Kay Berg, of St. Mary’s Parish in Tomahawk, prays with and over teens during the conference, a moment she said she will never forget. (Submitted photo)

Jenny Snarski
Catholic Herald Staff

More than 80 teens and adults from across the Diocese of Superior traveled to the National Catholic Youth Conference from Nov. 21-23 in Indianapolis.

Eighty-four people attended from parishes in Tomahawk, Merrill, Hudson, New Richmond, Rice Lake, Barron and Cameron.

“Blessed, Broken, Given” was the theme for the bi-annual conference, where more than 22,000 youth and adults gathered.

For Diocese of Superior Associate Director of Catholic Formation Chris Hurtubise, it was the third time he has been there, and he said it was “far and away my favorite.”

“Getting better and better each time,” Hurtubise said the headlining speakers were “absolutely incredible.” They included Sister of Life Sr. Bethany Madonna, Rwandan genocide survivor Immaculée Ilibagiza, Sr. Miriam James Heidlund and LifeTeen’s Mark Hart.

“There were tons of great conversations and bonding time with teens and chaperones,” Hurtubise shared.
Kay Berg, coordinator of religious education and youth minister for St. Mary’s in Tomahawk, has accompanied youths to NCYC since 2003. This was her eighth conference; she only missed the 2009 conference in Kansas City.

Her favorite moment from this year’s event: “Praying over our youth is a privilege and a moment that was very emotional for me,” Berg said.

“It is an opportunity to affirm them to God and say things through the voice of prayer that, as a youth minister, I don’t always get the chance to say to them out loud one on one.

“God opened my heart and the prayers just flowed,” she affirmed.

Then the youth prayed over her, which was “so powerful and so amazing.” Berg said she could feel every prayer.

In a message received from Pope Francis for the occasion of the conference, youth were encouraged to “Go and fill the places you live, even the digital ones … to bear witness to the tenderness and the mercy of Jesus.”