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

CYC set for March at Gonzaga Prep; theme is ‘Don’t stop believing’

by Sarah Cohen, for the Inland Register

(From the Feb. 7, 2008 edition of the Inland Register)

Members of this year’s Diocesan Youth Council are: front row, from left, Sam Ferraro, Ramona Bautista, Joey Stevenson, and Steve Heston; second row, Nick Moreno, Katie Van Alyne, Beth Breshears, Lauren Joplin, Annie Canto, and Jackie Keyes, youth minister at St. Patrick Parish, Pasco; third row: Angela Wolski, Michael Scheel, David Meyers, Jessica Heidt, Izzy Galvez, Greg Opbroek, Katie Tompkins, Marcus Breshears, Ryan Glatt and Grace Birrenkott. Members not pictured: Cecelia Rupert (Youth), Theresa St. Hilaire (adult), and Andy Breshears and Jared Reyna (College Helpers). (IR photo courtesy of Jackie Keyes)

Renewed faith, new friendships and lots of laughs are what await high school teens attending this year’s Catholic Youth Celebration (CYC), March 13-15, at Gonzaga Prep, in Spokane.

Now in its 27th year, this three-day conference offers youth a chance to learn about what it means to walk with faith.

“The theme is ‘Our Journey: Don’t Stop Believing,’” says Sam Ferraro, 16, a sophomore at Walla Walla High School and a member of the Diocesan Youth Council (DYC), which plans the annual CYC. “It’s to show kids you have a journey in life – to stay close to God. It’s easy to stray – it’s very easy. We should stay strong in our faith, and if we do that, the journey should be easier.”

The DYC is a team of 14 high school youth, seven adults and four college students representing parishes from across the diocese.

This year’s DYC youth members are Beth and Marcus Breshears and Izzy Galvez, St. Patrick Parish, Pasco; Annie Canto and Katie Van Alyne, Immaculate Conception Parish, Colville; Sam Ferraro, Assumption, Walla Walla; Jessica Heidt, St. Anthony, Spokane; Steve Heston and Joey Stevenson, Sacred Heart, Pullman; Lauren Joplin, St. Aloysius, Spokane; David Meyers, Holy Rosary, Pomeroy; Greg Opbroek, St. Patrick, Walla Walla; Kati Tomp-kins, St. Francis of Assisi, Walla Walla; and Cecila Rupert, Holy Family, Fairchild Air Force Base.

The theme for CYC was inspired by various issues teens face today, the things that keep youth from getting closer to God, Ferraro says, as well as 1 Peter 3:13–18:

“Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you and accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those you abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil. For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for unrighteous, in order to bring you to God.”

It’s the strengthening of faith that makes CYC so rewarding for many youth. Hannah Wentz, 16, is one of them. She attended the 2006 and 2007 celebrations.

“It’s cool to have a bunch of Catholic youth together in one place celebrating their faith, because teenagers typically aren’t expressive about that,” says the junior from DeSales in Walla Walla. “At CYC they’re not afraid to show their faith, because everyone is there to show their faith. … They all get together to have something in common.”

One of the highlights of CYC is the keynote speaker. This year’s laughs and learning will be thanks to Vince Nims.

“I do my best to deliver bold, Christ-centered messages that challenge people of all ages to move toward Christ and live life like they believe!,” Nims says on his website, “I am a story-teller, and I pay attention to the way God works in and through the world and our day-to-day experiences, like standing in line at McDonalds’s or teaching my daughter how to play softball.”

And since CYC is all about the journey and the things people face along the way, Nims’s message should hit the spot. For the third time, Nims will lead the music at World Youth Day, this year in Australia, and he is famous for singing “I Like Bananas,” a hilarious group participation song.

Also to be speaking at CYC is Brad Henning (www.bradhenning .com). For 14 years, Henning has been sharing with youth across the country how to have effective male-female relationships. In his own words, the presentation is “hysterically funny,” and youth will get a positive message about the differences between men and women, what love really is, and abstinence before marriage.

“I hear over and over, ‘Why didn’t somebody tell me this? It’s changed my life,’” he says.

CYC requires the time and talent of dozens of volunteers from across the diocese. But in order for CYC to be possible, the DYC is calling on people throughout the diocese to share their treasure as well.

Due to the diocesan reorganization, the diocese itself can no longer fund CYC. This means that the celebration depends on individual and corporate sponsorships. Contributions cover the costs of keynote speakers, workshops presenters, building space, production equipment, supplies and meals.

This Lent, the DYC an invitation to the broader Catholic community to “be eager to do what is good,” as Peter writes in his first epistle. Please send financial support to Jackie Keyes, Youth Ministry Coordinator, St. Patrick Parish, 1320 W. Henry St., Pasco, WA 99301. Please make checks payable to Catholic Youth Celebration (CYC). Thank you in advance for your generosity.

(To learn more about CYC, go to, or contact Rich and Mary Ann Breshears at 509-582-4804 or e-mail

Inland Register archives

Home | Bishop | Communications | Parishes | Catholic Charities

© The Catholic Diocese of Spokane. All Rights Reserved