Bishop Frank J. Caggiano will give the welcoming address at a conference for young adults sponsored by Crossroads 4 Christ, a Connecticut-based organization that focuses on developing communities of young disciples through fellowship, faith formation, prayer and Eucharistic adoration.
Crossroads 4 Christ will hold its Second Annual Young Adult Conference from May 17 – 23. The hybrid event, with in-person and virtual talks, is open to young adults, 18-39, and anyone interested in learning about young adult evangelization and the “abundant life Jesus offers us,” said Cofounder and Executive Director Alex Soucy. For free registration and more information, visit www.c4cconference.org
Among the talks will one about the Sacrament of Confession titled, “Being Forgiven and Forgiving Myself” by Fr. Samuel Kachuba, pastor of St. Pius X Parish in Fairfield.
John Midy, co-leader with his wife Maria Vazquez Midy of the C4C chapter at Church of the Holy Spirit in Stamford, will participate in a live panel discussion on Saturday and provide an overview of C4C and its mission.
Vázquez Midy will give a pre-recorded talk titled, “Immigrating into a Family of Faith” about how the Catholic community in the area welcomed her and provided a spiritual family away from her own family when she came to America.
Paola Pena, Director of Student Ministries at St. Pius X, will join a panel discussion on evangelization and living a life of mission as a young adult, Soucy said. For the last 5 years she has been outreaching, serving, and mentoring disciples who reflect the different generations in church life.
Soucy and his wife Jessica will co-host several of the live conversations, including one with Archbishop Leonard P. Blair and Auxiliary Bishop Juan Betancourt of the Archdiocese of Hartford. In addition, Archbishop Blair will be the principal celebrant at a special Pentecost Vigil Mass at the Church of St. Mary in New Haven, and Auxiliary Bishop Betancourt will lead a Holy Hour before the Mass.
Throughout the week, participants will be invited to listen to local and national speakers give online talks and hold virtual Q&As, in addition to joining members of Crossroads 4 Christ at in-person events, he said.
Virtual talks were be conducted by well-known Catholic speakers, including Chris Stefanick, Leah Libresco and Immaculée Ilibagiza. There will be two opportunities for young adults to be together to enjoy a Faith on Tap event and celebrate the Pentecost Vigil Mass.
“This year’s theme “Into the Deep” will “bring young people deeper into the abundant life Jesus offers through a life lived with him and in his Church,” Soucy said. “This is a timely theme because we are living in a time when life can be very difficult after a year of pandemic and social unrest in a country that is having a spiritual crisis.”
“Jesus is calling us all into the deep, as he invited Peter in Luke 5:4 to ‘put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch,’” Soucy said. “Despite protesting that he has fished all night and caught nothing, Peter does as Jesus asks and finds himself catching so many fish that his nets are tearing.”
It is an invitation to evangelization and to live in the abundant life that is Jesus, Soucy said.
“For a lot of people, especially in the Northeast, practicing Catholics can go to Mass on Sunday and look around and be discouraged by the lack of young people,” he said. “They ask questions like ‘Where is our Church going to be in 20 years?’ But the beautiful reality is that God is drawing young adults to himself here in Connecticut, and he is inspiring those young adults to go out and lead others to Christ. Our desire is to provide a stage for young adults to share their testimony about how Jesus changed their life, and in doing so inspire others to be open to the possibility of Christ changing their life as well.”
Last year’s virtual conference had more than 1,000 attendees from 46 states and 28 countries, Soucy said.
Crossroads 4 Christ has chapters around the state, including two in the Diocese of Bridgeport, at St. Pius X Parish in Fairfield and Church of the Holy Spirit in Stamford.
C4C Fairfield meets at St. Pius X on Tuesday at the Faith Center Community Room with fellowship from 7 to 8 pm and with adoration in church sanctuary from 8 to 9 pm. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Church of the Holy Spirit chapter in Stamford meets Wednesdays with fellowship from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. followed by adoration from 8:30 to 9:30 pm. For more information, contact email@example.com.