Diocesan Youth Council celebrates 35 years with convocation
CHARLOTTE — This year, the Diocese of Charlotte's Youth Advisory Council is celebrating its 35th anniversary and is making plans for a special convocation in April.
The diocesan youth council is comprised of high school students who are called to serve the Church throughout western North Carolina – part of Vatican II's call for the laity to be active participants in the life of the Church. They are recommended by their parishes to plan numerous retreats and activities for diocesan youth throughout the year. Efforts are made to ensure equal representation among vicariates, age levels and gender.
The council provides youth with "exposure to the Church at the diocesan level, the opportunity to grow in their leadership abilities and to assist their diocese in its work," notes Paul Kotlowski, diocesan director of youth ministry.
To mark the 35th anniversary, this year's annual Diocesan Youth Conference (DYC) is actively seeking youth delegates to participate in a special Youth Ministry Convocation April 27-29 at the Ridgecrest Conference Center in Black Mountain.
The high school-aged delegates who attend the conference and convocation will discuss the special needs and gifts of the youth ministry in the diocese, and help prioritize programs and pastoral activities from the parish to diocesan levels, Kotlowski said. During the event, opinions from youth will be gathered and participants will learn the results of a diocese-wide survey among youth being that will take place prior to the event.
Parishes will soon receive a web link to the survey, with an invitation for all active and inactive youth in each parish to take part. The deadline for the completed surveys is March 31, Kotlowski said.
Parishes will also be asked to select one or two high-school aged youths to participate in the conference and convocation as parish delegates. Delegates should be prayerful, practicing Catholics who understand the necessity of not only making their opinions known, but also of functioning as representatives of all the parish youth on whose behalf they will attend the events, he said.
Mary-Kate Reid, a homeschooled Catholic senior from St. Mark Church in Huntersville, said she is looking forward to the spring celebrations and planning work. She has been part of the Diocesan Youth Advisory Council during her high school years.
"Being a part of the council is one of the biggest blessings in my life," Reid said. "It's comforting to know I'm not alone in my struggle when it comes to keeping and sharing the faith. The council is an environment that inspires me to be closer to Christ, drawing others closer to the light of Christ."
Reid said she hopes more diocesan youth will share their passion for the faith by taking part in the DYC this year.
Get more information
The 35th annual Diocesan Youth Conference will be held April 27-29 at the Ridgecrest Conference Center in Black Mountain.
The cost for each parish youth delegate to attend is $100, and covers room and board expenses for the conference and convocation.
For details, go to education.charlottediocese.net/youth-ministry or call Paul Kotlowski at 704-370-3211.
— Charlie Jackson, intern
FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Patrick Earl at St. Peter in Charlotte
- Fr. John Eckert at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy