From February 5-10, 2017, eighty-three participants from around the North American territory gathered in Oxford, Michigan for ECYD WEEK 2 with the general topic being the ECYD Mentor and ECYD formative style. The National ECYD and Youth Work Support Team and the ECYD Identity Project Core Team Members: Maria Knuth, Fr. Michael Vanderbeek, Corinne Kirkpatrick and Todd Brechbill were the main organizers. As part of the formative experience, this team enlisted the help of other legionaries, consecrated women and Regnum Christi lay people to help lead the 11 small groups and facilitate the conferences and workshops. All of the topics of the week could be seen reflected in an image
(show here Maria’s poster of Christ the Formator) and followed the overall dynamic of leading the participants on a journey & personal experience of the formative style. Starting with the ECYD Mentor, the needs of the adolescent, the culture of encounter with God & others the week then led to practical applications with their ECYD mentor team, the formation of their team leaders and how to build a personalized formation plan. In each workshop as well, the ECYD Statutes were explained and applied. There was a great spirit of honest discussion and collaboration in the group as a whole, bringing to the table the experiences of each one in their locality. It was also a moment of spiritual renewal in the times of prayer together as well as sincere examination in the personal dedication to accompany the people God has placed in our path.
A few of the participants shared about the experience in their own words:
Fr. Ronald Conklin, 2nd year participant: Thanks to God calling me to ECYD as a boy, I am the man I am today. ECYD weeks 1 & 2 have increased my appreciation of our charism more than I thought possible. They have been an experience of seeing God’s beautiful gift of our charism incarnated in my brothers and sisters in the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi. After these ECYD weeks, I am by far much better prepared to share the gift of ECYD that I was before.
Rachel Peach, 1st year participant: For me ECYD week was an experience of our shared mission as Regnum Christi, where all members of the spiritual family are co-responsible and committed to the gift and mission we have. Together we are custodians of our charism and our future, and our youth are our future. May we continue living and working charismatically for the future of our world, Church and spiritual family.
Carrie Frain: 1st year participant: – I felt I made it on “The Varsity Team” going to Mass with 20 Priests concelebrating Mass and singing with the Angelic voices of the Consecrated Women. It was a week long experience of learning how to open my heart to receive the hearts of youth in Challenge & Conquest. – It was neat to learn about the struggles and experiences that Priests and Consecrated face. Our team became very intimate with sharing challenges, struggles and joys.
Fr. Simon Clearly, 1st year participant: Perhaps even as great as the conferences were themselves was the amazing team spirit and united zeal for serving our youth!
Katelyn Dery: 1st year participant: ECYD Director, Heartland ECYD Week 2 was way more than just a formative experience for me, it was the first time I was able to understand what the term “brothers and sisters in Christ” actually meant. I’m not alone in the mission, I have a whole spiritual family supporting me and praying for me.