Of the 500 registered, just over 200 adults and 250 youth made it through or avoided isolated snowstorms to attend the 2nd annual Diocesan Eucharistic Congress and CYC Convention at Carroll College. The weekend featured Catholic catechesis, fellowship, keynotes, music, and 12 workshops, inspiring families and Catholics of all ages. The congress aimed to reconnect Catholics to the Eucharist, the source and summit of our faith, and is part of the National Eucharistic Revival called for by the U.S. Catholic Bishops. The addition of the CYC Convention opened the weekend up to a family-based experience. The CYC (youth) leadership served the gathering in many ways, and several teens shared faith stories from the stage.
Friday evening offered a “sneak peek” at the weekend for teens with a campus tour before gathering for games, activities, praise and worship, and keynote speakers on the main stage in the P.E. center. Among the speakers that evening were two youth keynotes and two of the main speakers for the Congress: Tanner Kalina and Sr. Jude Andrew, OP. The youth ended their evening with Eucharistic Adoration in All Saints Chapel.
Saturday’s offerings gathered adults and youth kicked off with a welcome from Bishop Vetter, followed by separate schedules for adults, High School, Junior High, and faith-based activities in the childcare center. Afternoon workshops covered many reflections on the Eucharist, including family life, liturgy, personal faith, politics, health, and Eucharistic miracles. The congress and convention was blessed with keynote speakers who took time away from their main stage presentations to speak at youth tracks, participate in adoration, and spend time sharing their witness with congress goers throughout the weekend. Sr. Jude Andrew, OP, called the gathering “a place of light in the world,” where Christ is at work in His Eucharistic presence and the lives of his people.
The congress and convention concluded with Mass at the Cathedral of St. Helena, with over 800 in attendance. Although a planned Eucharistic procession through the city was canceled due to icy conditions, a brief procession and adoration took place inside the church.
In his closing remarks, Bishop Vetter encouraged attendees to watch for the fruits of God’s generosity in their lives and said, “He will never be outdone” when we are generous with our time for Him. Bishop congratulated the 500 who registered and challenged everyone to bring one person with them next year.