On the surface, it looked as though Associates Rosy Hartz and Deborah Perez were taking teens from St.

The St. Viator delegation proudly pose in their #VegasStrong T-shirts

Viator Catholic Community’s youth ministry group to the National Catholic Youth Conference in Indianapolis.

But at this distinctly Catholic setting, where young people encounter Christ and are empowered to be disciples — these Las Vegas teens served as powerful witnesses to their resilient city.

They wore #VegasStrong T-shirts, sponsored by the Injured Police Officers’ Fund in Las Vegas, and stood out among the more than 20,000 teens who attended the three-day conference.

Associate Rosy Hartz, left, with some of the delegates

While there, they attended breakout sessions on ways to live as a disciple of Christ in today’s world, they visited with organizations that provide resources to youth ministry, as well as attended daily Mass and enjoyed speakers and live music presentations.

The empowering youth conference takes place only once every two years and Hartz has returned with St. Viator students several times

In downtown Indy

over the last 10 years. Many of those same teens go onto attend — and serve as leaders — at the Viatorian Youth Congress each summer.

For Hartz and Perez, it helps them carry out the Viatorian mission of ministering to and with young people, and accompanying them during their faith development.

For the teens, the whole experience left them singing. At the closing Mass they chanted over and over again the chorus of the closing hymn: “I send you out on a mission of love.”