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Ordained in 2011, Father Friel served for five years as Parochial Vicar at St. Anselm Parish in Northeast Philly. He is currently studying toward an STL in sacred liturgy at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
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“From six in the evening, his martyrdom had continued through the ghastly night until nine o'clock in the morning. After fifteen hours of torture rarely if ever surpassed in the bloody annals of the Iroquois, the soul of Gabriel Lalemant was freed from its charred and mutilated prison and summoned to join his comrade Jean de Brébeuf in the radiant splendor of God. March 17th, 1649, was the date; for Brébeuf it had been the sixteenth.”
— Fr. John A. O'Brien, speaking of St. Gabriel Lalemant

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An Extraordinary Event: NCYC 2015
published 23 November 2015 by Fr. David Friel

N SATURDAY, the 2015 National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) wrapped up in Indianapolis. The biennial celebration brings together an enormous group of Catholics: over 24,000 youth, 450 priests, and 35 bishops from across the United States. The event claims to become the world’s largest Catholic parish for four days.

What does one do at NCYC? It’s a festive atmosphere in which young people attend keynote talks, join in prayer, and enjoy concerts. They also engage in Eucharistic adoration, go to confession, and participate in service projects.

I have never attended an NCYC, but it was brought to my attention that something very interesting made its way onto the schedule this year.

The conference runs from Wednesday afternoon through Saturday night. Included in each day’s schedule are several opportunities for daily Mass. On Friday, one of the four Masses offered was a Mass in the Extraordinary Form. The photograph above was taken at this Mass, and it looks like there was strong attendance.

Young people, it is true, are not widely familiar with the traditional form of the Mass. Nor are they familiar with all the preconceptions & biases that led their grandparents’ generation to dismiss traditional forms. My experience has shown me that young people, when given the opportunity to experience the Church’s tradition, are able to appreciate the richness and beauty of our faith. Let us, therefore, continue to expose them to the Church’s tradition!

“What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us, too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place.” (Pope Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum)