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Ignition Convention 2003: Catholic Young Men Forging Culture
| APOSTOLATE
Christ, prayer, formation, apostolate, sports, friendship and fun ... all a part of a four-day convention.

Ignitium Convention 2003
Strategizing for the Kingdom.
On January 2-6, 2003, the second annual Ignition Young Men´s Convention was held at the Oaklawn Conference Center. More than fifty Catholic young men from around the country braved the cold weather to come together with a single purpose: to dedicate themselves to the task of forging a more Christian culture in today´s society by living it courageously and challenging others to do the same.

These young men traveled from every corner of the nation - Los Angeles, San Jose, Dallas, Atlanta, New York, Washington, DC, and everywhere in between - in order to have the opportunity to meet other young men dedicated to living their faith and to create an environment of camaraderie and unity.

Speakers such as Father Alfonso Aguilar, LC, emphasized that in order to forge a more Christian culture, it is necessary to be well aware of the contemporary culture that surrounds us. Christ tells his apostles, "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves; so be cunning as snakes and yet innocent as doves" (Mt 10:16). So in keeping with this message, the convention had a particular focus on the threats and challenges that the Church faces in today´s world. The participants attended a five-part lecture entitled "The Enemies of the Church," delivered by Father Aguilar, who teaches philosophy at Our Lady of Thornwood Training and Education Center in Thornwood, NY.

Keeping on this same theme, there were also presentations that featured a number of programs organized by young men around the country. These programs were concrete examples of young men who were putting their Catholic faith in action and spreading their faith to countless others in their communities. Some of the programs featured were Youth for the Third Millennium, a group devoted to spreading the Catholic faith through missionary work at home and abroad, and the Leadership Training Program, a mentoring program in which young Catholic men help those younger than them to grow in the faith.

The convention maintained a strongly spiritual focus by beginning and ending each day with prayer and meditation, attending daily Mass, making confession readily available, and by organizing a Holy Hour of Adoration. Participants were also invited to attend a half-day retreat to kick-off the convention. The focus on prayer and the sacraments was emphasized as a crucial foundation of one´s spiritual life and a necessary element of apostolic action.

There was, of course, plenty of time for sports and recreation. A triple-header of basketball, football, and soccer provided some full-contact bonding, and a ski-trip to a nearby resort provided a break from the flurry of apostolic activity at the convention.

Finally, in order to apply apostolic ideas to concrete action, the convention split up into regional groups for a session of intense strategy meetings, in which each group made a plan for putting their Catholic faith into action in each of their respective areas.

The 2003 Ignition Convention was a big step forward for many Catholic young men who are out in the world and trying to make a difference. The four-day convention was a unique opportunity to meet other young men who are trying to live their Catholic faith to the fullest degree, a forum to exchange ideas on how to battle the enemies of the Church, and a way for more than fifty young men to strengthen their resolve to forge a more Catholic culture in the new millennium.


PUBLICATION DATE: 2003-01-17


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