what went down at csc18
The Catholic Student Conference (CSC18) was the first conference of the Catholic Student Network, bringing together over a hundred students from twenty seven different universities for a whole weekend (March 9th-11th). This weekend was one big collaboration and was built from top to bottom with the passion of Catholic students. This conference would not have happened without the University of Birmingham Catholic Society, hosting brilliantly, and with their collaborators Cardiff and Liverpool Hope Catholic Societies.
The aim of the weekend was to do what CSN hopes to do: to give students the tools and the formation to be authentic evangelists. To further this aim, we had long blue sky conversations about what we wanted the conversation of the weekend to be and we landed on virtuous friendship, friends leading each other to holiness. Then, we got asking people who we knew could deliver that message well to students to come and be a part of it. It was a blast.
We were thrilled to have such a mix of speakers at CSC18, from chaplains, to students. Here's what some of the attendees said about the content of the weekend:
'Fr Stephen was excellent. The other speakers were also inspiring and I could relate to them.'
'Loved the difference in all of them! Great having students speak to students.'
'Interesting, real and practical.'
We could not have asked for better session leaders than those above and it was such a joy to have them at our first conference. Here's what attendees said about their sessions:
'Workshops were great! Wonderful ideas that worked really well!'
'Really good, particularly the Fusion women who spoke.'
'Sycamore is a really great idea and Fr Wang is a skilled speaker.
men's & women's sessions
Something that we as a team had experienced powerfully at other Christian conferences was gender split sessions, an idea that we had found opened up really honest conversations. This was true too at CSC18. Here's how some of the students found it:
'Was amazing to hear other people's opinions on topics that it turns out a lot of us think about and yet sometimes feel that we may be alone in our thinking. A forum for men / women was a good way to bring them up.'
'Men's session was really a thing. The leaders managed to get us speaking freely. Congratulations for their courage!'
'I particularly enjoyed the more Q&A discussion part of it as it was great to see people supporting each other and having solutions/suggestions when they'd had common problems.'