Teens sign up in droves for second annual Archdiocesan Youth Day

| Caroline Rode | June 19, 2013 | 0 Comments

AYD 2013 logo

Sophie Drayna of St. Henry in Monticello can’t wait to come to Archdiocesan Youth Day on Sept. 21. She attended last year and called it “an overwhelming experience.”

“I was completely awestruck with how many people we actually have in the [arch]diocese that were willing to come and just be open to growing in their faith,” she said.

Such enthusiasm for the second annual event, set for Holy Family High School in Victoria, has spread like wildfire in the archdiocese. Registrations have exceeded the event’s capacity of 2,000 youth, and a waiting list has been set up.

For event organizer Bill Dill of the archdiocesan Office of Marriage, Family and Life, it’s a nice problem to have.

Dill said last year 60 groups signed up for AYD; this year 100 groups are signed up. All parishes that reserved spots before June 1 will be able to send youth to the event.

From last year’s evaluations of AYD, held at DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis, it was apparent the youth “really had an experience with God and an experience of the Church that obviously is contagious. Word has spread that it was a great event,” Dill said.

Like last year, the event will feature a full day with Archbishop John Nienstedt, Mass, music with local Catholic band Sonar, food and opportunities for eucharistic adoration and the sacrament of reconciliation.

The theme of the day is “Believe and Speak,” based on 2 Corinthians 4:13: “Since, then, we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, ‘I believed, therefore I spoke,’ we too believe and therefore speak.”

Hopes for this year

Debbie Gladitsch, director of youth ministry at St. Francis Xavier in Buffalo, plans to bring her parish’s ninth- and 10th-grade faith formation class to AYD “to expose them to a whole different [experience] of their faith.”

Katie Peloquin, who attends St. Henry said the day brought her back in touch with her faith again. Eucharistic adoration, led by Father Michael Schmitz, director of youth and young adult ministry for the Diocese of Duluth, impacted her the most, she said.

“Father Mike was bringing the monstrance around and he came to our section and he stopped right smack in front of me,” Peloquin said. “It always just kind of touches you.”

Gladitsch said she enjoyed the time for questions and answers with Archbishop Nienstedt because the youth had a chance to see a more personal side of the archbishop.

“The kids walked away with a concrete concept of who the archbishop is, and I think that was amazing,” Gladitsch said.

In addition to growing in her faith, Drayna said she also enjoyed being able to meet other youth from the archdiocese.

“You get to expand that network,” Drayna said.

“It’s exciting to see what God’s doing in our diocese with the youth and the quality of the youth that are coming through, and with the formation they’re being given in their parishes — it’s all contributing to what makes this day a success,” Dill said. “And they’re coming together to celebrate it.”

Dill said changes to AYD this year will include less time sitting, with the possibility of small group time instead of male/female breakout groups.

The event is now full, and registration is closed. For information about being added to the waiting list, email dillb@archspm.org.

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Category: Local News