539768_10200205411430413_1223385186_nKeep calm — God’s got this.

That was the theme last month at the annual Youth Day, sponsored by the Religion Education Congress and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The rally drew 8,000 young people, including four bus loads of teens from the Las Vegas Diocese. They traveled to Anaheim for the interactive event, including members of St. Viator Parish and St. Thomas More Catholic Community, along with Viatorian associates and youth group leaders.

For teens from St. Viator, the hook was spending a day at Knott’s Berry Farm first, before heading onto Anaheim and the Youth Day rally, held inside the
Anaheim Convention Center.

“But it was the conference they remembered, and hearing from all the outspoken priests and leaders,” says Rosy Hartz, Viatorian associate and youth group director at St. Viator Parish in Las Vegas.

The teens attended a morning workshop led by Rev. Tony Ricard of the New Orleans Diocese and an afternoon session led by youth motivator, Mike Paton, also from New Orleans, whose interactive talk was called: “You Don’t Need Twitter Followers to be a Leader.”

“The highlight of the day was attending Mass in the arena,” Rosy added. “For most of them, it was their first time seeing cardinals and they were in awe at the procession of priests. But just attending Mass with 8,000 other teens was really powerful.”