While children, teens, and parents each had their own programs, concerts and interactive workshops, SCRC 2016 included a conference track for young adults—a full day of speakers, activities, and worship for those in their college years, 20s and early 30s.
“This is my fifth year attending SCRC, and my second year attending the Young Adult track. There’s something that always pulls me back to this convention,” shared Arielle Yambao, from Corpus Christi Church in Corona. “Probably the Holy Spirit. It calls and invites me to an even deeper relationship with God, and to fellowship with other young adult Catholics. We’re all going through the same journey, but many different paths…different ages and different stages.”
The full-day program on Saturday, September 3rd included praise and worship, group discussions, skits, and several talks related to discovering God’s presence and mercy.
Young adults as far as Oxnard, Sylmar, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino, and throughout the Diocese of Orange came to participate in the ongoing conference.
“We are here because we aren’t looking for happiness, but true joy. Happiness depends on circumstances, but joy does not. You can find joy in some of the darkest places on this planet,” shared Marianne Dyogi during her opening talk, “Turning the Struggles of Love Into the Joys of Love.”
“Jesus calls us to immerse ourselves into His ocean of mercy,” Dyogi continued.
Other compelling speakers throughout the day were Dr. Cynthia Hunt, Charismatic Renewal priest Fr. Jerry Thompson, newly-ordained priest Fr. Ethan Southard, and young adult speaker Mike Manhardt. Topics included relationships, living Christ-centered lives, spiritual discernment, and putting merciful love into action.
Young adult minister Jerome Resurreccion shared his testimony about practicing the spiritual works of mercy to non-Catholics in a loving, merciful way. “Admonish the sinner, just by being light,” he said.
The day-long event also incorporated a powerful praise and worship healing activity, with music led by the El Shaddai young adult band. All were invited to lay their sins—represented by sticky red tape—on the Crucifix.
“It’s exciting for me anytime there’s an opportunity for people to experience God in this unique way,” shared Chentel Tabbada, from St. Pius V parish in Buena Park.
Tabbada is a part of Flock, a charismatic young adult group based in Saint Anne Church in Santa Ana, which focuses on charismatic prayer meetings and events. The Flock core team, along with several priests and spiritual advisors, helped to organize the young adult track at SCRC.
“Evangelization doesn’t happen only within the four walls of the church,” shared speaker Michael Manhardt, one of the creators of the “Mercy in Motion” movement based off of Pope Francis and the corporal works of mercy. “Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He IS mercy and compassion, so we are supposed to be compassionate and merciful.”
The day ended with Mass in the arena, presided by Fr. Michael Barry; Eucharistic procession around the convention center, and a powerful healing service / adoration with the Blessed Sacrament.
“The procession we had with the [Eucharist] was my favorite part of the weekend. The intimacy we were able to share with passersby left me in awe of the work Christ is doing in the world today,” said Maria Ramirez from Corpus Christi in Corona.
Many young adults agreed; processing through the streets with a line of priests, adults and young adults, and the exposed Blessed Sacrament had an impact.
Finished Tabbada, “I believe the Charismatic Renewal can be a sort of hidden gem in the Catholic Church waiting to be discovered and unleashed.”