November 24, 2023

National Catholic Youth Conference 2023

Young people, religious embrace devotion to Blessed Mother through the rosary

Abraham Wolf of the Diocese of Erie, Pa., prays the rosary on Nov. 17 inside the chapel at the Indiana Convention Center. (Photo by Mike Krokos)

Abraham Wolf of the Diocese of Erie, Pa., prays the rosary on Nov. 17 inside the chapel at the Indiana Convention Center. (Photo by Mike Krokos)

By Mike Krokos

At 6 feet 5 inches tall, Abraham Wolf towered over the majority of the nearly 12,000 young people who participated in the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) in Indianapolis.

But his height advantage was not as evident as he knelt in prayerful reverence in front of a monstrance inside the chapel at the Indiana Convention Center on Nov. 17 as he took part in a recitation of the rosary.

A high school senior from the Diocese of Erie, Pa., Abraham was among a group that took part in praying a rosary led by members of various religious orders. Like many others there, he made it a point to include prayers to the Blessed Mother during his time at NCYC.

“The rosary is very important to me to ask for the intercession of our Mother Mary, and to truly honor her, and to pray,” Abraham said. “Praying is the biggest thing that we can do, to communicate with God, to communicate with Mary, to communicate with all the saints. It’s a huge thing.”

While Abraham admitted up to that point he did not have any favorite NCYC moment, he said being part of a group praying the rosary together “was truly amazing.”

“It’s been a little while since I’ve done a group rosary that big, and it’s always great to just be in the same moment as everybody else, doing the same prayer.”

When he attends Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pa., next fall, Abraham said he plans to double major in political science and philosophy, then God willing, transition to a seminary to begin formation for the priesthood.

“I know this [NCYC] experience will truly light my faith on fire again, even though it has already been on fire,” he said. “It will be further engulfed in flames, even brighter, better than ever.”

Abraham said he has always felt called to teach. But as he has prayed more and more on his faith journey, he has slowly realized he is “meant to teach the word of God.”

“It’s become an overwhelming feeling upon me, that that’s my call, to teach the word of God, to spread the love of God to everybody, to bring people closer to God.”

Sister Emily Beata, a member of the Daughters of St. Paul, led the first decade of the sorrowful mysteries that day for vocations.

“I thought it was beautiful the number of people that came, and the variety of people, too,” she said. “There were some religious there to pray with us, and a number of young people. There were also chaperones and priests who are here [attending NCYC].”

Like so many others who recited the rosary that day, Sister Emily said she and the members of her order have a special devotion to the Blessed Mother.

“For us, Mary is the model of our mission … to give Jesus to the world through the media,” she noted. “Her whole life was about giving Jesus to the world, so we look to her a lot for that, and for how to be close to Jesus.”

When asked about the message she wants young people attending NCYC to take home, Sister Emily said,

“It’s a big, exciting weekend with a lot going on, and you’re here with your family and friends. … I really hope they take home the sense that God wants to walk with them in their daily life, that he’s not separate from what they’re going through, from what they’re living, that he’s right next to them, that he’s walking with them.” †

Read more stories from our 2023 NCYC Supplement

Local site Links: