WASHINGTON D.C. – More than 150 youth from the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City joined Archbishop Coakley at this year's National Catholic Youth Conference in Indianapolis. The teens traveled from OKC, Harrah, Elk City, Enid, Midwest City, Edmond, Moore, Yukon, Chandler and Shawnee. The NCYC is the largest biennial gathering of Catholic teenagers in the country.
This year’s event titled “CALLED / LLAMADOS” was produced and presented by the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry, featuring top national Catholic speakers, performers and musicians.
This distinctly Catholic three-day conference included opportunities for spiritual growth, prayer, learning and service. Participants attended an extensive program of workshops and an interactive thematic village called “From Sea to shining Sea.” .
NCYC’s focus is to embody Pope Francis’ message through all its programming and experiences throughout the conference. Bishop Frank Caggiano, Diocese of Bridgeport, speaker and episcopal liaison to the conference, described this message from Pope Francis as “called to live authentic missionary discipleship – to grow in our personal relationship with the Lord and to be ready to go to the peripheries of society and share the good news of God’s love with those whom society has forgotten.”
Prayer experiences included Mass, reconciliation and Eucharistic adoration.
The conference programming is not only tailored to youth, but also youth ministry leaders, parents, adult chaperones, coaches, scout leaders and clergy.
The NCYC program featured speakers: Chris Stefanick, Sister Miriam Heidland, SOLT, Roy Petitfils, Brian Greenfield, Emily Wilson, Father Joseph Espaillat, and Grammy-winning Christian recording artist TobyMac, among many others.
Bishops who attended the conference said they find renewal and encouragement in their role as bishop and their mission of accompaniment and encounter.
Parents who attended with their children found the experience to be highly inspirational and enriching to their faith.
Michael Theisen, NFCYM director of ministry formation, described it as “a wonderful way for parents to engage in the accompaniment model of discipleship today.”
More than $125,000 in scholarships were made available for the conference to 60 dioceses. For more information about how to participate or for volunteer opportunities, contact your local Catholic diocese or go online to www.ncyc.info.