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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Mission Youth Delivers Extreme Adventure to NCYC
Interactive booth brings a taste of missions to the 2009 National Catholic Youth Conference.

Mission Youth booth at NCYC
1- Miguel Mares, Sisan Walker and Tom McCabe in front of the Mission Youth booth.

November 22, 2009. Kansas City, Missouri. Mission Youth volunteers participated in the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) in Kansas City, MO this past November 19-21, and presented Extreme Missions as one of many apostolate displays in the “thematic park.” Along the way, they also had the privilege of witnessing the faith alive and well in over 22,000 youth who were eager to learn more about Christ and get involved in the New Evangelization.

The power of presence

This year’s convention theme was “Christ Reigns,” and no moment better captured the theme than the event called “Witnessing the Power of the Eucharist.”

On Friday at 8:00 am, the streets leading up to the Sprint Area were flooded with “rivers” of young people. As the doors opened and the young people started entering, the atmosphere of silence and reverence was an eloquent witness of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
christ reigns
The Christ Reigns theme at the NCYC.

Meanwhile, hundreds of priests were hearing confessions in a huge ballroom next door.

“It really was amazing to see the amount of young people there, singing and sharing one same faith,” said Sisan Walker, a full-time missionary for Mission Youth.

“I felt like I was in a concert with thousands of people, except the main Person was Christ. It reminded me of World Youth Day in Sydney where everyone was just so full of that joy that only Christ gives,” she said.

Work in progress… and beware of King Kong

The NCYC’s “thematic park” was also a witness to the dynamism of the Church, with hundreds of apostolates and programs displaying informational booths for the youth to explore.

 In keeping with the idea of Extreme Missions,” the Mission Youth display was an interactive, 3-D, and multi-media experience that gave visitors a sense of the adventures that characterize a Mission Youth “extreme mission.”

There were two booths, one for youth and one for youth ministers and chaperones. At the youth display, visitors put together a chapel using screwdrivers to attach small side boards to the wall of a “chapel.” They also signed the missionary cross inside the chapel.

The booth for youth ministers and adult chaperones featured the Mission Youth display as well as a green screen that movie producers use for special effects. Youth and adults posed in front of the screen and walked away
Missino youth booth
Visitors to the booth help buïld a "chapel," mission style.
with a photo of themselves in an extreme mission mountaintop setting, or standing with the Pope, encountering King Kong, greeting JFK, going to the moon, and catching some serious surfer waves…

Ready to rumble

Visitors to both booths received a personalized sugar boost with custom-made M&M’s (Mexico Missions, Mission Youth), as well as their own Mexico Mission airplane boarding pass.

In preparation for the upcoming World Youth Day in Madrid 2011, an entire section of the booths was full of information about how to get involved in the next WYD mission. Mission Youth staff members were on hand to explain the different missionary opportunities, from Spring Break and Summer Missions to World Days Pilgrimages and a volunteering program called the Mission Youth Corps.

Youth ministers who showed serious interest in the program also received a fully stocked Mission Youth folder with an informational DVD, a complete overview brochure, and promotional cards.

For the Mission Youth staff, it was uplifting to see the Catholic youth “alive” and wanting Christ to reign in their hearts.

“I was really impressed by the generosity of all the young people in the conference. As they passed by our interactive booth, many offered to exchange their wristbands and fun necklaces for either a rosary or a missionary cross,” said Miguel Mares, a full-time missionary for Mission Youth.

Next stop: the NCYC in Indianapolis!

To find out more about the NCYC conference, visit the web site at

To learn more about Mission Youth, visit the web site at



Related links

Helping Hands Medical Missions
St Rafael Guizar y Valencia Missionary Center

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Sponsored by the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, Copyright 2011, Legion of Christ. All rights reserved.

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