Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Ignite Your Torch

Last weekend was awesome as I participated in the Ignite Your Torch annual Catholic youth conference in Louisville. The faith, commitment, and zeal of the youth never cease to inspire me.

Watch a video of last year's conference here. This year's video here. See a slideshow of pics from this year's conference here.

The four day event had a steady schedule but here's the highlights:
Thursday: Mass, a General Assembly by Br. James Brent, O.P. "Prayer: How to Meet Jesus Christ for Yourself", and a Rosary candlelight procession through the campus of Bellarmine.

Friday: Morning Prayer, Workshops, Mass, General Assembly by Fr. Crotty (of the Fathers of Mercy) "Dangers of Superstition, Magic, and the Occult," another General Assembly by Tom Grenchik (executive director of the secretariat for pro-life activities for the USCCB) "Radical Solidarity," and Holy Hour and Benediction with Confession

Saturday: Rosary at the Abortion Clinic, Mass at St. Louis Bertrand, General Assembly by Sr. Antoniana Maria, SV, Workshops, another General Assembly by Fr. Bill Garrott, O.P. "On Fire with Mary and the Eucharist", and Holy Hour with Benediction.

Sunday: General Assembly by Fr. Dan Whelan "The Future: Following Christ," Mass, and Crowning of Mary and consecration.

The whole conference had an excellent balance of prayer, study, fun, and silence. Over 200 youth were there, some from as far away as Texas. And the amazing thing...which really isn't all that amazing... is that they were eating it up. They loved it. They love the Church and all She has to offer. They love the devotions, the Mass, and Church Teachings. They were excited about the workshops - some quite academic - and the opportunity to spend time with the Lord in Adoration. They all knelt reverently on pads on the floor for the Holy -Two- Hours. And they couragously, all 200, prayed the Rosary in front of the abortion clinic downtown. We provided the option of praying from a distance in the pregnancy resource center across the street if the anxiety of the event proved to be too much. But none, to my knowledge, took us up on it. You should have heard them speaking with conviction about modesty, virginity, and sacrifice. These were high-schoolers, folks, and college kids. And those not as far along in their faith or who had some doubts were met with charitable, well-informed responses from their own peers.


Before anyone underestimates the moral capacity of our youth, come to Ignite Your Torch. When we bring them up in sound Catholic teaching and environment they always exceed our expectations. While other attemps at youth ministry and retreats less faithful to Church teaching or less willing to be "Fully" Catholic are struggling for "numbers," events like this attract youth from all over the country. The youth in the Archdiocese of Louisville would be well served by wide publication of this excellent conference.

...to be continued...
[Thanks to Mr. Albert Cesare for the pics]

1 comment:

Jason said...

Awesome... Ignite's on YouTube! After going to Covington's Youth 2000 in November 2005 and being really excited about it, I remember telling a friend from MOCA that Louisville should have one. She said that we weren't ready for a Youth 2000... then later on I learned we already had something better :)

I know for sure there was one girl who stayed in the prayer chapel, and she had a good reason. If no one else used it, I like the idea of making the available. It was an emotional experience for me last year, and I was 25 years old!