S+L logo

Jesus, University Students and a New Year

January 2, 2009
It's a fair question: why would 600 students spend five days of their Christmas break at an religious conference? And just what attracted three archbishops, along with many priests? What could be newsworthy here to merit the attention of our Salt + Light cameras?
As tipsy revelers filled Toronto's Nathan Phillips Square, a different kind of celebration was occurring one block away in the Marriott Hotel. There, college-aged Catholics were singing praises to God at the Rise Up conference, organized by an evangelistic university student movement called Catholic Christian Outreach.
The main draw, in my estimation, was the students' fresh, joyful spirituality. For those of us who have long since completed our education, there's something recognizable in their witness. They resemble you and I, perhaps many years removed, not long after we first welcomed Jesus into our lives...
cco-2.jpgDo you remember? It was when you recklessly invited God's will--heartaches, uncertainties and all--conscious that you and Jesus were embarking on a momentous adventure. You still believed people could change, so you saw your aggressors as souls in need of healing and mercy, rather than obstacles in your way. You were unaware of ideological factions in your parish, or at least you knew then that such political concerns were less important than the higher cause of worship that brought you together. You were convinced that good deeds done for the Lord should always, always be commended.
This thoughtful, faithful group of students made me wonder how and when I began to regard such ideals as unattainable and naive. As the praise & worship band rung in the new year, I longed to rediscover the holy high principles of these commendable youth.

Related posts

World Day of the Poor on S+L
This Sunday is the 2nd World Day of the Poor. Watch this exclusive video with the president of Chalice and check out S+L's TV lineup. ...read more
Pope Francis’ Homily at Mass for World Day of the Poor
Read full text of Pope Francis' Homily at Mass for World Day of the Poor. ...read more
Which Bible Is Right For Me?
Celebrate National Bible Week by finding the Bible translation or version that's right for your needs. ...read more
SLHour: From Mountains High!
Remember all those great church songs of the 70’s and 80’s? This week we speak with Ken Canedo about contemporary Catholic music from 1979 to 1985. ...read more
Deacon-structing Doctrine part 1: Doctrine vs. Dogma
In January 2016 I wrote this post: Deacon-structing Mercy: Doctrine and someone sent me a comment. I had said something about the permanency of doctrine and that person was challenging my use of the w ...read more
The Virgin Mary floating down a street in the Canary Islands and Pope Francis above a door in Cologne? Check out the Weekly News Round-Up. ...read more