By Mark Erdosy, Director of San Damiano Scholars Program for Church Leadership
Marian University is taking a major leadership role as a Diamond Level sponsor
for the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) which will be hosted by the
Archdiocese of Indianapolis at the Indianapolis Convention Center and Lucas Oil
Stadium, November 19-21, 2015.
The NCYC is the largest national gathering of Catholic high school youth in the
country. Close to 25,000 high school students, youth ministers, chaperones,
bishops, priests, and youth serving organizations attend NCYC. The young Church
gathers for liturgy, prayers, adoration, reconciliation, workshops, and singing. This
year’s theme is Here I am Lord/Aquí Estoy Señor.
Since 2011, Marian University has sponsored the NCYC youth animators program.
During this three-day camp, more than 100 highly talented and enthusiastic high
school students learn music and choreography while praying and worshipping
together. Members of our San Damiano Scholars Program for Church Leadership
led prayer services and liturgies for the youth animators during their stay on campus
The National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry selects youth animators based
on their singing, dancing, artistic, and theatrical abilities. The animators provide a
leadership role during NCYC general sessions. They lead music, worship, and have
significant speaking and acting roles during the opening and closing sessions
Members of the San Damiano Scholars Program also help plan the prayer services
for the youth animators. This gives the San Dams an opportunity to meet and work
with high school students who may one day be Marian University students. Marian
University also maintains a large presence throughout the event in the exhibitor hall
and as workshop presenters. In 2013, more than 40 students, including Bishop
Simon Bruté College seminarians, faculty, staff, and administrators, volunteered in
the exhibitor hall and throughout the event.
Several students have decided to attend Marian University based on their positive
experiences of the youth animator camp. The atmosphere in Lucas Oil Stadium is
electric at the opening session, but even more so at the closing Mass.
During San Damiano Scholar interviews, it has become commonplace for
prospective students to talk about the impact NCYC had on their faith lives.
Participants repeatedly share that being united in Christ with 25,000 kids the same
age for the closing ceremony in Lucas Oil Stadium is an awesome experience.