The 10th Annual IVE Youth Festival took place at St. Patrick’s Retreat Center in East Durham, NY from May 28-30, 2010, hosting over 300 youth, seminarians, religious sisters and priests from parishes in Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Chicago, and Toronto, Canada.

Workshops, Talks, and Recreation
In addition to the plenary talks given by Fr. Samuel Leonard, IVE (in English) and Fr. Pablo Muñoz, IVE (in Spanish), we welcomed several first-time guest speakers this year including: Javier Rodriguez, who spoke on gangs, and a young married couple, Nathanael and Elizabeth Martinez, who gave separate chastity/sexuality talks for men and for women before presenting a bi-lingual talk on the dignity of human life and God’s plan for marriage. Fr. Gustavo Domenech, Rector of the IVE Fulton Sheen House of Formation, presented on some of the negative effects of undisciplined use of personal technological devices, and Sr. Incarnate Word talked about the virtue of magnanimity and how to respond to the challenge of greatness asked of all Christians.

Between talks and prayer times, the youth had sports in the field, team competitions during the entertainment, and songs during the music and skits followed lunchtime and dinner. After Adoration and Confessions on Saturday night, we had the traditional bonfire, smores and songs.

Our Special Guest: Cardinal McCarrick
His Eminence, Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, joined us on Sunday for the final plenary talk and the celebration of the Holy Mass to close the Youth Festival.

Following the theme of the Youth Festival, Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?, Cardinal McCarrick spoke about the need to live the true life, the enduring and abundant life, both at the level of our natural life and in terms of the eternal life with God. He told the youth that this kind of true life can only be found when we live our life together with the Lord, not without Him. He offered a beautiful reflection on the “teenage” Jesus and the “teenage” Mary as models of how to be holy young men and women.

The spontaneous questions that the youth asked at the end of his talk showed their love and respect of this shepherd of the Church. Some of the questions included:

  • “What was the best moment of your priesthood?”
  • “Where are you from in New York?”
  • “How did you discern your vocation?”
  • “Where did you learn to speak Spanish so well?”
  • “Have you met the Pope?”

We are so grateful to have had such a fatherly example of priesthood among us. The youth all gave Cardinal McCarrick a standing ovation at the announcement of his 52nd anniversary of priestly ordination, May 31st.

May the spiritual fruits of this Youth Festival help to lead all the young people to holiness and eternal life.