In January, 2012, students and adults from the Claflin/Ellinwood/Odin parish cluster began to prepare for their pilgrimage to the National Catholic Youth Conference 2013 in Indianapolis.
Two years of preparation, fundraisers and requests for donations were initiated in the hope that this trip would be a success for all who participate.
Chaperone Sheri Holmes reports that six buses from all around the Diocese of Dodge City met in Great Bend on Nov. 20 and traveled together to Indianapolis. Seventeen students and six adults from the communities of Claflin, Ellinwood, Odin, Lyons and Bushton came together to embark on this pilgrimage. They shared as bus with people from Great Bend and Hoisington.
Sister Andre was there to see them off with much appreciated goodie bags, hugs, and prayers, Holmes said.
They traveled through the night, prayed, and established closer relationships with people from Hoisington and Great Bend. After settling into the hotel, they participated in Mass offered by Bishop John, Father Wesley, and five seminarians from the Dodge City diocese who are preparing to become priests.
Youths and adults agreed that a high point of NCYC 2013 was attending Mass with more than 22,000 Catholics, led by Archbishop Joseph Tobin and Bishop Christopher Coyne from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.
Youths attending from the area parish cluster were: Peyton Broeker, Breanna Holmes, Casey Kaiser, Andrea Klepper, Rachel Doll, Tori Manley, Marc Waite, Lexie Broeker, Kaylyn Oberle, Betsy Snell, Kaycee Steiner, Chelsey Bieberle, Keeley Hipp, Kylie Holmes, Kylee Kasselman, Lauren Manley and Joanna Strecker.
Adult chaperones included Holmes, Jean Doll, Melinda Kasselman, Raechel Manley, Jolene Snell and Mary Waite.
“We would like to once again thank all who generously donated to our attendance in this awesome event!” Holmes said. “We would especially like to thank the altar societies from Bushton, Claflin, Ellinwood, Lyons and Odin; Knights of Columbus from Claflin, Ellinwood and Odin; parish councils/financial councils from Claflin, Ellinwood,and Odin; as well as all of the people who contributed to our bake sales; Subway Cards, doughnuts and cupcakes sales; and those who attended the concession stands we worked. Last, and definitely not least, we would like to thank Fr. Chuck, Sr. Andre, and Fr. John, who without their guidance and prayers, this pilgrimage wouldn’t have turned out so amazing.”