On January 2-6, 2023, ITI student Karolina Kubisova and a few of our graduates among whom Theresia Kramer, who is a FOCUS missionary at the University of Passau, participated in SEEK, the largest Catholic conference of its kind organized by FOCUS (the Fellowship of Catholic University Students) in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Mary Healy, one of the first ITI graduates, joined the ranks of the conference speakers. ITI Associate Professor of Patristics and Church History, Fr. Dr. Martin Mayerhofer FSO, who also serves as European Chaplain of FOCUS and was one of the conference organizers, says: “The purpose of the Conference is to allow students to have a personal encounter with Jesus through spiritual talks, the celebration of Holy Mass, Confession, spiritual accompaniment, adoration and community.”
After a three-year interruption due to the pandemic, seventeen thousand students from all over the United States and other parts of the world attended the event. The theme of the conference for this year was “You Are Called.” In their talks, the speakers focused on encouraging young people to seek the heart of Christ’s call. They aimed to spark a deeper encounter with Christ through presenting on a variety of topics such as discipleship, vocation, and the spiritual life. The opportunity to participate in daily Mass and private prayer in Eucharistic adoration were also at the heart of the conference. Various booths were set up in a venue called Mission Way where different religious orders, schools, organizations, and businesses could share what they have to offer and inspire others to live a more integrated life.
The highlight of the conference was Wednesday night adoration, where the monstrance was processed among the seventeen thousand participants in the stadium. Fr. Martin Mayerhofer was one of the priests carrying the monstrance. Karolina Kubisova shares: “During this solemn procession, I was reminded of how Christ walked among the people of Israel and invited them to follow him. He is still doing the same: calling every one of us to follow him and make disciples of all nations.”
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