The skies outside might have been cloudy and dark, with a threat of rain, but inside Saint Francis High School “The Journey” was taking place for more than 1,000 youth and young adults at the Diocese of San Jose Confirmation Conference.
Sponsored by the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, Office of Hispanic Apostolate and the Office of Faith Formation, the theme for the third annual conference was “The Journey.” Here is a description:
“Always remember this: life is a journey. It is a path, a journey to meet Jesus. At the end, and forever. A journey in which we do not encounter Jesus is not a Christian journey. It is for the Christian to continually encounter Jesus, to watch him, to let himself be watched over by Jesus, because Jesus watches us with love; he loves us so much…and he is always watching over us. To encounter Jesus also means allowing oneself to be gazed upon by him.” – Pope Francis
“Jesus is with us on the journey. He is found in every person we meet, every trial we endure, and every joy we celebrate. He is there to walk with us, to cry with us, and to love us through and through. It is this journey with Jesus that leads to the fulfillment of our deepest desires. This encounter with Christ unveils our truest identity as beloved sons and daughters of the Father. In this walk with Him, we recognize that God does not love by default; rather, He loves you uniquely, particularly, and singularly. He has called you by name and has chosen you for a purpose beyond telling. The journey to God is therefore the journey to our vocation. The vocation which impels us to safeguard and nourish the great faith we’ve been bestowed. It is the encounter that leaves our hearts burning with the love that cannot be extinguished.”
Organizers viewed this as an opportunity to show the youth the greater Church community and remind them that they have been called, through their baptism, to live as Disciples of Christ Jesus. In addition, they envisioned a conference that can strengthen and empower their resolve to embrace this sacrament of Confirmation; thus, challenging them to make their faith come alive. It is also an opportunity for the youth to be with Diocese of San Jose Bishop Patrick J. McGrath, who celebrated the afternoon liturgy.
The keynote for the conference was dynamic musical performer, an inspiring speaker, and an expert retreat leader, Joe Melendez.