Enthusiasm, energy mark closing Mass at Catholic youth conference
Published: November 2, 2005
ATLANTA (CNS) -- Thousands of Catholic teenagers, many wearing T-shirts with slogans such as "Discover Jesus" and "i pray," sprinted through stadium aisles Oct. 29 to claim front-row seats -- not for a football game, hockey game or concert, but for Mass. More than 16,500 teens from across the United States gathered at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta to conclude the 2005 National Catholic Youth Conference. The Oct. 27-29 event, packed with guest speakers, workshops and presentations to enrich their faith, allowed young Catholics to experience with their peers the diversity and support of the broader church community. The closing liturgy really "brought the Mass to life," said Rebecca Schmitt, 16, from the Diocese of Belleville, Ill. "There was so much energy, even in the quiet moments." Youths waved colorful kites on long poles, liturgical dancers filled the air with incense and the conference's youth choir sang "Come Holy Spirit, send down your fire," as more than 120 priests and deacons and 15 bishops, including the main celebrant, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Atlanta, entered.
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