Large contingent heads to NCYC - Catholic Courier

Large contingent heads to NCYC

Once again, the Diocese of Rochester represents a sizeable portion of the National Catholic Youth Conference.

The gathering of young Catholics from across the United States, held every two years, will take place Nov. 8-10 in Columbus, Ohio. According to the diocesan Office of Youth Ministry, some 552 high-school students and 187 adult chaperons — 739 participants in all — will be attending from 51 local parishes. This total includes 11 priests as well as Bishop Matthew H. Clark.

The 2007 conference theme is “Discover the Way/Descubre el Camino.” NCYC offer a three-day mix of general sessions, keynote presentations, prayer services, discussions and workshops, as well as opportunities for reconciliation, daily liturgy and such fun events as concerts, a dance and comedy club. Events will take place at the Nationwide Arena and Greater Columbus Convention Center.

Organizers expect a total of more than 20,000 pilgrims to descend upon Ohio’s state capital. From its beginning in 1983 with 3,300 participants, NCYC has risen steadily in attendance, topping 20,000 for the last four conferences in St. Louis (1999), Indianapolis (2001), Houston (2003) and Atlanta (2005). Rochester traditionally has one of the largest groups of any diocese in the country, and this year has the second-largest contingent next to the host Diocese of Columbus. The upcoming NCYC offers an additional local tie: The Bishop of Columbus, Frederick F. Campbell, is a native of Elmira.

Sue Versluys, diocesan coordinator of youth ministry, said Rochester has a consistently strong NCYC showing because “generally, we are a diocese that invests in its youth. Youth ministry continues to be a priority for a majority of parishes.” She added that NCYC represents “one point in a young person’s lifelong journey of faith, albeit a significant point. We stress that NCYC is not the end, but another step on that journey.”

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