DYC teens lend time, talent - Catholic Courier

DYC teens lend time, talent

Traveling from the Southern Tier to other parts of the Rochester Diocese can often be a pretty good haul. Add in a time commitment lasting all or part of a weekend for a given event, and the sacrifice becomes even greater.

However, the positive experiences far outweigh the inconveniences for three Southern Tier teens currently serving on the Diocesan Youth Committee. The DYC, as it’s commonly called, is a group of more than 20 young people who lend their gifts of leadership and creativity to diocesan youth functions.

Current DYC representatives from Southern Tier parishes are Ed Carey from St. Anthony’s in Groton; Jillian Grenier from Blessed Trinity/St. Patrick’s in the Tioga County area; and Sander Moolin from St. Catherine of Siena in Ithaca. This trio represents one of eight regions that comprise the DYC.

DYC members serve two-year terms. Jillian, 17, and Ed, 16, are in their final years, whereas Sander, 15, came on board this past summer. “Meeting such an incredible group of people for the first time really stood out to me,” Sander recalled.

At the Diocesan Youth Convention, held Aug. 28-29 in Rochester, DYC members were responsible for planning portions of the convention’s liturgy; devising skits; serving as masters of ceremonies; introducing guest speakers for workshops; and coordinating small-group gatherings. In her DYC role, Jillian said she strives to strike a balance between being upbeat while also remaining in charge. “I like to have fun and get the kids interested in what’s going on. But I can also be tough if things call for it,” she stated.

Meanwhile, one of Ed’s top priorities is to never lose track of the spiritual side of these events — “to uphold the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church; be a positive model for the Christian youth,” he said.

During the year the DYC performs similar duties at the Junior High Youth Rally and the Urban Retreat. These events require considerable planning, with several DYC meetings held during the fall, winter and spring. Michael Theisen, diocesan director of youth ministry, noted that events and meetings generally take place at locales in Monroe and Livingston counties, or the Finger Lakes area.

“The DYC reps from the Southern Tier must make an extra-special commitment to this position, since they are usually the ones having to travel the furthest,” Theisen said. “Their presence reminds us of how vast and diverse our 12-county diocese is, as well as how important it is to hear the voices from all areas of the diocese.”

The first Diocesan Youth Committee was convened in 1993. Members are nominated by adult leaders from their parishes. Each nominee must be a high-school freshman or sophomore who shows good leadership and communication skills with other youths. DYC teens are assisted by adults at the parish and diocesan levels; the current Southern Tier adult DYC representative is Carolann Darling, youth minister at St. Anthony’s in Groton.

Commissioning of new members, and acknowledging of outgoing DYC reps, take place each year at the Diocesan Youth Convention. Southern Tier teens who ended their two-year commitments at the 2004 convention were Jacob Ficarro of Blessed Trinity/St. Patrick’s and Teresa Ober of Immaculate Conception in Ithaca.

Theisen said the DYC’s body of work is quite noticeable, based on feedback he’s gotten about the late-August youth convention. “I’ve received many compliments both during and after the convention concerning the DYC, and their ability to model what Christian hospitality and leadership is all about,” he said.

Ed said he thrives in such a role, remarking, “I enjoy working with people, people I don’t even know.” And Jillian noted that DYC members may be called upon to lend elements of friendship that go beyond the surface. “At times we even become counselors and get to talk to the kids, and help them with their problems,” she said.

Jillian added that the closest bonds often get formed among DYC members themselves. “I’ve made some great friends and I hope that they last after I leave DYC. They are like best friends away from home,” she said. “Whenever there is an overnight meeting, I’m always excited to see everyone again and catch up on what’s going on.”

“They’re all amazing people, and make the DYC able to get things done and be fun at the same time,” Sander added.

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