|Urbana 09 for Catholics|
|Written by Sherry|
|Monday, 30 March 2009 11:20|
Urbana, a sort of World Youth Day of missions for college students, is taking place again the last week of December, 09, in St. Louis.
Urbana is staggering - 4 days of the the highest level missionary presenters on a wonderfully creative and wholistic set of tracks. International students, international poverty, domestic poverty, world religions in light of evangelization, the global church, evangelism, environmental stewardship, art & media, business as mission, healthcare as mission, spiritual disciplines & mission.
22,000 attended from 140 countries at the last Urbana in 2006. Even though Urbana is sponsored by the evangelical movement, Intervaristy, a lot of Catholic students attend. Not only is there no pressure on Catholics to cease to be Catholic, there seems to be a new and exciting openness among these mission-minded evangelicals to Catholicism as a true and beautiful form of the faith.
For instance, the Urbana website features Sarah Vanacore's story of becoming Catholic as a student from an evangelical background. And one of the 5 video's that highlight Urbana "grads" is the story of a young women working with a mission agency in Perugia, Italy. Note that her language is very appreciative of the very Catholic imagery and beauty in which she finds herself immersed. Notice that the soundtrack begins with the Salve Regina. But also listen to her observations on how divorced from the faith most young Italians are.
It is time that Catholics were part of this conversation as Catholics together. I'm seriously praying about attending Urbana myself this year (as part of the pastors/leaders track) and I would like to have other Catholics come with me so we can process the challenges and the divergences from a Catholic perspective together. This would be a great opportunity for Catholic students or seminarians or leaders really interested in evangelization and global mission.