Youth, chaperones give NCYC high marks

December 15, 2021

Youth from Holy Rosary Parish in Glenwood

Maria Haas, of Ss. John and Paul Parish in Altoona, chaperoned 14 teenagers at the National Catholic Youth Conference in Indianapolis in November, a fun experience given she first attended as a teen herself.

“It brought me to life seeing the teens so excited as the Holy Spirit sparked flames of love for Jesus in their hearts,” she said “Since returning, the teens haven’t stopped talking about how much they loved NCYC and are very eager for another opportunity to pilgrimage and grow in their faith.”

Youth from across the Diocese of Des Moines made the trip to NCYC to worship, learn and grow in their relationship with God.

“I was going through the motions of being a good Catholic but NCYC has completely changed my perspective on my faith. I feel like I have a much deeper connection and better understanding of what it means to be a Catholic and I’m so grateful for this opportunity,” said one youth from Ss. John and Paul Parish.

Rossalyne Johansen, of Holy Rosary Parish in Glenwood, said she’d love to go again. “I learned a lot from there and I definitely got closer to God and that came home with me,” she said.

Her father, chaperone Eric Johansen, said 14 kids from their parish enjoyed the trip. “It’s a very unique, energizing experience,” he said.

Since returning home, “I’ve definitely seen more of a commitment,” he said.

Laura Hansen, of Sacred Heart Parish in Woodbine, enjoyed watching the youth she chaperoned realize that “life isn’t just about them. It’s a bigger picture, being surrounded by that many Catholic individuals.”

One of her students, John, said, “My heart felt ablaze during the songs. You could feel everyone’s energy singing and dancing to songs for Jesus. Hearing the words and feeling the energy lit a fire in my heart. I hope to carry that fire throughout the next year.”