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NCYC 2019 celebrates young people – ‘the now of the Church’

This large group from Paducah was happy to attend NCYC this year. COURTESY OF PADUCAH FAITH FORMATION


Referencing Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation on young people, “Christus Vivit,” the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, proclaimed that young people “are the now of the Church.”

“They are its present!” said the archbishop, during the Friday morning general session at the National Catholic Youth Conference (Nov. 21-23, 2019).

Adam Gregory, a youth from Hancock County, introduced Bishop Medley at NCYC on the main stage at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, where NCYC took place. COURTESY OF CHARLIE HARDESTY

NCYC is a gathering of 20,000 Catholic youth and adults from around the United States. Its mission is evangelizing and accompanying young people to an encounter with Jesus Christ and His Church. The Diocese of Owensboro has been participating in the event for nearly 20 years.

Approximately 280 high school youth and adults traveled from the Owensboro diocese to Indianapolis – where NCYC is held – for the three-day experience. The group represented nearly every corner of the diocese from 21 different parishes. They were joined at the conference by Bishop William F. Medley. 

Charlie Hardesty, the director of the Diocese of Owensboro’s Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, said this year’s NCYC theme was “Blessed, Broken, and Given.”

“Our time was spent listening to keynotes; experiencing intense times of worship and prayer; adoration and Mass; breakout sessions; meals together; laughter and fun,” said Hardesty. “The Holy Spirit was present and tangible in a way that stirred hearts and drew participants into the presence of God.” 

“We are very thankful for all the adults who journeyed with our youth to NCYC and sacrificed time away from work and families (and sleep),” Hardesty added. “We are very blessed in the diocese to have such a supportive bishop who joins us at NCYC, but we are also blessed by incredibly supportive priests and parishes who make these trips possible for our youth.”

Hardesty said they are looking forward the Owensboro Diocese Youth Conference (ODYC) on Nov. 20-21, 2020, at the Knicely Center in Bowling Green, and NCYC 2021 in Indianapolis.

Complete with silly hats – an NCYC tradition – participants from Blessed Mother Parish in Owensboro pose for a picture. COURTESY OF BLESSED MOTHER PARISH
These participants from Sts. Joseph and Paul Parish in Owensboro have their picture taken with their very own Bishop William F. Medley. COURTESY OF STS. JOSEPH AND PAUL PARISH
The group from St. Mary of the Woods Parish in Whitesville in their hotel for NCYC 2019. COURTESY OF ST. MARY OF THE WOODS PARISH

Originally printed in the December 2019 issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic.

Copyright © 2019 Diocese of Owensboro/The Western Kentucky Catholic

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