That simple theme permeated this year’s Youth Day held at the Anaheim Convention

Teens receive a blessing before leaving St. Viator Catholic Community

Center near Los Angeles. It served to uplift the more than 7,000 young people in attendance — including a group from St. Viator Catholic Community — and sent them out excited to spread the good news.

Campus Ministry director, Associate Rosy Hartz, led the group from St. Viator, accompanied by Fr. Bill Haesaert, CSV. The outing and youth rally is one students look forward to every year — and not just because the trip includes a stop at Knott’s Berry Farm.

Fr. Bill Haesaert, right, poses with some of the young adult leaders

Youth Day brings together youth from many different backgrounds from throughout the Los Angeles Diocese and beyond, to participate in a rally, liturgy and workshops designed just for teens.

Readings this year focused around the them — what are you waiting for? — and drew teens to reflect on the rally as a wake up call and a call to action.

The event’s keynote speaker was Bob Peron, who serves as director of youth and young adult ministry for the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, W.Va. He gave teens three practical ways of growing in their faith.

St. Viator students pose with Archbishop José Gomez

The highlight of the day was the Mass

celebrated in the arena by Archbishop José Gomez, archbishop of the Diocese of Los Angeles. The Mass and procession featured more than 20 priests concelebrating — including retired Archbishop Roger Mahony — and a rock band for music.