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Steubenville of the Rockies

I had the happiest moment of my life on Sunday morning. I received Holy Communion validly for the first time in two years.

A few months ago, based on the recommendation of Lindsay McKillip, my Mom signed me up to go to the Steubenville of the Rockies conference in Denver. I was expecting a cross between boring speakers and annoying praise and worship "music". Boy, was I in for a surprise.

During adoration on Friday night, there were 2500+ people packed into one room, it was probably 80 degrees in there, yet I was freezing. I had goosebumps the size of quarters, and a serious case of the chills. I ended up realizing that the Holy Spirit is in this world, and tears came over me. I was extremely sorrowful for all of the sins I had committed, and realized I needed to get back into a prayer life. For about a year before that, I had fallen into a cycle of bitterness and apathy, and became an agnostic. I never told anyone about it, because I thought nobody would care. Heck, I didn't even care! But the fact that about 2300 kids my age did care, and were so alive for the faith, made me think about things a bit more.

Mass the next morning was beautiful, despite the fact that I didn't receive Communion. Father Stan Fortuna gave a very profound homily, that managed to be frequently hilarious. Who knew you could talk about simplicity, yet bring up demonic bunnies? Him talking about Mary's "Yes" made me realize that the only thing that really matters in life is doing God's will. I'm working on it.

That afternoon, I made my first valid Reconciliation in two years. I had been to confession in the time since, but never really confessed everything, or cared about what Father said. I was DEAD wrong. Despite waiting in line for nearly an hour, it was completely worth all of the weight that I had removed. Like our MC, Ennie Hickman, said, life is like a long RV trip. Every once in a while, you have to hook up that nasty tube, and empty out the septic tank. It's a nasty job, but after it's done, you get way better gas mileage. I felt so light, and I could have jumped about ten feet higher.

We had adoration again that night, and this time was a bit different. The night before, I was full of sorrow, so I cried. Saturday, I had the sorrow of sin lifted from me, so I was full of joy at what would come from my new found relationship with God. I started laughing. Jeremy, our youth minister, had told us there would be people who did this. I now completely understand, despite being angry when somebody laughed at me on Friday night. My new friend Dan said that I had the purest expression of joy on my face that he had ever seen. For the first time, I really got into the praise and worship music, and was jumping, hands in the air, just begging for the chance to please our Lord. The Holy Spirit can really work wonders during Adoration.

Sunday afternoon, we had mass again. The entire mass, I was praying for the grace to receive Christ in Holy Communion. I don't even really remember what Father Dave said during the homily, I was too deep in prayer. When the time finally came, I dropped to my knees to receive Him. It was the happiest moment of my life. I just couldn't wait for the chance again.

The entire weekend was the best experience I have had in my admittedly short life. I would go again in a heartbeat. I haven't even told you about the talks themselves, which were amazing. If you have any questions, just ask me. I would be delighted to tell anyone anything.




I'm so glad it was a great experience for you! Lindsay will love reading this. :)


Ted this is a beautiful post. May our Lord grant you the grace of keeping this new-found joy forever! And thank you for your help with the little ones these last few weeks. I really appreciate it.

Matthew P.

Was last year your first? Because if it was, I hope that you plan on coming back this year. Trust me, it only gets more powerful, I know from experience, this will be my third year. Here is some more info: . I hope that you choose to return for another year!
Your Brother in Christ,
Matthew Petrites

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