January first through the fifth of this New Year I went to the FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) conference with the Holy Cross Vocations Office. The six of us who went to the SEEK2015 conference were there primarily to run a table, and engage students at the conference in conversations about Holy Cross, religious life, Christian education, and God's call in their lives. Along the way we also went to many dynamic Catholic speakers, as well as daily Mass with all 10,000 participants at our conference.
The conference was, as the number of participants might suggest, massive. There were so many Catholic college students from Catholic schools, private schools, and state schools alike, all there striving to live a good life and follow Jesus Christ. The energy that they all had was contagious and it spread to other who were staying in the same hotel but were not involved in the conference. Social media was proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ at the hands of 10,000 young people. The conference was a wonderfully chaotic and inspirational experience of the vitality of the Church.
The Second thing that I was inspired by was that the conference began this year on the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. This conference, entitled "SEEK" was opened with a Mass celebrating the Blessed Virgin Mary's important role in our salvation. But, in a world where seeking love, faith, and hope is so often a frantic and overly active whirlwind of desire, Our Lady reminds us of a often overlooked aspect of our seeking. In the gospel for that Solemnity, St. Luke reminds us that after Jesus' birth, "Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart."
In the midst of all the excitement and joy of our savior's birth, Mary his Mother took time to reflect and ponder all that God was doing in and for her. This was an apt opening sentiment for the conference, especially one which encouraged these young Catholic men and women to seek for God. With so many groups asking these faithful young people to consider if they are called to serve their dioceses, various religious orders, or other lay ministry opportunities, we all needed to cultivate a quiet heart which considers God's Providence in our lives.
Proclaiming the gospel in social media is wonderful, as are gigantic conferences of Catholic youth who offer their witnesses and support to one another. In the craziness and busyness of all the wonderful things life has to offer us, we nevertheless need quiet and prayer, to grow in our relationship with the God we proclaim.
The SEEK Conference was a wonderful opportunity to be a visible witness to life in Holy Cross, and to invite other young people to seek the Lord's will in their lives. Whether someone is discerning religious life, priesthood, consecrated life, marriage, or the single life, it is important that they look to our mother, Mary, and learn to ponder what the Lord has been doing in their lives. Then, they can be free to answer Jesus' call, confident that His Providential care, His mercy, and His love, will never fail them.
Mr. Joseph Krivos is a Postulant at Moreau Seminary, after having spent three years at Old College. Joe is entering his senior year at Notre Dame where he majors in Philosophy and Theology. He is from North Olmsted, Ohio.