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Bishop's Homily Reflects on Jesus' Love at 39th Annual Youth Convention

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Diocesan teens celebrate their faith at annual gathering

Approximately 650 students, staff and volunteers from parishes across the Diocese gathered in Greenville May 15-17 for the 39th Annual Diocesan Youth Convention.

This year’s theme was “Remain in My Love” (John 15:9). Workshops included “Marriage Takes 3: A Match Made in Heaven,” “Staying Connected with Your Faith after You Move Away from Home,” “My Body, My Choice,” and “Jesus in the Media.” Other sessions covered mission work, communicating with parents and supporting fair trade products.

The convention concluded with Mass on Sunday, celebrated by Bishop Michael F. Burbidge. Reflecting upon the conference theme, Bishop Burbidge asked in his homily if the students noticed that in the day’s Gospel reading that Jesus did not say earn my love or work for my love or strive for my love. “Remain in My Love” are the words Jesus spoke, the Bishop said, because “His love is a pure gift from a generous and faithful God.”

Reminding the students that we are created in the image and likeness of God and that His spirit dwells within, asked them to reflect on what God has chosen them to do. First and foremost is to Love one another as I love you. . “Like Jesus, we must love all people without exception even those who disagree with us and challenge us,” the Bishop said.” “Like Jesus, we must forgive those who have hurt and offended us. Like Jesus, we must be willing to serve and not to be served, especially in our outreach to those in our midst who have lost hope, who struggle, who feel unlovable and are in most need.”

Noting the Eucharist is the “perfect example of love,” Bishop Burbidge asked the students to “never go a Sunday without celebrating and receiving the Eucharist.”