Participants reflect on Catholic conference experience

About 130 students take part in event at Lucas Oil Stadium


Photo submitted

The National Catholic Youth Conference attracted thousands of students to Lucas Oil Stadium.

Several students who attended the National Catholic Youth Conference on Nov. 18 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Downtown Indianapolis said they were moved and motivated by their experience. 

The day started early for those attending the conference, as students were told to arrive between 6:30 and 6:40 a.m on Nov. 18. After they arrived Downtown, students checked in with a teacher and were told which of the three buses they would take to Lucas Oil Stadium. They were then given an NCYC T-shirt before boarding the buses and traveling to the stadium.

The group arrived at Lucas Oil Stadium at 7:30 a.m. They took their seats on the floor near the stage, which was located on the field. At 8:45, an illusionist performed to kick off the day. He was followed by a speaker who talked about both heavenly and hellish experiences. 

The next speakers were from Catholic University of America. They spoke about the relationship between the Church and science, and the bond between God and the natural world. They were followed by speakers from Marian University, who reviewed their thoughts on the importance of God in communities.

Next, a missionary spoke about the importance of spreading God’s word and being what he called “new evangelists.” The day finished with a speaker who expressed the importance of a constant relationship with God. He ended his speech with singing.

This last speaker seemed to speak to the students in a significant way. Sophomore Max Lindner said, “When he started singing, you could feel God’s presence in the building.”

Junior Sammy Bridges added, “I liked how he spoke about how God is always talking to you, and you need to black out all of the distractions, like the devil and people who don’t want you to succeed, to find his voice.”

After each session, the students reflected on the speaker’s message, using discussion questions. They talked about what they learned with other students and teachers.

The group returned to school at 12:45, where they talked with their religion teachers about the highlights and takeaways from the day.

Overall, both students and staff thought that NCYC made an impact. Bridges said, “I think the experience was worth it, 100 percent.” 

Every religion teacher along with about 130 students attended the conference.