Katelyn Negron, a member of the youth group at St. Philip Church, reflects on her recent experience at NCYC
This was my first time ever attending NCYC. I heard some of my friends from our youth team talk about how great it was, but I didn’t know if I would turn out to love it as much as they did; I didn’t know what to expect. However, as soon as I got on the bus to the airport I knew one of the greatest experiences I’d ever get to have was under way.
For a long time I had been struggling with my faith. I had gone on retreats and such with our St. Philip youth team, but something always seemed to feel like I still wasn’t 100% there. And it might sound like I’m exaggerating, but trust me when I say NCYC truly changed that for me.
I can say so much about this conference: the sessions, the singing, the speakers, but what really hit me was adoration that took place on Friday night in Lucas Oil Stadium. I’ve gone to plenty First Friday Adorations at my church, but this time was different. It wasn’t just kneeling and praying. This time, I felt God right next to me. It was a moment that words won’t be enough to describe. When all of the teens, including myself, ran down to the altar to be closer to God, it didn’t feel like something I should do just because everyone else was doing it, it felt like an instinct. During that moment, I held hands and cried with a girl that I will probably never see again in my life, but she was the one small push that I needed to finally say “yes” to God.
I can probably go on and on about NCYC, about the people I met and the memories I made, but that would probably go on for 20 more pages. What I can say is this: The National Catholic Youth Conference is something that will forever be a huge part of my religion until the day that I return to God’s kingdom. I fell in love with my faith here, and I fell in love with my God here.
(Katelyn and many other teens from St. Philip and the surrounding parishes will be participating in a 24-Hour CRS event FOODFAST 2020 raising awareness about World Hunger – Please visit www.stphilipnorwalk.org)