When organizers of World Youth Day 2014 asked Mike Patin to give a presentation to 6,000 young people at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, the high-energy Catholic speaker thought they were a little crazy. The recipient of the 2006 National Catholic Youth Ministry Award, Patin isn’t used to talking about the Word of God as a 153-foot-high rollercoaster roars behind him. But then, he realized, the venue made sense.
The Dioceses of Fort Worth and Dallas are combining their efforts and resources to draw in larger numbers to an annual conference aimed specifically at Catholics in their 20s and 30s. Called THRIVE, the young adult conference will take place Nov. 14-15 at St. Ann Parish in Coppell.
Gabe Gutiérrez clearly remembers an exciting summer night in Rio de Janeiro, surrounded by 3 million spirited youth at Copacabana Beach, where it embraces the Atlantic Ocean in a 2.5 mile-long sandy crescent. At one end, Sugarloaf Mountain rises straight up from the water’s edge. “And the silence was deafening,” recalled, Gutiérrez, high school youth and young adult minister for St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Keller.