This year the IVE Youth Festival 2014 for teenagers was held on May 23-25, Memorial Day Weekend in Upstate New York and followed the theme of the first Beatitude “blessed are the poor in spirit” as designated by Pope Francis for the diocesan youth days.
Talks, Sports, Prayer and Community
Young people from our parishes along the East Coast (New Bedford (MA), Bridgeport, New York, Philadelphia, Avondale (PA), Maryland and Washington, DC) as well as from our mission in Peterborough, Canada came in record numbers for the weekend of talks, sports, prayer and community (even taking turns to serve at meals!).
Formation for Catholic Youth
The opening talk was given by Fr. Rob Walsh, a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington and chaplain at the University of Maryland, who urged the youth to know and let themselves be known by Christ as they seek only the true heavenly riches which characterize the “poor in spirit”. Further talks included understanding the Holy Mass, a primer on prayer, and catholic perspectives and uses of modern technology: “How Catholic is your i-phone?”
Mercy and Joy
The schedule for Saturday night always stands out as the great time of mercy and joy: the candle-lit Rosary procession, Holy Hour with confessions, and then the bonfire and debut of a comedic short film prepared by the IVE seminarians.
Prayer for All Participants
Following the Sunday Mass and blessing of the Youth Festival Cross, we all shared lunch together and sent the groups off to their home cities.
May the Lord accompany always these young people who have sought to encounter Him in His sacraments, in the charity of the Christian community, and in a true life of prayer. St. John Paul II, Patron of Youth Days, pray for us!