“We have our hope set on the living God” 1 Tim 4:10

Held this past weekend, May 22-24, 2009 at St. Patrick’s Retreat House in East Durham, NY, the 9th Annual IVE Youth Festival hosted 300 youth, seminarians, religious sisters and priests from parishes in Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Chicago. This year’s theme, “We have our hope set on the living God,” was given by the Holy Father for all the diocesan youth days of 2009 to serve as an expansion of last year’s theme “Christ, Our Hope.”

The events included talks and small group discussions, Holy Mass, Adoration, Confessions and a candle-lit Rosary procession on Saturday night, as well as sports, a campfire, and entertainment. The workshops covered various topics relevant to youth such as real hope, vocations, chastity, cliques, our emotions, and true beauty.

The weekend culminated on Sunday with the arrival of his Eminence, Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington. It was a great blessing to have his presence among us and his example of joyful service to the People of God.  He delivered the final plenary talk of the weekend, speaking to the youth in an engaging and paternal way about prayer and friendship with Jesus Christ.  We ended with the celebration of the Holy Mass presdied over by the Cardinal accompanied by concelebrating IVE priests.

We give thanks to God for the work that He accomplished in many souls through this event and for the great graces poured out on our young people. We thank all of our speakers, chaperones, and sponsors and all who put in so much time and effort into bringing the Youth Festival together. Finally, through the intercession of Our Lady, we pray for the purity, holiness and perseverance of all young people, especially those who attended the Youth Festival and all those entrusted to the care of our religious family throughout the world.

“Give me souls, take all the rest.” -St. John Bosco, Patron of Youth