by Ms. Maria Centanni, Director School Ministry at Nativity Prep
Twelve of 20 of our graduates from this past spring, the Class of 2013, attended the annual Steubenville San Diego weekend on July 27th to the 29th. With the help of a generous donation (along with plenty of candy sales!), our graduates had the privilege of joining over 1,000 high school students across the country for a weekend of prayer and reflection.
The conference was run by All for God Catholic Youth Ministries and by the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, and was hosted at the University of San Diego.
Nativity students from the Class of 2012 and their teachers pose for a group picture at the Steubenville Conference at USD in July.
Students got a taste of how other high school students make their faith “cool.” They joined other youth groups from around the country in song. They learned to do different hand motions to songs by Ike Ndolo, Jackie Francois, and other Catholic artists. They split into small groups for discussions after keynote speakers.
Rising 9th grader Angelica Vera’s favorite part of the conference were the two Masses, one celebrated by Father Michael Schmitz from Minnesota, and the other celebrated by San Diego’s own recently-appointed bishop, Bishop Cirilo Flores. Receiving the sacrament of Eucharist with so many students that will join our graduates in high school was really special. Nativity graduates Jonathan Martinez and Daviana Navarro were touched by the amount of people joined together in prayer.
Students also received the sacrament of Reconciliation in the beautiful Immaculata Parish at USD. They left the weekend on Sunday with a clean heart and a desire to change their behavior and habits.
We hope to continue taking graduates to Steubenville in the future. The students really benefited from their time in prayer, song, and groups. “I have never really admitted that I need God,” Christina Abarca realized. “This weekend has completely changed the way I pray.”
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