PALISADE – Members of the Grant Deanery Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) held a spaghetti dinner Feb. 19 at Holy Family Parish in Palisade.
The event was a fundraiser for the students to attend the Steubenville of the Rockies conference in Denver this summer. The conference is the Archdiocese of Denver’s 20th annual event. More than 2,500 young people are expected to attend to hear speakers and musicians, and to participate in dynamic Eucharistic liturgies.
At Holy Family Parish, the Altar Society hosts a dinner the third Sunday of each month. On this Sunday, the Altar Society agreed to let the CYO members host a dinner so they could raise money for the trip.
Katie Dubas, director of youth activities for the nine parishes in the Grant Deanery, said there are 28 young people and 10 adults registered for the trip to the conference, and they have even started a waiting list.
A group from St. Patrick Parish in Imperial has made the trip to the conference for many years. Since coming to work in the deanery last year, Dubas took over organization of the trip and opened it up to all the parishes in the deanery. Last year she coordinated a trip for 41 people from the Grant Deanery, and 39 from Holdrege.
“This annual conference is a great way to energize our Catholic youth,” Dubas said. “Hearts can’t help but be touched by the vibrant keynote talks, reverent prayer times of reconciliation, Eucharistic Adoration and Mass.”
She said the experience is often the first their youth have had gathering with more than 2,500 Catholic young people.
“It’s a mountain-top experience,” she said. “After the conference is done, it is good to reflect back and remember those moments of grace where the power of the Holy Spirit was tangible. These moments console us ... when the road gets difficult and it’s not easy to go against the flow of the secular culture.
“I think we get a little bit stronger and more mature in our discipleship with each Steubenville conference we attend, and that is why I so strongly promote this conference, as well as retreats and mission trips,” she added.
Something new for the trip this year is that two Marian Sisters will accompany the group – Sister Serena Deters and Sister Joan Kolbe.
“We are excited to have our youth get to know these wonderful sisters and help our youth realize that the religious life is a beautiful vocation,” Dubas said. “Since we do not have any Catholic schools in the Grant Deanery, the exposure to religious sisters is very limited.”
The deanery is also raising funds for the Marian Sisters’ registration and housing fees, and Dubas said the remaining total needed is $500.
Anyone who might like to donate toward the Sisters’ portion could mail a check to: Grant Deanery Youth; PO Box 536; Grant, NE 69140-0536. Any surplus donations will be used toward scholarships for youth in need.