Testimonies & Endorsements
Testimony from Archdiocese of Louisville Seminarian Tony Cecil
"At its core, the Ignite Your Torch Catholic Youth Conference is designed to give the youth of our Church a challenge. This challenge is expressed in several ways: on the t-shirts, in call-and-response type chants, and even in the theme song. The challenge is simple—“Ignite Your Torch, and Conquer for Christ.”
Okay, well, it’s simple to say, but not so simple to do. How do we do it? This is especially puzzling when one leaves a retreat and is thrust back into the world—a world where God is put on the back burner all too often. However, Ignite calls us to change this. We receive a calling to be a follower of Christ—to be countercultural, just as He was. So, how do you do it? Well, I’ll tell you by sharing how I did it.
There are two key aspects to Ignite that I found myself taking farther than just the four days in Springfield. First, there is the call to live as a pro-life American. Ignite is a very pro-life conference—the youth even pray the rosary at the abortion mill. This experience inspired me to take action. When I got back to school, I, along with some friends, founded Bethlehem Students for Life, the first pro-life organization at Bethlehem High School in Bardstown. Since its founding in 2009, Bethlehem Students for Life has hosted a pro-life rally, attended archdiocesan Right to Life Masses and events, prayed in front of the abortion mill, and each year sponsors a bus to the National March for Life in Washington, D.C. Thanks to Ignite, I was able to take the passion of pro-life ministry back to another community and put it into action.
Secondly, Ignite allowed me to be more open to the possibility of a vocation to the priesthood. At the conference, there are priests, brothers, and sisters just about everywhere you look. This unique interaction with them gave me the idea that these are real people, and that they’re not that different from me. This was definitely one of the huge factors that led me to openly discern a vocation to the priesthood. After my senior year of high school, I entered a college seminary for the Archdiocese of Louisville. I am now in my second year, and feel that this is exactly where God wants me to be at this point in my life.
All in all, what I want to say about the Ignite Your Torch Catholic Youth Conference is this: it is amazing. It’s one of those things that you really have to experience in order to fully understand it. And I can say without hesitation that it is fully worth experiencing. Ignite gives the youth of our Church a challenge: to go out, spread the Good News of Jesus Christ, and change the world around them. Not only that, but it gives them the confidence that they can really do it. So, I give all of you the same challenge: Ignite Your Torch, and Conquer for Christ!"
Endorsement from Fr. James Brent, OP, Former Director of the Angelic Warfare Confraternity
"The Ignite Your Torch youth conference is simply the best Catholic youth conference out there today. The combination of a catechetical emphasis, a pro-life focus, traditional devotions such as the Rosary and Eucharistic adoration, as well as the presence of so many religious men and women is unmatched anywhere else. Every year there are teens who have conversions and find their vocations at Ignite. At this hour of history, teens are particularly vulnerable to being caught up in chains of sexual sin. The chastity promotion carried out at Ignite will make a difference in eternity."
Endorsement from Sr. Jane Dominic, OP
"This is the youth conference that has it ALL! Our Lord is the center. The Mass and Eucharistic adoration are the focal point--everything else flows out of and back to the Eucharist. The conferences feed our love and understanding of the riches of our faith; the joy of friendship and fun encourage us to hope and a deeper love of one another. Come! You will meet the Lord."
Endorsement from Fr. Paul Schenk
“I attend quite a few conferences, both Catholic and non-Catholic, and the schedule here is fantastic. The depth and breadth are wonderful. They don’t treat the youth like airheads. They treat them with respect for their capacity to recognize truth, rather than giving them a bunch of superficial fluff designed to keep them entertained. That’s critical.”
"Ignite Your Torch is one of the BEST Catholic youth conferences I have ever seen! Supporting this conference is contributing to the building up of the CULTURE OF LIFE and the civilization of LOVE."
-Sr. Antoniana Maria, S.V.
Sisters for Life
"This conference is a rare combination of BEAUTIFUL, reverent liturgies, SOLID faith formation, Christian FELLOWSHIP, and just plain FUN. We have much enjoyed attending and speaking at Ignite Your Torch and pray for its continued SUCCESS!" - Sister Servants of the Eternal Word
"For those looking for PRACTICAL
tools to help with EVANGELIZATION and sharing their faith with others, this retreat is for you! IYT also offers youth an opportunity to richly EXPERIENCE the Dominican charism with priests, sisters and laity. This is an AMAZING weekend!"
-Sr. Maria Caeli, OP
"These conferences have helped 'FAN THE FLAME'
the faith of many young people from my parish.
The EUCHARISTIC FOCUS of the conference also helped them
to have more appreciation for Jesus in the BLESSED SACRAMENT.
They have enjoyed the enlightening talks, the lively music, the games,
and the chance to meet so many of their peers who have a STRONG faith. I hope MANY MORE young Catholics will experience "Ignite Your Torch" and continue to spread the LIGHT OF CHRIST."
- Fr. Anthony Mendoza, Vicar General, Diocese of Laredo, TX