|Diocese of Rockville Centre to Host Youth 2000 Retreat|
Bishop Murphy to Celebrate Mass During Weekend of Devotion, Spirituality, Friendship and Fun
ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NEW YORK, July 11, 2007—The Office of New Evangelization of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, along with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal and Youth 2000 NY, will host a Youth 2000 prayer festival centered on the Holy Mass and eucharistic adoration from Friday, July 20 to Sunday, July 22 at Kellenberg Memorial High School, Uniondale, N.Y. Catholics between the ages of 15 and 30 from the eight dioceses of New York are invited to celebrate this year’s theme: “The Sacrament of Love.”
The Most Reverend William Murphy, Bishop, Diocese of Rockville Centre, will celebrate Mass on Sunday, the last day of the retreat.
The retreat focuses on the basics of the Catholic faith, said Tom Smith, coordinator of the diocesan Youth Ministry Apostolate.
“Even though it is simple, it is at the same time both profound and mysterious,” Smith said. “The unity expressed in thousands of young people all over the world praying to be renewed and to reform our culture is very powerful.”
Youth 2000 is an international weekend prayer experience that began in response to Pope John Paul II’s 1989 call for a decade of evangelization of young people. The first festival was held in 1990 in Bosnia-Herzegovina and attracted 7,000 people. It came to the United States in 1992 and New York in 1993.
Youth 2000 retreats in New York attract about 200 participants, while the annual major event generally attracts more than 600 participants, according to Angela Scannapieco, spokeswoman for Youth 2000 NY.
She said part of the event’s appeal for youth is the honesty that infiltrates every aspect of the weekend.
“We don’t try to entertain them,” Scannapieco said. “They’re coming for the truth.”
The truth is found through a marathon of praying the Rosary, Holy Mass, three days of eucharistic adoration, live Christian rock music, talks on morality and faith, discussions and newly forged friendships.
“It is young and lively, and grips the attention of all who attend,” Smith said. “Many people think wrongly that teens can’t pray or can’t be quiet. I am encouraged in my own faith by their example.”
Past speakers have included Mother Agnes Donovan, SV; Pam Stenvel, a chastity speaker; and the late John Cardinal O’Connor, Archbishop of New York.
Diocese of Rockville Centre speakers at this year’s festival will include Bishop William Murphy and Msgr. James McDonald, the rector of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Huntington, N.Y. Speakers from the Diocese of Brooklyn will include Bishop Frank Caggiano and Nigerian Father Anthony Ozele, who will speak about love for the Eucharist and appreciation of God’s mercy.
Joseph Campbell, director of Grassroots Films, will deliver a speech entitled “Know Christ and Make Him Known to Others” and keynote speaker Father Bernard Murphy, CFR, will speak about “The Sacrificial Lamb Who Brings True Freedom.”
The Eucharistic processions are known to leave a lasting impact on Youth 2000 participants. After hearing the story of the hemorrhaging woman who was healed after touching the edge of Jesus’ cloak, each young person is invited to touch the edge of a cloth wrapped around the base of the monstrance. At another point during the weekend, participants will process by candlelight across the Meadowbrook Parkway.
“It’s very meaningful for them because it’s something they can really see,” Scannapieco said.
Registration is open through July 17 and the cost is $120 per participant.
For more information, contact Tom Smith, coordinator of the Youth Ministry Apostolate of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, at 516-678-5800 ext. 615; or visit www.youth2000ny.com
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