November 25, 2011

NCYC gathering was ‘Catholic Church at its best,’ local organizer says

By John Shaughnessy

Kay ScovilleFor two years, Kay Scoville led the archdiocese’s effort to make the National Catholic Youth Conference in Indianapolis a memorable event that would touch the lives and deepen the faith of the 23,000 people in attendance.

When the three-day conference ended on Nov. 19, Scoville was among the people who had their own set of special memories.

One of her best memories was the opening session of the conference on Nov. 17 when the teenagers from across the country poured into Lucas Oil Stadium.

“It was the first time they were all together,” said Scoville, the archdiocese’s director of youth ministry. “Seeing them in all their colorful hats and shirts, it was just beautiful.”

She also recalled the opening and closing Masses of the conference. And she says she will be forever grateful to the 600 volunteers who often worked extra shifts to make the conference run smoothly—a group that included the seminarians of the archdiocese.

Most of her memories focus on the teenagers who attended the conference.

“The youths themselves kept amazing me,” Scoville said. “Their reverence, and the way they were so respectful, patient and joyful. There was one time when the lines for reconciliation were so long—20 to 30 people deep. I tried to open another room for reconciliation, but they said they were fine, that they didn’t mind waiting. They even gave some of the volunteers high-fives and cheers for helping them.”

Such moments made all the hard work and all the long meetings of the past two years worthwhile.

“At the start, you don’t think it’s ever going to come together,” she said. “But when you start seeing things falling into place, you know it’s the grace of God that brings it together.

“The conference truly brought glory to God, and that was the focus. Everybody was connected. It was the Catholic Church at its best.” †


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