August 27, 2018
This past summer, Mater Dei Parish, our apostolate in Dallas, Texas, hosted a three-day conference for single young adults aged 20+. The conference was led by Mater Dei parochial vicar Fr. Timothy O’Brien, assisted by Fr. Joshua Houck. We caught up with Fr. O’Brien after his recent return from the Saint Francis Xavier mission trip to the Dominican Republic, and he told us more about the conference and the level of response the parish received for the brand-new event – a response that we find rather astounding.
Judging by the number of attendees alone, the conference was a smash success. Over 90 young adults converged on Mater Dei from not only Texas, but all around the Midwest and Southwest: Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas and Arizona were all represented. The itinerary of the conference, which ran from Friday, June 22nd, through Sunday, June 24th, included Mass, the Rosary and talks by Fr. O’Brien and Fr. Houck. Fr. O’Brien addressed topics related to Catholic culture and how to make the Faith a priority, and Fr. Houck spoke on the specific practices that we can adopt in order to live that Faith. A trip to a local park for kickball and other sports on Saturday provided an opportunity for recreation and fellowship, and a contra dance with a live band finished out the second day. The conference concluded on Sunday with Solemn High Mass followed by a pancake breakfast.
One of the notable aspects of this event that we cannot help but think contributed to the impressive turnout was the low cost. The registration fee was only $10. You read that right. Ten dollars. Because meals were provided but not lodging, the cost could be kept low, and those coming from a distance could opt to stay with friends in the area or split the cost of hotel rooms nearby. For young adults who are working or going to college and often do not have many funds to spare, the low price tag must have made the trip especially doable.
Will this be a yearly event, you ask? Well, there are certainly plans afoot to make it so, perhaps even twice a year in the spring and the fall when the weather is not as hot as it is in Texas in June. With such an enthusiastic response to the inaugural event, the future of Mater Dei’s young adult conference certainly appears to be bright indeed. We encourage you to keep an eye on the parish’s website and to stay tuned here at the Missive for information about future events.