“Before CYC, God wasn’t God, He was miracles. The Eucharist was bread that was supposed to be holy, prayer was a chore I was supposed to do, and I could imagine opening as many doors as I liked, the knocking never changed. CYC changed my life. For the first time, high schoolers weren’t silly, they were people with stories, with pain, longing for the Lord they don’t understand and won’t accept. For the first time, I overwhelmingly longed to be in intimate communion with God. For the first time, I didn’t want to leave the chapel, I yearned to stay, to pray, to sit in silence with the Lord. God showed me how beautiful a life I have and sparked in me a desire to spread that beauty and love throughout this broken world. What did CYC mean to me? It meant everything. To it I owe my life.”
-Elizabeth Hansen, Youth, St. Rose of Lima, Cheney
“2016 marks the third year that I have attended CYC in the Spokane diocese. The event will always have a special place in my heart. I admire everything that comes along with the weekend: The music, confession, seminars, workshops, prayer, games, mass, and more than anything, adoration. The first time I had attended CYC was my freshman year and I remember telling myself that I never wanted to leave. I was blessed enough this year to be a part of the leadership for CYC going by the name of souldiers. It was clever and neat and I was happy with the name. I fell in love with God in my own spiritual way. I went to CYC with a mission to rid myself of any doubt and fear that was in my heart. I am happy to say that ever since weekend was over, I have found my vocation in music and will spread the word of the lord through my music any chance that the lord gives me. I thank all the youth ministers and the Spokane Diocese for this unforgettable experience.”
-Israel Gonzales, Youth, Sacred Heart, Othello
Nearly 400 gathered at Gonzaga Prep for the annual Catholic Youth Celebration and encountered the abundant mercy of God. Mary Bielski, a Midwest girl living and studying in New Orleans, opened the hearts and minds of all in attendance through bold proclamation of the Gospel and heart felt testimony. She set the tone Friday evening by sharing the radical love God our Father has for all humanity. She opened her own story from her youth in which she had made a poor choice that had her father picking her up at the local police station. A quiet car ride ensued with an awkward walk to her room where her dad encountered her in the most merciful way. He asked her to go downstairs to
get a drink of water, and while she stepped out he
proceeded to paint with crimson red paint on her wall, “I love you Mary.” This moment defined how a parent’s love can’t be shaken, and that God’s love is even greater.
~Brian Kraut, Director of Young Adult & Youth Ministry, Catholic Diocese of Spokane
“For me, CYC acts a spring board into the year. It refreshes my faith life through the interaction with the sacraments: reconciliation, mass, and adoration. This CYC, while serving as one of the leadership team's "souldiers," I saw God work through me to touch the hearts of the other high school students. My energy channeled towards making CYC unforgettable demonstrated God's love for them. God works in each of our lives, gracefully prodding each and every one of us to "do something."
-JT McCarthy, Assumption, Spokane