November 26, 2021

National Catholic Youth Conference 2021

Wacky hats still reign at NCYC, but messages show the heart of youths’ faith

Youths used messages on T-shirts and sweatshirts to show their Catholic faith, including their support for pro-life concerns. (Photo by John Shaughnessy)

Youths used messages on T-shirts and sweatshirts to show their Catholic faith, including their support for pro-life concerns. (Photo by John Shaughnessy)

By John Shaughnessy

Masks were required at the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) in Indianapolis, but wacky hats still reigned on Nov. 18-20, adding an extra touch of joy that has always marked this celebration of the young Church.

Once again, there were youths donning racecar hats, cowboy hats and brightly-colored umbrella hats. Maybe the best were the KFC red-and-white-striped bucket hats proudly worn by the group from Church of the Annunciation Parish in Shelbyville, Ky.—a tip of their hat to Harlan Sanders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken who once lived in their community.

While the colorful hats proclaim fun, another part of the youths’ attire reveals the heart of how they embrace and live their Catholic faith. That more serious side is displayed in the messages that appear on some of the T-shirts and sweatshirts they wear. Here’s a sampling from this year’s conference:

“Faith does not make things easy. It makes them possible.”

“Be who God meant you to be and set the world on fire.”

“All I need is a little bit of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus.”

“Nunc Coepi,” (the translation of this Latin phrase means “Now I begin.”)

“Comfort Like Veronica”

“Lead Like Joan”

“Accept Like Mary”

“As iron sharpens iron, one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17”

“I am the pro-life generation”

“Be not afraid”

“Child of God”

“Church is not just something you go to. It’s a family you belong to.”

“Child of God”

“Blessed.” †

 

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