NOLA WORLD YOUTH DAY
On Sunday, October 26th the Archdiocese of New Orleans observed the annual World Youth Day celebrations with a youth rally at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Archbishop Gregory Aymond was present the entire day with the young people over 2,000 strong in attendance. The theme for the day was God’s Love: Compassion in Action.
Archbishop Shaw had about 15 students present , most with their local church youth groups as well as a small contingent with Bro. Jerry. St. John Bosco Church in Harvey had a good size group in attendance and had the occasion to have Archbishop Aymond stop by their table to have lunch with them.
The program began with a series of introductions and skits from the Teen Cross group. Teen Cross is the archdiocesan youth council. Archbishop Shaw has 3 members on this council.
The keynote speaker for the day was Mike Patin. Mr. Patin was a former archdiocesan director of youth and young adult ministry for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. He is now on the national circuit speaking to groups around the country and in Canada. Mike has spoken before the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA), The National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) and the Los Angeles Religious Education Conference among other groups. In 2006 Mike received the National Catholic Youth Ministry Award for his work in youth ministry.
After lunch the high school students had the opportunity to attend two workshop sessions. A room was set aside also for Exposition and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and priests were available through the afternoon for confessions.
The day concluded with Mass celebrated by the Archbishop assisted by 6 concelebrants and the archdiocesan seminarians and Teen Cross members. After Mass a special word of thanks and a gift were presented to Mr. John Smestad, the archdiocesan director for youth and young adults. This was his 10th year as archdiocesan director and his 20 year of involvement with the World Youth Day conference. In January John becomes the executive director for pastoral planning and implementation, working closely with the Archbishop to oversee the implementation of the plans that will develop from the Archdiocesan Synod now underway.