SCJs join over 26,000 at National Catholic Youth Conference

Br. Ray Kozuch and Br. Long Nguyen joined over 26,000 people at the National Catholic Youth Conference November 17-19. Held in Indianapolis, Ind., the conference, titled “Called to Glory” included over 23,000 youth.

The National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) is a biennial three-day experience of prayer, community and empowerment for Catholic teens and their adult chaperones. The schedule includes keynote addresses, workshops, recreation, concerts, exhibits, and opportunities for liturgy, reconciliation and prayer.

Br. Ray Kozuch, SCJ, province vocation director

“One of the opportunities presented was Vocation Village where about 70 religious communities were available to meet with young people,” said Br. Ray, province director of vocations. He and Br. Long represented Vocation Central and the Priests of the Sacred Heart at the conference. “It was an opportunity to share what religious life is about and to simply talk to young people about a variety of issues.”

NCYC is open to high school age young people and their chaperones. Most participants are Catholic. Many youth participants are leaders in their local parishes, schools and/or dioceses, though many are just beginning to connect to their faith. Some attendees may have participated in previous national or international events such as the World Youth Day. However, for many it is their first time at such a gathering. NCYC is sponsored by the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry.

“Both of us felt that it was well worth the many hours of walking with and talking to young people, as well as handing out small gifts that might get some teens thinking outside of their day to day experience of Church,” said Br. Ray.

“If nothing else, thousands of items marked with the SCJs’ vocation office information fell into the hands of young people, parents, teachers and even other religious,” he added.

The next NCYC will be in Indianapolis November 21-23, 2013.

Do you have a question about religious life and/or the priesthood? Do you know someone who may be discerning a vocation? Contact Vocation Central at or call 800-609-5559.