Monday, July 25, 2011

Steubenville East 2011!

Each year we take our teenagers to the powerful Steubenville East Youth Conference, which is now held at the Ryan Center on the campus of the University of Rhode Island.

It's a life-changing event for many of the young people who attend--and for the chaperones as well!

This year's theme was "Rooted," based on this line from the second chapter of St. Paul's letter to the Colossians: "As therefore you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so live in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving."

It's so important for each of us to meet Jesus and to begin a personal relationship with him. But if that's where it all ends, we will bear little or no fruit for Jesus in our lives. We might even fall back into some seriously sinful habits which will threaten our eternal salvation.

So we need to GET--and STAY--ROOTED: Rooted in Christ; Rooted in our Catholic Faith!

This weekend gave the 3,000 young people who attended (as well as their not-so-young chaperones!) an opportunity to "dig their spiritual roots" more deeply into the Lord and his saving Gospel.
And I would say that most took full advantage of the opportunity. PRAISE GOD!

The true sign of the power of a weekend like this is seen in the number of confessions that take place. (That's because we need to clear the sin out of our lives if we want to be filled with God and be firmly rooted in him.) Thankfully, there are always lots of confessions on this retreat--but I've never seen confession lines as long as I saw them this year! It was amazing--and a sign of how hungry our young people are for the truth and freedom that only Jesus can give them.

To the young people from our group I want to say this: You were awesome! You "disconnected" from the world for a couple of days, and most (if not all) of you made a strong and deep connection with the Lord.

That's great! But now the challenge is to STAY ROOTED! Thankfully, you have the means to do that through Mass, the Bible, prayer, regular confession--and, of course, Thursday night youth group. (You didn't think I'd leave that last one out, did you?!!!)

So I'll see you Thursday!

In the meantime, I'll share with all of you a few pictures that I just received. Keep checking this blog for more pictures.  They will be posted soon.

Also, I found out this morning that they did a live streaming of the conference, and that the video files are archived online. Here's the link to the Sunday Mass video: Sunday Mass . Others videos are available from this link.

One more thing . . . Leah Darrow, the young woman who spoke to us on Friday night--who had a conversion after being a contestant on "America's Next Top Model"--was interviewed recently on EWTN's "Life on the Rock."  That program can be found by clicking on this link: Leah Darrow Interview

Here are the pictures:

These are the two homeless guys we invited to dinner.