By: Jeannette Manser
Hello!! This is Jeannette Manser reporting on the NCCYM. You might be asking yourself ... what the heck is that? Well, just like WCACYM will be celebrating their 25th year of being the Western Canadian Association of Catholic Youth Ministers in January at our annual AGM, the states have their National Catholic Conference for Youth Ministry Bi-annually. 7 of us Canadians represented, and 4 of us were WCACYM's finest!
Myself: Jeannette Manser - Alberta, Erin Kinsella - Manitoba, Clay Imoo - British Columbia and Deanna Beaudoin-British Columbia!
The NCCYM was held this year in Orlando Florida at a beautiful hotel and conference center in Disneyworld Resorts - The Dolphin! With shuttles and boat rides and monorails away from Disneyworld's theme parks, we were able to enjoy our stay quite well.
It is amazing to see how alive and active our catholic faith is all over North America. And how inspiring and affirming it is to be with other youth ministers that are totally the same way as you!
Thurs. Nov. 29th was our first day at the conference with opening liturgy followed by a session by Bob McCarty and his wife, who are really the hands and feet of making this conference possible.
After Deanna, Erin and I enjoyed dinner in Downtown Disney, we headed back to the conference center for Opening Ceremonies and a flash mob practice!!! Yes, that's right, I said Flash Mob practice. The MC's for NCCYM were a hilarious duo - Jesse Manibusan and Judy Mcdonald! (They're famous Catholic Super stars!!!)
On Friday morning as we had our opening praise and worship session, all of us involved in this massive flash mob stationed ourselves throughout the room ready to go before our morning speaker! It was wonderful!! I along with Erin, Deanna and Clay, were with all these famous Catholic Youth Ministry people!! I felt pretty special!!
Each day, we had opportunties to attend 2 break-out sessions on various topics in youth ministry. For example, on Friday I chose to attend Multimedia in your office, and Athletics - Renewing the Vision. On Saturday - 10 techniques in music prayer ministry, and Campus and High School ministry. They were all fantastic!! Each morning we would have praise and worship, a speaker, and then after lunch we would have Mass followed by a speaker.
The evenings varied. Thursday was opening ceremonies and speaker, kind of like a rally. Friday night was the Youth Extravaganza showcasing some of those famous Catholic Super stars leading skits and songs about ministry, which really helped everyone there appreciate what we do and laugh about what we sometimes have to deal with on a regular basis. On Sunday night, we had our final mass which was the 1st day of advent, and awards for youth ministry efforts were given out. This made me think, we should really do this for WCACYM - have awards for those really fostering the faith in young people in western canada and be recognized.
Couple of other bonuses to the weekend was the fact that there was a resource expo hall filled with many catholic organizations, missions, orders, clubs, and resources for us to check out. There was also a stage with various catholic performers featured as well! It was a great place to network and gain new ideas for ministry!
The Upper Room Adoration chapel was a place I spent saturday afternoon in during the conference. It was beautiful with different types of art to look at and reflect on. A prayer intention candle table, adoration and the sacrament of reconciliation. I loved the fact that we had the opportunity to just go there and spend time with Jesus whenever we wanted!
I love the fact that we all have a chance in the evenings to socialize and visit with one another. And of course with being in Disneyworld, Downtown Disney was our destination for dinner or late night snacks. Deanna, Erin and I stayed an extra day, and decided on Universal Studios as the theme park we wanted to go to. What a great last day! So much fun!
Anyhow, I am truly blessed as a youth minister that I can take these opportunities to attend such amazing places and gain so much wonderful knowledge of my ministry and to be affirmed in what I'm doing. It certainly has helped me truly re-charge and come back to my school ready to go!
I hope to see you all in Winnipeg! Thank-you for all that you do to bring young people to God! You ARE making a difference and Jesus is smilling down on you!! Thank-you!!
Youth Ministry Coordinator
Notre Dame Highschool
Red Deer Catholic Schools