Cardinal Collins blesses the LEAD volunteers as they each give the gifts to him. Photo by Jean Ko Din

Praising God unashamedly

By  Bianca Reátegui, Youth Speak News
  • August 9, 2015

The last day of Steubenville Toronto focused on translating all the things Steubenville participants had learned throughout the event into their daily lives. It was a theme that permeated all of the day’s proceedings.

In his talk “Limitless Life,” Fr. Chris Martin reminded us of the power of the Holy Spirit to make saints out of us all. Host and speaker Chris Stefanick emphasized that holiness is not just “one glorious moment." He encouraged us to lead holy lives every day and leave the conference with a mission of evangelization. God will provide us with all the strength we need to spread the Good News.

It was amazing, the atmosphere at Steubenville. I had never participated in anything like it. With arms raised to Heaven, Steubenville participants would sing, dance and clap in unison. They were unashamedly praising God. These youth were open about their faith and excited to live it out, and that’s something that is scarce in our society.

In front of me, there was a Franciscan LEAD member who kept his arms open in front of him, open to receiving the Holy Spirit. He unashamedly sang, “Holy Spirit, you are welcome here,” and moved energetically to the worship music. It was a striking example of radical faith.

Near the end of the conference, the ministry team invited any audience members who felt called to the priesthood or the religious life to stand up and receive a blessing from Cardinal Thomas Collins. The people who answered the invitation were met with huge applause from the crowd. In a world where vocations can be scarce, the participants’ support for these youth was moving.

I’ll admit that I got kind of embarrassingly emotional at some parts of the weekend, but it was more than worth it. The entire weekend reminded me that God is infinite, unrestricted by our ideas of Him. He is truly, and overwhelmingly, limitless.

(Reátegui, 17, graduated from Holy Name of Mary C.S.S. in Brampton, Ont.)

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