Catholic conference comes to Indy

MATTHEW FLECKENSTEIN | STAFF REPORTER

The National Catholic Collegiate Conference started  Nov. 19 and continued through Nov. 21 in Indianapolis.  Six students from the Butler Catholic Community attended the conference.  The conference happens every other year. This is the second conference.

NCCC is put on in conjunction with the older National Catholic Youth Conference for high school students. Thousands of college students from all around the country come to Indianapolis for three days to experience their faith with others through presentations, music and prayer.

Emily Hitchens, director of the Butler Catholic Community, hopes the students learn something new and enjoy the experience.

 “I also hope that they get that renewal and that re-invigoration and just get on fire for the Lord and for the church,” Hitchens said.  “And I hope that they get something that they can bring back to the campus and share with their fellow students here.”

At the end of the three-day conference, there is a closing mass and celebration held in Lucas Oil Stadium, which is as filled as a Sunday night football game, sophomore Daniel Rollock, co-chair of service for the BCC, said.

“It’s impressive, there’s lots of singing, talks and then it ends with mass which is just crazy, because it’s weird going to a place where the Colts play and get sold out and now having that be done with 25,000 other Catholics,” Rollock said.  “It’s an overwhelming experience. It’s really cool, and I’m excited to go.”

Sophomore Melissa Oittinen, co-chair for spiritual formation at the BCC, is most looking forward to adoration.

“Adoration is when we get to be in a space, often in silence, but in large groups like this, there tends to be music because music helps a lot of people focus and silence themselves internally,” Oittinen said.  “It’s a time to be able to sit physically with Christ and with God and be able to be silent, to bring peace and to talk to God as a conversation.”

Oittinen said the speakers will talk about a variety of subjects, including how to apply a person’s faith to everyday life.  A specific example is talking about how to deal with love and relationships.

“With anything it can become lonely or hard to follow what you believe if you don’t have people supporting you,” Oittinen said.  “It’s always wonderful to be able to get together with others who believe the same thing.”

Oittinen said most students attend the NCCC to gain a closer relationship with God, to learn more about their faith and to listen to advice on how to live out their faith in everyday life.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to come and communion and remember what it is you that you believe, remember your belief system, remember your morals, remember there is hope in a world that seems increasingly darker,” Oittinen said.

“I would encourage anybody to come because especially during college,” Oittinen said.   “It’s a time, we’re so often told, to explore and that we need to open ourselves up to the world and know what’s happening around us. And I think learning about other faiths, whether or not you are personally thinking of joining a religion or following that religion, I think it’s important to keep an open mind.”

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