(New York, NY) After a long and trying year for so many in our city, the light at the end of the tunnel will shine brightly on May 1 at St. Anthony of Padua in the Bronx with the Eighth Annual New York Catholic Youth Day. The theme is BE THE LIGHT and young people, ranging in ages from 13 to 17, representing the 10 counties of the Archdiocese of New York, will gather for a hybrid event designed to nurture and inspire young people to find the strength and spiritual resources to BE THE LIGHT in the world today.

The Office of Youth Ministry of the Archdiocese of New York launched the BE THE LIGHT season on February 28, 2021 the second week of Lent. The theme for the season BE THE LIGHT was chosen in order to empower young people to bring the light of their faith to the people of New York after a year defined by crisis, loss, and isolation. Parish youth groups and young people were invited to shine a light in the darkness (John 1:5) through service, fellowship, and reflection, giving them an opportunity to counteract the demoralizing aspects of the pandemic through life-giving action.

Young people from different parishes served their communities by putting together care packages for U.S. Army soldiers, serving at local food pantries in parishes and clothing distribution centers for families in need. This year’s New York Catholic Youth Day BE THE LIGHT will be a day of celebration where young people will come together with a shared purpose; and in doing so, find the inspiration to continue to BE THE LIGHT of Christ to others long after this season of crisis has passed. BE THE LIGHT is a powerful call to action to which our youth have responded. It captures the hope and forward focus of the Church at this time.

The Eighth Annual New York Catholic Youth Day will take place Saturday, May 1, 2021 at St. Anthony of Padua Parish, 832 East 166th Street, Bronx. All health and safety protocols including mask requirements and social distancing will be strictly enforced. Young people will have the opportunity to participate in a full-day of faith enrichment activities in a secure environment. The day will begin at noon and will include live music, praise and worship, talks, testimonials and confession. New York Catholic Youth Day will conclude with a Holy Hour lead by Bishop Edmund Whalen.

“I am excited to see a gathering of our youth and the opportunity for fellowship on New York Catholic Youth Day, and grateful that we are able to provide a virtual experience for those who are unable to attend in-person,” said Cynthia Psencik, Director of the Office of Youth Ministry.

For information or to register for NYCYD, visit https://archny.org/nycyd2021

Press interested in learning more about the event are asked to kindly respond to this email.

About the Office of Youth Ministry and New York Catholic Youth Day

The Archdiocese of New York Office of Youth Ministry supports parish, school and church leaders in their mission to build young disciples of Jesus Christ. This is done through trainings, formation of leaders, networking, support, consultation and events for youth and youth ministers.

Since its inception in 2013, New York Catholic Youth Day has provided the opportunity for over 5,000 teens to gather for a day of inspirational talks, music, the sacrament of reconciliation, service opportunities, Mass, and fellowship.