Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of October 16, 2006
Walking Bear's spirit guides youth
Conference honours a devout Catholic young man's memory
By RAMON GONZALEZ
"My son walked according to how the Lord would want him to walk."
- Caroline Alexis
Wanting to do something that reflected Christian Walking Bear's love of God, his family decided to host a youth conference in his memory for four years, ending in 2008.
"My son walked according to how the Lord would want him to walk," recalled his mother Caroline Alexis. "In his own humble way he really exemplified what Jesus would want him to do."
Alexis said the purpose of the native Catholic youth conference is to "bring out the truth about Jesus to our youth because they really need him to overcome the negative temptations in life that they are facing."
"They need Jesus in order to combat the pressure to use drugs and alcohol. My son lived a simple life without drugs and alcohol and we wanted to teach these kids that if one kid can do that so can they."
Jerry Goebel, a youth minister from Washington, had the youth clapping and cheering to his lively songs that spoke of hope, forgiveness and God's love. The Alexis Gospel Singers also provided music for the conference.
Moret celebrated Mass with the youth and spoke briefly about the sacrament of Reconciliation, saying the only way to know for sure that our sins are forgiven is by confessing them to a priest.
Jesus gave priests the power to forgive sins when he told his Apostles, "Whatever sins you forgive they are forgiven and whatever sins you don't forgive, they are not forgiven," the priest said.
It might be hard to confess to another person some of the wrong things that we might have done "but afterwards we feel a lot better when we bring it out to the light and we ask for God's forgiveness," Moret told the youth.
Moret offered Reconciliation for the youth during the conference.
"This conference is about bringing young people to God, learning about Jesus Christ and pointing young people on the right path," said Stephanie Alexis, the late Christian Walking Bear's older sister.
"This is what my brother would have wanted. He was a good role model for young people."
Roger Mustus, 15, attended the conference because he wanted to learn how to become a good Catholic like his cousin Christian Walking Bear. "I know he was a good man, who walked the walk of God," he said. "I would like to be like that."
The conference, Roger said, helped him by giving him the basics of the Catholic faith and by making him feel alive. "Before the conference I felt so depressed," he confided. "Now I feel energized."
Tasheena Petawaysin, 17, said the conference showed her the importance of choosing God like her late cousin Christian.
"He chose God and was able to stay away from drugs and alcohol. We are learning to be like him - to be people of faith who trust in God and love and respect other people."
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