South Jersey youth to participate in national youth conference


For almost 30 years, the Diocese of Camden’s youth, young adults and their leaders have participated in the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC), encountering Christ and his church and being empowered for missionary discipleship.

Next week, this tradition continues, as more than 120 pilgrims from 10 parish communities in South Jersey will board busses for the 12-hour trek to Indianapolis, Indiana.

“This can build a foundation for the young church,” says Father Edward Friel, pastor of Pennsauken’s Mary, Queen of All Saints Parish, who was part of the diocese’s first contingent to NCYC in 1991, and has continued ever since.

“Youth see the church in a bigger picture, see the diversity of Catholic youth, and are challenged by voices that they don’t hear anywhere else,” he said.

The Nov. 21-23 gathering, at the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium, will include Katie Prejean McGrady and Father Augustino Torres, CFR, serving as conference emcees; keynotes from national speakers Immaculee Ilibagiza and Mark Hart; and joyful music from such recording artists as For King and Country. Eucharistic liturgies, workshops, time for confession and adoration, and opportunities for service are also planned for youth at NCYC.

“This pilgrimage will allow the young people to come together with others who have the same questions they do, wonder the same things they wonder about, and feel the same way they do,” noted Jose Rodriguez, coordinator of Youth, Young Adult and Campus Ministries for the diocese.

For those unable to attend, there will be a livestream of keynotes and liturgies from Indianapolis, at