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


Catholic Youth Celebration: ‘Sinners Lost & Found’

the Inland Register
Photos courtesy of Jackie Keyes, St. Patrick Parish, Pasco

(From the April 12, 2007 edition of the Inland Register)

Above: Ken Canedo and his youth choir from Holy Trinity Parish, Beaverton, Ore., were part of the 2007 CYC gathering at Gonzaga Prep, Spokane. (IR photo)

The annual Catholic Youth Celebration (CYC) was held at Gonzaga Prep, Spokane, March 23-25, attended by approximately 330 youth and adults.

The weekend was the result of a year of work by the Diocesan Youth Council, consisting of 14 youth and nine adults from throughout the diocese.

The theme of this year’s CYC was “Sinners Anonymous: The Lost & Found.”

The weekend began with the DYC presenting the first episode of their running skit called “CSI: Spokane” (Catholic Sin Investigation) which set the stage for an ongoing investigation of the evidence at the scene of the crime; Jesus’ death. It culminated on Sunday morning when Ben Foust, playing the Gil Grissom-like character heading the investigation, said: “We figured out that this is a cross, and when we dusted it for fingerprints, we found that all of humanity had a hand in the murder.” Another investigator, Philip Neumann, explains that the victim was our Lord Jesus Christ and that “he died for our sins, so we caused it, but at the same time, he freed us from sin and death when he rose from the dead.” The moral of the running skit and the final punch line was: “Resurrection today keeps the devil away.”

Right: Members of the Diocesan Youth Council steered an icebreaker for the crowd, “Pirate Maneuvers.” (IR photo)

Keynote speakers for the weekend were Father Norman Fischer of Lexington, Ky., who introduced the theme “Sinners Welcome” with the story of the Prodigal Son and God’s unconditional love, mercy and forgiveness. He presented General Session 3: “Finders Keepers,” emphasizing the need to listen for the voice of God. He shared the story of his own call to priesthood – God unexpectedly calling him by name.

Father Fischer also presented a workshop titled “Exploring the Hidden Power in Eucharistic Adoration” and a mega-workshop which was an actual Holy Hour experience of Eucharistic Adoration that touched the participants with the healing power of the real presence of Jesus.

Ken Canedo, managing editor of Oregon Catholic Press’s spiritandsong.com web site, took the stage for Saturday morning’s General Session 2, titled “Lost and Lonely.” He spoke about the way sin alienates us from others, from personal relationships and from our faith communities, as well as from God. His youth choir from his parish in Oregon, co-directed by Mark Nieves, was on hand to emphasize the key points. They concluded the event on Sunday morning by challenging those present to “Be A Beacon,” to “Share the Light,” and to go out and live as though we have been found by Jesus Christ.

Canedo also presented a workshop intended for adults and youth leaders on how to form a core team to share in the leadership of youth ministry in their parishes.

St. Timothy Awards, based on 1 Timothy 4:12, were presented to three youth, honoring them for demonstrating leadership in their parish beyond the norm. Honored were Sean Leonard from the combined youth ministry of Sacred Heart and St. Augustine parishes in Spokane, Alyssa Rodger from St. Patrick Parish in Pasco, and Alex Wentz from Assumption Parish and DeSales High School in Walla Walla.

St. John Bosco Awards were presented to two adult individuals who have significantly contributed a lifetime of service to the youth in their parish or area. Theresa Paul received this award for almost 20 years of service to the children and youth of Sacred Heart Parish in Pullman. Michael Scheel, an adult advisor on the DYC and a teacher at DeSales High School, was also honored for his long-time service to youth of the Tri-Parishes and Walla Walla.

Saturday evening activities included a dance with Michael Scheel as DJ, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, and inflatable games of jousting, bungee pull and obstacle course.

Left: The youth group from St. Joseph Parish, Colbert, led prayer for one of the general sessions. (IR photo)

Bishop Skylstad was present with the youth most of the weekend. He presented a workshop on “Ecumenism: Unity Among Christians” and presided at the Eucharistic Liturgy which concluded with a traditional blessing for graduating seniors.

This event could not have happened without numerous people contributing their time, talent and resources to the youth.

Jackie Keyes, from St. Patrick Parish in Pasco, worked all year to facilitate the DYC weekend planning meetings and to coordinate the Catholic Youth Celebration.

In addition to the DYC youth doing their part to facilitate CYC, the event was dependent upon a number of adults who helped the DYC in their work.

Dan Glatt, from Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Spokane, helped to secure keynote and workshop presenters, to get the t-shirts and sweatshirts silk-screened and to provide lunch and dinner on Saturday of the event. For the second year in a row a spaghetti and meatball dinner was offered to participants at a very reasonable cost. The proceeds will go to his parish youth ministry to benefit students going on a Mexico Mission trip this summer.

Deacon Kelly Stewart from Assumption Parish in Spokane acquired proper lighting, sound and staging for the weekend. In addition he secured the inflatables and the 3-on-3 basketball coordinators for Saturday evening. He and Glatt helped to set up all of the workshop rooms at Gonzaga Prep and basically ran around all weekend with their cell phones ready to troubleshoot at a moment’s notice.


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