commitment to a daily Mass together that we began at the beginning of the summer. Thank you for your prayers. The Holy Spirit is real and is certainly at work in them!

Recently, I was particularly moved by a young teen that on her own initiative wanted to write a thank you card to the parish for their experience. I wish to share it with you all.

Holy Cross Parish, I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to attend the Steubenville Youth Conference that took place at the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio. During the conference, I met lots of new people and had a lot of fun, and most importantly, had incredible encounters with Christ. We got to go to adoration, confession, spiritual talks, mass and praise and worship while we were there. We grew closer to each other, and were constantly reminded of God’s profound love for us, as this year’s theme for the conference was “Belong.” Thank you for your generosity, because I wouldn’t have been able to have this amazing experience without you.

Thank you again for all your prayers for our youth! May God complete the good work He has done in these young people!