I place this in the Family Life forum because CYO deals with teens, and mostly parents hang out here.
This weekend I spent two days at the CYO Conference in Detroit. Saint Michael’s Media had a vendor booth at the event for the first time this year. I am stunned by some of the things I experienced while I was there, and I’m only posting this to ask if this is charisteristic of CYO events, or if this was unique, since this was my first experience.
First - the theme this year was “Be Him to Others”. The opening prayer of the event included a slide show, supposedly to give examples of others who have been “Him to others”. Every example was secular and civil justice in content. Of all the amazing saints and lay people who have lived and died to “Be Him to Others” - not one single Catholic example was given. They were all racial or feminist examples (MLK Jr., Rosa Park, etc. )
Second - there was a Blessed Sacrament Chapel. In the program there was a full agenda of events, to include a period of learning different ways to pray - “praise and worship style”, taize, and another I can’t recall. And at the bottom of the list it was, as an after thought, “don’t forget the blessed sacrament chapel”. At this event, Jesus in His True Presence seemed to be an after thought. Which leads me to my third comment…
Third - during Mass, there were probably close to 2,000 people, mostly teens. During the entire Mass, from what we could see from where we sat, NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON kneeled (we did, however) at ANY point in the Mass. I cried all through Holy Communion.
So - is this sort of thing the norm? Is CYO really just a social justice organization? What are these teens being taught about their Faith? Not about loving Jesus, and all the warm fuzzy stuff about being your average social justice concerned Christian, but what are they actually learning about being a CATHOLIC, and specifically the True Presence of Christ?
I came away from this event extremely bewildered and so very sad.
Yes, I do plan to write a letter to the organization with these and other concerns. But I’m wondering if those of you here who have been involved with CYO can give me a little more insight into this so I can understand what it was that I experienced this weekend. Because I’m not entirely sure.