By JESSICA ABLE
Record Staff Writer
Frazier Hall, located on the campus of Bellarmine University, was filled with the sounds of an electronic keyboard and of hundreds of young people clapping their hands in unison on Saturday, Nov. 17, at the Archdiocese of Louisville’s youth rally called Quest 2012.
More than 425 teenagers from 44 parishes in the archdiocese gathered at the Bellarmine campus on Newburg Road for the event.
Carole Goodwin, the archdiocese’s director of Youth Ministry and Young Adult Ministry — which sponsors the event — said the number of teens registered set an attendance record for the one-day retreat.
Bellarmine campus ministry staff, led by Dr. Melanie-Prejean Sullivan, helped to organize Quest 2012, along with the archdiocesan Youth Advisory Board and a subcommittee of youth ministers.
The day’s events were kicked off by a witness talk given by Derek Alamilla Utrilla, a junior at Moore Traditional High School.
He told the teens gathered that “everyone has different stories, different experiences with Christ” and that it can be difficult to communicate these experiences but “it is important to share” them.
Alamilla Utrilla, a parishioner at St. Barnabas Church, shared a story with the group about his godfather who suffered from diabetes.
“He’s a truck driver, a father, a grandfather, an optimist and a diabetic,” he said. “For over twelve hours a day he would drive the truck and sing and pray” to God for help with his diabetes.
Alamilla Utrilla noted that in the last few years, his godfather’s diabetes has improved and that he no longer needs to take medication.
“This doesn’t mean that he has stopped praying,” he said. “My uncle is an example that praying brings one closer to God.
“God said ‘I am the light.’ He told us to do as he has done,” the teen said. “We can bring the light of Christ in many different ways … by helping out as an altar server or a lector or doing community service.”
Following Alamilla Utrilla’s testimonial, the participants were able to attend a variety of small breakout sessions.
Some of the talks were: “Dating Dilemmas; Love vs. Lust;” “Seeing Jesus in the Poor: Serving God, Serving Others;” “Do You Have a Call to Priesthood or Religious Life?” and “Beyond High School.”
About 100 young people listened to John Angotti, a nationally-known Catholic speaker, lead a session titled “Music of Faith and Life.”
Angotti, who also led the praise music for the day, wove his experiences with Christ in with contemporary worship music and some mainstream songs as well.
Angotti compared key changes in music to shifting perspectives in life.
“There are twelve tones in music. Each of you guys is one of these notes that we play,” he explained. “Sometimes you are the melody but as you grow older, guess what, there’s key changes of life that come.
“It’s like a stained glass window that has many colors,” he said. “If you took one of the pieces of glass out of the stained glass and just looked at it, it wouldn’t look like anything but a piece of glass.”
Angotti went on to say that “sometimes we want to pull ourselves out as individuals but when you look at the whole picture … it’s about all of us together. It’s about love.”
Goodwin said the biennial event is designed to offer a chance for archdiocesan Catholic youth to gather with their peers for a day of celebration, prayer, faith-sharing and study with national speakers.