festival, Florida Catholic

The participants of the Feb. 9 2019 Youth Festival at St. Michael Parish in Wauchula.

Annual parish youth festival another success

Wauchula  | Challenged to break free from the constraints of what modern society wants and to seek a stronger relationship with Jesus Christ, some 200 young men and women participated in the 2019 St. Michael Parish youth festival in Wauchula.

The middle and high school-aged youth from across Hardee County participated in the festival Feb. 9, taking time out of their busy schedules to open their souls and let Christ break them free from the restraints that are holding them back from being true men and women of God. The theme for the day was: Break Free — “The Truth will set you free.” (Jn 8:32)

The youth heard inspirational talks from Greg Stearns and Rosie Villasenor, with topics such as “Don’t feed your soul junk food,” “Best shared together,” and “How to love a healthy soul.”

In addition to the talks, teens participated in Mass, experienced eucharistic adoration, and had the opportunity to participate in the sacrament of reconciliation. In their free time, there was plenty of time for fun, games and food.

One teen said she gained a great deal from the yearly youth festival, mainly because she can share the entire experience with her friends. “We don’t always talk about God with each other, but today that is our focus. It is so rewarding to share this with others.”

An encouraging part of the day was how many of the young people took the opportunity to receive the sacrament of reconciliation. Outdoor confessionals were set up and there were long lines as the youth patiently waited their turn. Some of the youth admitted they were hesitant to participate but once they did, it was like a great weight was lifted off their shoulders. Some were so relieved that they cried afterwards.