Christ is alive, and the Diocese of Buffalo wants everyone to know it.
The diocesan Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministry will deliver that message at its 68th annual Diocesan Youth Convention, to be held Feb. 28-March 1, at the Buffalo Grand Hotel (formerly the Adam's Mark), in downtown Buffalo.
The "Christ is Alive," theme is inspired by Pope Francis' recent apostolic exhortation "Christus Vivit," which is written to and for young people and those who minister to them. Youth Department staff and volunteers will spend the weekend unpacking this powerful message and exploring what it means to worship a God who is love, receive the mercy of Christ who saves us, and go forth empowered by the Spirit who gives life.
The convention packs fun, faith and fellowship into a three-day experience of prayer, learning and community for teenagers and their adult chaperones. The schedule includes liturgies, prayer, general sessions, breakouts, and small group time. The general sessions and smaller breakouts use diverse learning methods, such as witness talks and small group sharing to address a variety of topics. The weekend includes liturgy, reconciliation, keynote speakers, award presentations and dance.
Keynote speaker Katie Prejean McGrady is an international speaker and author of "Room 24: Adventures of a New Evangelist" and "Follow: Your Lifelong Adventure with Jesus" from Ave Maria Press. She has been traveling since 2007, engaging audiences of all ages and sizes with theological truths and a unique blend of humor. McGrady has appeared on EWTN, Catholic TV, Radio Maria, Sirius XM's Catholic Channel, writes for Ave Maria Press, LifeTeen, and EpicPew, and has spoken across the U.S., Canada and the UK. She was one of three delegates chosen by the USCCB to represent the United States at the Pre-Synod gathering on Youth, Faith, and Vocational Discernment at the Vatican in March 2018.
Two new elements will be added to this year's convention. On Saturday afternoon, all the attendees will pray the Stations of the Cross together in the Grand Ballroom. As the Lenten season begins, all will be invited to consider the ways they can connect their lives to Christ's life, to find comfort and strength in His gift of love.
There will also be time for Intergenerational Faith Sharing in which youth and adults will be invited to share stories of how they have noticed and benefited from Christ's love in their lives. These conversations will take place in parish groups.
The convention has been a tradition in the Diocese of Buffalo for nearly seven decades. The goal of the annual event is to help teens connect with God, provide them with a positive experience of Christian community, and to help them grow in personal wholeness and holiness. The conference is open to all high school students and their adult chaperones.
For more information contact Mike Slish at 716-847-8789.