Members of the Newman University admissions team had the pleasure of attending the National Catholic Youth Convention (NCYC) Nov. 21-23 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The team expressed that it was a magical experience for both those who have previously attended and for those who experienced it for the first time.
Admissions Counselor Macey Neal — who was a first-time attendee — conveyed her amazement at how large the event was.
“It was like nothing I have experienced before. There were probably 20,000 people there during the conference.”
Georgia Drewes, associate director of admissions for enrollment, added, “Between 20,000 and 25,000 people attend. They (organizers) have a Mass in Lucas Oil Stadium, where the (Indianapolis) Colts play, which is right down the street, and they have to because there’s no other place in town that can hold that many people for Mass.”
Beyond the sheer attendance volume of NCYC, Drewes spoke highly of its atmosphere.
“It’s a lot of work, but I love the vibe of the conference; everybody there is super chill and happy. Even when we downloaded our online inquiries from the form they filled out on the iPad, the notes section (was filled with) things like ‘God loves you’ and ‘thank you for doing this.’ It’s the kind of stuff that reinvigorates you and affirms what you’re doing in your job.”
This year, the team delighted in bringing people together for a charitable cause, having a booth dedicated to service work.
Admissions Digital Marketing Manager Geoff Louvar described what the service work entailed.
“St. Elizabeth Catholic Charities is a group in Indianapolis that provides supplies to homeless women and young women who are becoming mothers that don’t have money. We had a pretty large area blocked off where students could come up and paint canvas bags. Teaming up with (this) charity was really cool.”
Within a truly surreal atmosphere, surrounded by acts of faith and charity, students also had the opportunity to get connected with Catholic universities.
Louvar said, “Catholic students from all over the country came to this convention. We had a booth to promote the university, to tell students about Newman, about our Catholic identity.”
Neal also commented on the representation of Newman, saying, “It’s fun, and it’s good exposure. A lot of people hadn’t heard of Newman before, but they really enjoyed coming and meeting us and hanging out in our booth.”
In an official email from the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry, the organization gave its gratitude and closing thoughts: “We were overjoyed to witness Christ moving within the hearts of NCYC pilgrims, young and old — from the special message from Pope Francis in the opening session to the profoundly reverent adoration on Friday, closing Mass celebrated by Archbishop Thompson of Indianapolis, and everything in between — it is apparent that Christ Is Alive (¡Viva Cristo Rey!) and was present at the 2019 NCYC.”