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Steubenville Young Adults Conference

  /   Tuesday June 07, 2005  

I spent last weekend at the Young Adult Conference at Franciscan University of Steubenville. I had been to three Defending the Faith Conferences, but this was the first time I had been to Young Adults Conference. The Young Adults Conference was held in Washington DC the past two years, and I wanted to be in Steubenville, not Washington DC. They moved the conference this year, so I decided to go for it.

The experience was quite different. Defending the Faith gets about 1,500 participants and is therefore very crowded. The schedule is very intense, with two or three talks back-to-back in a morning and then Scott Hahn talking about the talks in between. Young Adults gets about 400, so it’s easier to meet people and then see them again later. There were fewer talks, and there was a social each evening. It was much easier to get through the confession line as well. You know you are in a Catholic venue when there is a praise band and a cash bar within 25 feet of each other.

The only speakers I had heard of before seeing them at the conference were Fr. Larry Richards and Fr. Michael Scanlan. They were still very good. They hit on some things that I needed to hear about. Despite being without Jim Cowan, the music ministry did a great job. I spent some time yesterday trying to find some of the songs on iTunes. I found everything I was looking for. They aren’t as good as the Steubenville band, but they will have to do.

Of course, it wasn’t perfect. While I appreciate the enthusiasm they show at Mass (which indicates they regard it as a reality), sometimes things got a little showy or silly. I attended the Life in the Spirit workshops as my break-out session, and I don’t think that was a good idea. Most of the first part seemed to be a repetition of “The Lord touched my heart . . . I had a lot going on, but the Lord really spoke to me.” and other rather general phrases. The second part was kind of a prayer meeting. It wasn’t a good thing for someone like me who is not that knowledgable of the Charismatic Renewal and is very skeptical of some (but not all) of their claims, especially their interpretation of speaking in tongues. It probably didn’t help that I was so tired when I went that I struggled to keep my eyes open.

Overall, I had a great experience. I found great joy in meeting other young adult Catholics who want to live their faith. Since I went by myself, I went around to groups in the dining area and asked if I could join them. No one turned me down. They were an awesome group, and I hope that I see them again. Maybe I’ll see them next year.

Category: Posts imported from Danger! Falling Brainwaves, Uncategorized



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