On the eve of BYCC, a look back at NCYC

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since the National Catholic Youth Conference in Kansas City. Hundreds of teens from the Archdiocese of Baltimore showed the country that they were unapologetically Catholic and excited about it.

My good friend Kristin Witte, formerly of the archdiocese’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry office and now of Loyola University Maryland’s campus ministry staff, spent months trying to prepare me for NCYC. She would imitate chants and tell me about all the musical acts I’d see. She assured me there would be pep. Lots of it.

I gave her the old, skeptical “Yeah yeah.”

She was right, though. Those 23,000 U.S. kids yelling “NC! YC!” in jammed arenas and on cramped streets, were awe-inspiring. The loudest and perhaps most passionate group had to have been those crab hat-wearing Baltimore teens. They knew all the lyrics to Matt Maher songs while I asked myself “Who is Matt Maher?”

By the end of the weekend, I might or might not have had a song of his stuck in my head.

Check out Baltimore’s passion at NCYC.


Many of the people who were on that NCYC trip will be in Ocean City this weekend. I look forward to sharing more of their talents and expressions of faith from the Baltimore Youth Catholic Conference.

I made some potentially lifelong friends at NCYC. I look forward to being with many of them and will be thinking of those who won’t be there. I know they’ll be there in spirit.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.