Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Youth celebrate and rebuild church during annual gathering at Prep

the Inland Register

(From the April 27, 2006 edition of the Inland Register)

A full slate of activities, workshops, and prayer drew some 450 youth and 95 accompanying adults to this year’s Catholic Youth Celebration, held March 24-26 at Gonzaga Prep in Spokane.

Leading the organizing effort this year was the Diocesan Youth Council (DYC), consisting of teens from throughout the diocese who plan and develop the event during the course of the year. “The Catholic Youth Celebration is totally planned by youth and conducted by youth,” said Jackie Keyes, youth minister at St. Patrick Parish, Pasco.

In the absence of a diocesan youth ministry consultant, Keys and two other youth ministers – Dan Glatt of Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Spokane, and Deacon Kelly Stewart of Assumption, Spokane – worked with the Diocesan Youth Council to put on this year’s Celebration.

“The DYC members are a great bunch of youth who are excited about sharing their faith through the Catholic Youth Celebration,” Keyes said. “They are concerned about the situation in the diocese and the future of CYC and have put their hearts and creative minds into making this CYC an event that will challenge youth and adults to help them rebuild what has, in their minds, been torn down by the abuse scandal, Chapter 11, and closing of the Parish Services Office.

“DYC builds and strengthens leadership in youth,” said Keyes, “by putting them in a position where they need to use their gifts and talents and to be servant leaders. I have witnessed youth grow from shy, timid members to great, outspoken leaders within one year’s time. DYC s an opportunity to develop leadership not only for CYC but for the future of the church. Three of the adult volunteers on the DYC are past DYC members who continue to lead not only in this capacity but in their parishes. One is a teacher in one of our diocesan Catholic schools. Several past DYC members are returning to help with this year’s event.”

The annual celebration serves a number of purposes, not least of which is expanding the horizons and experience of church of young people in the region.

“In order to understand our Catholic identity,” said Keyes, “it is necessary to experience the church beyond the parish level, to the diocesan level and to the church universal. The CYC gives the youth who attend a taste of that.”

Among those attending were Idaho youth groups from Bonners Ferry, Coeur d’Alene, and Silver Valley, and parishes in the Yakima Diocese.

This year’s speakers included Bishop William Skylstad, who spoke on “Finding Hope in Our Church Today” – a good fit with the CYC’s emphasis on helping “rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.” He celebrated Mass with the participants on Sunday morning.

Other presentations discussed peer pressure, traditions of the Catholic Church, “Be Yourself and Still Be Catholic,” stress, God and the media, and how to make God the first priority in life.

Keynote speakers this year were David Casey and Doug Tooke, Montana-based youth ministers who combine music and theater in their work throughout the Northwest.

Many Catholics with no direct experience of the Catholic Youth Celebration don’t realize the terrific impact it has had in previous years.

One of the greatest benefits of participation in the CYC is the ways that the experience brings about stronger, healthier, shared-faith relationships. “It challenges youth groups to work together to prepare for the event, and then the traveling together and being together for the weekend only makes that bond stronger,” said Keyes. “When we return from CYC each year, our youth ministry is always stronger than ever, and even those who didn’t have the opportunity to attend benefit from the results.”

(Photos courtesy of Jackie Keyes)

Mark Burgard, one of the four “Project Managers” for the CYC weekend, thanks Bishop Skylstad, our diocesan “CEO,” by presenting him with a hard hat signed by the DYC members.

DYC members demonstrate their “People Machine,” a blender making fruit smoothies: Cassie Ricco, Robert Ashe, Andi Paul, Megan Butler, Beth Breshears, Ramona Bautista, Jacob Moore and Nick Moreno.

Rebuilding (the Walls of Jerusalem) ... one (human) pyramid at a time!

Youth join hands in response to the keynote presentation for General Session Two: “Together We Are Strong Enough To Take The World By Faith.”

The 2006 Catholic Youth Celebration
thanks these individuals and organizations for their support:

Assumption Parish, Spokane; Dale and Yvonne Anderson; Emery and Frances Backous; Deacon James and Jeannette Barrow; Mary A. Bean; Robert J. Bengert; Bruce and Judith Butler; Thomas C. Caswell; Catholic Cemeteries of Spokane; Catholic Daughters Court 2104, Pullman; Catholic Daughters Court St Cecelia, Walla Walla; Lois C. Chavey; Ben and Marguerite Daltoso; Mary Dublinski; Bob and Mary Jo Fontenot; Josh and Katherine Grant; Leonard and Marilyn Hanses; Mark and Marja Henderson; Lisa and Chris Hyland; Integrity Design & Copyworks of Walla Walla; Leo and Agnes Lapke; Thomas and Donnamaire Leuschen; Mark and Kathy Lindgren; Sister Helen Mason SP; Mike and Donna McDonnell; Robert W. McHugh; Ed and Pat Meliah; Larry and Kay Meliah; Rose Marie Moore; Jan Michael and Sonja Nikolajsen; Mike O’Neil; Our Lady of the Lake Parish, Suncrest; William and Rachel Paul; Genida Purcell; Harold and Jeanine Rahn; St. Genevieve Parish, Twisp; St. Genevieve, Twisp, Altar Society; St. Patrick Parish of Pasco, Cenacle; Sisters of Providence, Mother Joseph Province; Roger and Annie Smart; Richard and Louise St. Hilaire; Frances Stacey SP; Ferd and Libby Swenson; Calvin and Lorraine Toye; Joseph and Donna Wujek; and to our many anonymous donors!

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