This summer, the state of Louisiana played host to the High School Boys and Girls National ECYD-RC Conventions. Fr. Patrick O’Loughlin, LC, and Amelia Hoover, CRC, share their highlights from this year’s events.
Why We Fight
The purpose of the National Convention is to bring together ECYD and RC young men and women from all over the country in order to deepen their faith and brotherhood with Christ, and to help them to form themselves into real and effective apostles in the world, choosing to join the ranks of Christian warriors and saints who have gone before them.
As the Director of the ECYD-RC National High School Boys Convention, Fr. Patrick O’Loughlin, LC, led the leadership team, which included Fr. Vito Crincoli, LC (ECYD Boys Director of Washington, DC), Fr. Jerek Scherber, LC (ECYD Boys Director of Ontario), Fr. David Spillane, LC (ECYD Boys Director of Houston), and Br. Max Nguyen (ECYD Boys Assistant of Louisiana). Br. Joseph Geiger, Fr. Michael Picard, and Fr. David Parker also participated and helped.
The theme for the Boys Convention was Why We Fight, and was a call to a renewal of the motivation and commitment to serve Christ. Besides daily prayer, which consisted of Mass, lectio divina, and guided morning and night prayer, the convention included formation courses and talks, half-day retreats, and activity days sightseeing in New Orleans, playing laser tag, and cruising through the Bayou and down the Mississippi. The convention also organized a Mission Day in New Orleans where the boys invited tourists and passersby in Jackson Square to reconciliation and evening adoration in the Cathedral, and even set the record for food prep at the food bank!
For Fr. Patrick, the highlight of the convention was the RC Talks that the boys prepared (on subjects ranging from social formation and etiquette to masculinity and evangelizing culture). He also had a powerful experience during one of the sight-seeing tours in Louisiana:
“As we were preparing for our evening evangelization mission, I felt moved to go out of my way to pray at a statue of St. Joan of Arc near Jackson Square. I was stopped there by a woman who desperately needed to speak with a priest. As we finished our conversation, she was just so moved by how the Lord had led her directly to a priest when she needed it the most! The encounter was a reminder of the importance of being attentive to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, in every moment, and made me even more grateful for each of the boys who had attended the national convention, heeding the Holy Spirit’s invitation to take a week of training to be the apostles that our Lord needs!”
Fr. Patrick is looking forward to the upcoming ECYD Middle School Boys National Sports Tournament to be held at Sacred Heart Apostolic School in Rolling Prairie, Indiana, from February 17th – 20th, 2023. You can read about last year’s Sports Tournament here, or register at rcactivities.com/ECYD-TOURNAMENT-2023. The ECYD High School Boys National Convention entitled For the City of God will be taking place July 23-29th, 2023, at the Catholic University of America Campus in Washington, DC. You can register here at ECYD-RC High School Boys National Convention.
Born for This
Consecrated Woman of Regnum Christ, Amelia Hoover, who was on the directive team for the ECYD-RC National High School Girls Convention, was responsible for helping with the prayer, sacramental life, and accompaniment of the girls participating in the convention. The theme of the convention – Born for This – was inspired by St. Joan of Arc’s quote: “I am not afraid, I was born for this.”
The convention provided an opportunity for ECYD and young RC member in high school to receive deeper formation according to the Regnum Christi spirituality. In particular, the convention sought to equip the girls with the philosophical foundations of logic and truth so that they can be instruments of God’s healing and salvation in the midst of the chaos, confusion, and suffering of today’s world.
During the convention, the girls participated in college-level content courses on such topics as bioethics, relativism and truth, gender ideology, and discernment of spirits. They also made a pilgrimage to the various holy sites of saints who lived and ministered in New Orleans, which included a steam boat ride on the Mississippi River and plenty of beignets from Café du Monde! Besides enjoying a mystery night, lip sync battle, and Bob Ross paint night, the girls spent a mission day in New Orleans where they helped pack food for Catholic Charities and a Light the City Mission at the Cathedral in Jackson Square. During the mission night, they invited people passing by the cathedral to come in for a tour of the church and to light a candle. “We were in an excellent location, where many people pass by and are interested in going into the historic church,” shares Amelia. “One young man who was visiting New Orleans as a tourist felt drawn to the missionaries and the presence of God in the church. He had an experience of God waking him up to the call of his heart to get closer to him, and he wanted the girls to know how much it meant to him that they were doing the mission and reaching out.”
For Amelia, seeing the young women seeking truth and desiring to bring this truth into their realities is the highlight of the convention. “It gives a lot of hope to see our future desiring to form themselves to help Jesus in his saving mission.” Don’t miss out on registration for the girls’ upcoming national convention at Catholic University of America this July 23-29, 2023 – register here!
ECYD is currently wrapping up its 2022 ImpactOne Appeal. If you would like to support ECYD youth in their mission to know Jesus, live the Gospel, and share it with others, visit ImpactOne 2022 or donate here.
To find out more about ECYD and their upcoming events, visit their website at ecyd.org.