By Kiply Lukan Yaworski, Catholic Saskatoon News
Hundreds of youth filled the Cathedral of the Holy Family for an annual United conference Nov. 16-17 to celebrate 20 years of evangelization by FacetoFace Ministries.
FacetoFace founder Ken Yasinski returned to provide the keynote address at United, which also included other talks, praise and worship music, small group discussion and prayer, as well as celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and Eucharistic Adoration, as well as Mass Sunday morning Nov. 17 with the parish community and Bishop Mark Hagemoen.
Now engaged in independent full-time Catholicspeaker.com ministry, Ken Yasinski recalled the simple beginnings of FacetoFace with a small youth retreat that he and friends offered in 1999. “It is amazing what God will do, when people say yes,” he said in the opening session of the 2019 United conference.
More about the history of FacetoFace: HISTORY
Yasinski urged his young listeners to go beyond “knowing about” Jesus, to grow in a personal knowledge of Jesus Christ that is grounded in relationship, and not rules.
“Could there be more to your faith experience than what you are experiencing right now?” he challenged, urging an exploration of God’s purpose for our lives, which is an ocean of eternal joy beyond the “fish bowl” that we may perceive. “There is infititely more, because we have an infinite God.”
Dealing with our brokenness, acknowledging where we need God’s help to change, and calling upon the graces and gifts offered by the Catholic faith in this journey are part of a call to live with purpose, he said.
Just as Jesus wept when he arrived at the home of his friends to find that Lazarus had died, Jesus weeps with us in our suffering, Yasinski said.
Jesus will call us out of our tombs and unbind us, he said, urging youth to take advantage of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which offers not only God’s forgiveness, but God’s healing.
Breakout sessions during United were also provided by Bishop Mark Hagemoen, Fr. Stephen Bill, Gloria Bater, Jacob Dusterhoft, Fr. Mick Fleming, Rebecca Skuban, Hudson Byblow, Mary McLane, and Fr. Darryl Millette.
Founded in 1999, FacetoFace Ministries is a Catholic evangelization ministry with a vision “that all people encounter Christ and embrace the call to be saints.”
In addition to United, FacetoFace programs include parish missions, youth retreats,school retreats Ignite summer camps, and an annual bus trip for youth.