In 2000, when St. John Paul II spoke to a gathering of Catholic youth, he proclaimed a profound reality of our faith:
“It is Jesus you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you… it is He who provokes you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise.”
Jesus is the fulfillment of our every desire. As Alana Almich knelt before the Blessed Sacrament during the Steubenville Rochester Conference this summer, she felt the resounding truth of that reality deep in her soul.
“There is a big Holy Hour during the conference,” Alana says. “During it, the priest processes the host throughout the building. You can literally feel Jesus present there. As I knelt and prayed, I felt as if Jesus was holding my hand and talking to me. And I never wanted Him to let me go! I remember hearing Him tell me ‘I will never let you go.’ Even in my darkest moments, He is there with me.”
This is the second year Alana has attended the Steubenville Youth Conference with our parishes, and she says she has every intention to go again because her experience year after year has been life-changing. She has encountered Jesus and grown closer to her fellow young Catholics at the same time.
Alana first decided to go to the Steubenville Youth Conference two years ago, when Nicole Rillo and her mom, Billie, came into Alana’s Faith Formation class and spoke about the impacts the Steubenville Youth Conferences have had on them.
“They showed a video, and Nicole explained what a good experience the conference was for her,” Alana says. “Their presentation made such an impact on us, that my friend, Anjali Pullan, and I immediately decided we wanted to go! We went the first year and had such a good experience, we knew we wanted to go back. I will go back as many times as I can!”
Indeed, God showed up for Alana and her friends in a big way at Steubenville Rochester. The speakers showed the youth Jesus through their messages, the time they had together bonding over their faith brought the youth of our parish community closer to one another. The Masses and Eucharistic Adoration allowed the youth to encounter Christ in a most profound way. The entire conference is an experience that brings to the forefront the reality of St. John Paul II’s message — it is Jesus who gives us all we desire.
“The first year I went, I remember crying because I was so deeply impacted, particularly during adoration,” Alana says. “The second year, I just felt joy!
I couldn’t stop laughing and smiling, the joy was so profound.”
The joy Alana experienced was Jesus! And He is here for us — not only outside of our ordinary routine at events like the Steubenville Youth Conferences, but He is here for us now, ready to encounter us deep within our souls! Let Him do so. In that, you will find fulfillment beyond your wildest imagination!
And if you are a youth in the Holy Family Area, we invite you to consider joining us for Steubenville Rochester next year.
“Come!” Alana says. “You may think it is boring to go to a church camp, but this is so much fun! The music is great. The speakers are on fire and funny and engaging. You will grow in your faith and you will grow closer to your friends.”
To find out more or to register for the next Steubenville Youth Conference,
please contact Ann Voller at 320-226-5205 or email@example.com