.- The 2009 National Catholic Youth Conference expects 20,000 teenagers Nov. 19-21 in Kansas City for its gathering, which is based on the theme “Christ Reigns.” While 600 adults have volunteered, conference leaders are calling for 400 more.
Participants will have many opportunities to pray, to go to confession, to recite the Rosary, and to have a “labyrinth” experience. The event also features a multitude of workshops for youth and for youth leaders.
Archbishop of Houston Cardinal Daniel DiNardo will lead a Eucharistic Procession between the convention center and the Sprint Center arena.
The Catholic Key reported that volunteers represent a broad cross-section of the church in both the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri.
“We have a lot of college students from Benedictine, Rockhurst and Avila who went to a conference before, or who missed out and want to be part of it now, and we’ve got lots of people in their 60s, 70s, and even their 80s,” said Ernie Boehner, a member of Holy Trinity Parish in Lenexa, Kansas who is handling adult volunteer recruitment and training for the event.
“Every single job is valuable,” Boehner said. “We’ll be there to support the teenagers and help them become closer to Christ.”
He called for more volunteers who have been certified in the “Protecting God’s Children” child abuse prevention and education program.
“This will impact on their decisions and life choices for the rest of their lives,” he added. “It sends chills up your spine when these kids get excited about their faith.”
The conference website, which provides information both for attendees and for volunteers, is at http://ncyc.nfcym.org