Dear brothers and sisters,

We have just come back from SEEK 2024 in St. Louis, MO. The conference gathered over 20,000 people from around the country and the world, most of whom were college students.

Our contingent of around 40 people included 27 students, two priests, a brother, and St. Elizabeht’s FOCUS missionaries and pre-seminarians.

It was a grace-filled experience for all of us. From daily Mass to Adoration, Confession, and an endless stream of excellent talks, God kept pouring his abundant grace upon us. You could say we were soaking in his love during the five days of the conference.

A great highlight for me was the homily of Archbishop Aquila on day 2. Among other things, he pointed out that when each one of us was conceived on our mother’s wombs, before our parents were even aware of the pregnancy, God the Father delighted in us and loved us from the first moment of our conception. In other words, God the Father has loved us FIRST. His love is unconditional and freely given. Therefore, we must return to this truth if we ever feel unlovable or rejected.

In another talk, Fr. Gregory Pine expanded on the same concept. He said that we build our identity upon our relationships. We say that we are a child of our mothers and fathers, the brothers or sisters of our siblings, a citizen of a particular city, an alumnus of a specific school, and so forth. But the most profound relationship we have is with God the Father. We are sons and daughters of God. Fr. Pine said that the fact that God willed us into existence and created us out of love is the metaphysical bedrock upon which we can build our identity.

May our Lady of Guadalupe reveal the love of God the Father for us.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Richard, MC

SEEK 2024