Sauk Rapids teen reflects on National Catholic Youth Conference

By From the Heart | Community Contributors

Dec 03

Hello, children of God! My name is Rebecca Sanborn. I am 15 and a sophomore at Tech High School in St Cloud. I am a member of Sacred Heart Church in Sauk Rapids. Some of my favorite things to do are: go to church, help people, volunteer at Mass, downhill ski and hang out with my family.

Rebecca Sanborn attended the National Catholic Youth Conference in Indianapolis this November with her youth group from Sacred Heart Church in Sauk Rapids.

NCYC (National Catholic Youth Conference) was the most powerful things that I have ever done by far. It really opened my eyes to who God really is. God should be everyone’s best friend. God is your family and is the best role model! God is always your biggest fan and God is so much more. I could go on and on!

But one thing NCYC really opened my eyes to is WHY I choose to be Catholic and what does it mean for me to say I am Catholic. To me being Catholic means: I pray to God every single day, I go to church, I follow the commandments and always try to do the right thing. It is so important to me to do the right thing. (Just ask anyone who truly knows me, I get physically sick if I don’t.)

This summer Jason [Prigge], our Youth Minister at church, asked me why I was not a Peer Minister. I had never thought about it and he said I should do it. At first I said no, RIGHT AWAY, but I didn’t have a good reason why I said no. I used the excuse I had no time because I thought that was a good one. He continued to bug me for a few weeks!!! I prayed about it and God lead me to say yes. It was one of the best things I could have done to help me grow in my faith and to love God even more.

This school year has been different for me. This is the first year I have not attended a Catholic school so it is the first time I am going to religion classes at church. So on Wednesdays my schedule is a little crazy. I get to church (where my mom also works) at 4 and don’t leave until 9:30 or 10 p.m. Wednesdays are long, but I never want to miss them. We left for NCYC on a Wednesday at 5 a.m. and I missed one religion class. It was kind of sad but cool to see how much I really love going on Wednesdays.

After religion class, I go to youth group or a peer ministry meeting. Youth group is a little more fun than the meetings, but I still love both of them because I get to work on how we can bring more youth to church and how we can make it fun for them.

So what I am getting at it is, it makes me sad when I don’t see the youth in church. It makes me sad that parents don’t make their kids come to Mass every weekend and make it a priority.

It is so important to me to be a practicing Catholic not just a “Catholic.” I missed one Mass over MEA and I felt so bad about it. I watched it on YouTube but it was not the same as being with people.

So please push to have your children at church with you. Please push for your children to ask to go to church with you. It is so important! Church is not a punishment; it is a reward every time you get to receive Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. I realized how much I missed going to church when we were stuck at home and had to watch it online. It is so powerful when you get to be present with others. So please make the time for prayer, God and your Church!

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Marie December 3, 2021

This is amazing! I see so much of myself in Becca. As a youth I was unable to go to NCYC, but I still had that fire for Christ that I see in her. Her kindness and compassion shows in all that she does!

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