What moves you? What are you searching for in life? These are some of the questions and themes that the SEEK Conference addressed. FOCUS, or the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, sponsored this gathering of over 13,000 Catholic college students from all over the country. Six students from the University of Utah, SLCC, and our campus ministers attended this event. Each day started with Adoration and Mass. It was incredible to see a hundred priests and several Bishops celebrate Mass together. In the morning there were separate men’s and women’s sessions dealing with topics like Theology of the Body, authentic femininity and masculinity, relationships, and more. In the afternoon there were different break out speakers, and people could pick and choose what topics they were interested in exploring. They also listened to speakers like Fr. Mike Schmitz, Dr. Edward Sri, Lisa Cotter, Sr. Bethany Madonna, and more.
This conference nourished the students’ faith and gave them a renewed sense of mission as they returned to campus. Sophomore John Esquivel came back with a greater sense of accountability with keeping strong in his faith. He learned about the importance of accountability and having good friends to keep him on the straight and moral path. Through listening to the speakers he was encouraged to examine his need for God and to work on different areas of his life.
Freshman Maria Stokes left the conference with a greater desire to pursue a relationship with the Blessed Mother. She attended two breakout sessions with Fr. Michael Gaitley, who promotes the total consecration to Jesus through Mary, and author of the book 33 Days to Morning Glory. Maria learned about the significance of Our Lady’s intercessory power and her role as our mother. Maria also notice how the conference made her feel less alone as a Catholic. It was powerful for her to see the sheer number of people seeking answers together, sharing in the same struggles, and receiving the sacraments. SEEK helped show her how we belong to a strong national Catholic community, and a world-wide one as well.
Overall, the SEEK Conference was an incredible opportunity for our students to encounter Christ and grow deeper in knowledge and love of the Catholic faith. They brought this fire and passion back to campus, and they hope to inspire more of the classmates to attend this conference in the future.