Diocese of Rockford Youth Summit
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We are thrilled to have the opportunity to gather with young people throughout the Diocese of Rockford for the 2019 Youth Summit on October 27th! Thank you for allowing us to support your family and your teenager during this important time in their faith journey. It is truly a privilege.
Here is some information about the Youth Summit that we hope you will find helpful:
The theme of the 2019 Youth Summit is GENESIS. The Scripture verse we will be unpacking throughout the day is Ephesians 2:10:
“For we are His handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in Him.”
Throughout the course of this day, we hope to instill and foster an awareness of our identity as God’s beloved – that each and every one of us has been created intentionally, is loved beyond measure, and is called to unique greatness. God has a mission for each one of us! We hope to communicate to each young person who participates in this day that you are seen, you are known, you are loved, God has a plan for you and your life, and you can trust Him.
We know that often, before we are ready to encounter the love of Christ and give our lives to Him, we need to have an awareness that we are loved and that we belong. At this Youth Summit, we will be striving to help our young people come directly into contact with the reality that the Church – right here, in our diocese – knows them, loves them, and cares about them. Along with you – their parent – they have a bishop, priests, youth ministers, DREs/CREs, chaperones, young adults, seminarians, and so many more who care deeply for them, and who want to be sure they know that they are loved. This will be conveyed through talks, worship, our presence to them, and the intentional atmosphere/environment of the day where they are welcome to come and to encounter a Church who cares for them.
As we strive to help our young people know that they are loved by people and by Christ’s Church, we will also be striving to help them know that they are loved by Him and matter to Him. The talks throughout the day and the encounters with the Lord in Eucharistic Adoration, in Mass, and in the sacrament of reconciliation will provide an opportunity for the teens to truly experience and understand that they are cherished, chosen, and sent forth by a Father who knows and loves them.
WHAT TO EXPECT
We intend for this event to be a fun day filled with faith, fellowship, music, and worship. Our goal is that this day will provide an environment where your son or daughter will encounter the Lord and grow in relationship with Him and His Church. Bishop Malloy will celebrate Sunday Mass, the sacrament of confession will be available, and we will spend some time in front of the Blessed Sacrament in Eucharistic Adoration. We will also have a lot of fun – there will be live music, inspiring talks, etc. – in a high energy environment.
There will be 1,500+ young people in attendance, some of whom have yet to encounter the Lord Jesus in a personal way and know His love. Because of this, we have intentionally planned for this day to be a pre-evangelization event (the very first stage in the process of evangelization). No matter where your child is in his or her faith journey, we hope and pray he or she will have a powerful and life-changing encounter with Christ and His Church!
NOTES ON SAFETY & DIETARY RESTRICTIONS
All adults accompanying young people to this event must comply with the Diocese of Rockford Safe Environment policies, including the Guidelines for Youth and Those Working with Youth (English | Español). The Parish/School Group Leaders are responsible for ensuring that the group and all adults accompanying the group are in full compliance with these Guidelines. Additionally, the Rock Valley College Police Department will be present for the entirety of this event.
If your child has severe food allergies, we recommend that you pack a lunch and send it with them so as to avoid the risk of exposure to an allergen.
AFTER THE SUMMIT – SOME CONVERSATION TOOLS
When your teen comes home from this year’s Youth Summit, here are some questions you might ask them about the day and their experience:
- What was your favorite part of the day?
- What did Bishop Malloy talk about in his homily?
- What was your favorite talk about?
- What types of prayer did you experience?
- Did you pray in any new ways today?
- What do you think Jesus was communicating to you today?
This conversation might also be an opportunity for you to share some of your faith journey with your teens – perhaps why faith is important to you, or what joys (or struggles) you have had living out your Catholic faith. Can they see in your life the joy and freedom that your faith gives you?
Thank you for all you do to live out the faith in your daily life and to share Christ’s love with your child, your family, and your community! We are grateful for you and all you do!
May God bless you and your family abundantly!
Jennifer Collins, Director
Life & Family Evangelization Office | Catholic Diocese of Rockford