Catholic Students Gathering a Success Sault Ste. Marie: The Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie and the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board (HSCDSB) sponsored a Catholic Youth Conference this past weekend which saw students from across the Diocese attend.
The Made for More conference was held at St. Mary’s College (SMC) and featured almost ninety secondary students coming together to reflect on their faith. The main message from the keynote speaker was that God has a plan and purpose for each of them.
“You are not a simple biological event. You are a divine intervention. We were made for more; we are made for love; we are made for God,” said keynote speaker, Ken Yasinski.
Yasinski, a Saskatoon native, had the opportunity to provide inspiration to young Catholics from Sault Ste. Marie, North Bay, Massey, Sudbury, Powassan, St. Joseph Island and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
“Made for More provided me with the opportunity to share with my peers in small groups about how to strengthen my relationship with God. I learned about the difference between believing in God and trusting in God. I would like to thank Ken for inspiring us to live the life God intended for us,” said Sara Hyde, SMC Faith Council President.
“Having the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation was very powerful. It brought me closer to God in a sense that I left feeling healed. Ken spoke about how broken people break people. This stood out for me because you see that every day as a teenager in high school and it makes me want to help those who are feeling broken. It was an amazing day filled with great experiences and I hope it continues year after year,” said SMC student, Emily Rossetto.
The conference organized by Fr. Daniele Muscolino, Assistant Pastor at St. Jerome’s Church, included many volunteers, area clergy, parishioners and teachers.
“Teenagers need an opportunity in their lives to pause and reflect on their value and dignity in this world, which is often downplayed in society,” said Fr. Daniele.
“This conference conveyed the message that God created them to live to their fullest potential, that they already have a worth and value given to them by God, and that God wants to help them through their lives in every situation, in every challenge or difficulty, and to help them know that, no matter what happens in life, God loves us more than we can imagine,” added Fr. Daniele.
“This was a wonderful day that confirmed the partnership that we have nurtured with the Diocese. I am hopeful that we can continue to offer this type of faith-building event for our secondary students,” said HSCDSB Director of Education, Rose Burton Spohn. “Such opportunities can deepen the relationships that our students feel to God, each other, and their parishes.”
Bishop Marcel Damphousse of the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie was also in attendance.
“I am so grateful for the Diocesan Catholic Youth Conference that took place at St. Mary’s College and I’m looking forward to the next one. This is an important time to plant the seed of faith into our youth and to have them understand that, in God’s plan, they are Made for More. The guest speaker, Ken Yasinski, really spoke to their hearts and allowed Jesus Christ to become real for them,” said Bishop Damphousse.
The Diocese hopes to make the Catholic Youth Conference an annual event.