I recently got back from spending a weekend chaperoning a group of my parish’s high school youth to my diocese’s annual Diocesan Catholic Youth Conference.
In summary, it was a really awesome experience because some new changes were implemented, and our very own bishop was present the whole weekend. We had Mass all three days of the conference, and two opportunities to adore Christ in the Eucharist. Pretty cool! I certainly feel transformed after going back to the basics and encountering our Lord, Jesus Christ, in the Eucharist, which is the source and summit of our Catholic faith. Conveniently, the theme of the conference was, “Transform ME”.
One of the keynote speakers for this year’s DCYC was Jackie Francois! She’s a pretty popular Catholic speaker and musician from Orange County, CA (shout out!). Her husband, Bobby, was also at DCYC helping sell some of her merchandise.
I’ve read some of her blogs, I’ve listened to some of her talks, I follow her on Twitter, and I’ve listened to some of her songs. She was in the local area several months ago at a monthly Catholic event to play her music, but I was unable to go though I really wanted to. I might have been in Washington, D.C. or Rio De Janeiro or something. As for her husband, I’ve read some of his blog posts, and I’ve heard a talk by Jackie on how they met, how they handle their relationship, and cool stuff like that.
I really like her talks because she’s a really good speaker, and she isn’t afraid to dive deeper on very real topics about real struggles regarding chastity, love, and relationships.
Recently, Bobby wrote a blog post about a really nerdy conversation he had with a priest about comic book superheroes and how Captain America is the most Catholic of the recent ones in the movies. It was really cool to read so I shared it with others since it gave me a deeper appreciation for Captain America. You can read it here: The Catholicity of Captain America
So, with Jackie being here at this conference, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to at least meet her and her husband!
At one point during the first night of the conference they were sitting at their table, and I was nearby loitering with some of my fellow chaperones. I didn’t want to go talk to them alone so I grabbed a few of my chaperone friends to go talk to them. I introduced myself, and I brought up how I really liked Bobby’s blog post, and all of us talked about it. Ultimately, I wanted a picture with them, but our conversation was cut short because Jackie had to be on stage for her keynote. I mean, I wasn’t upset, since there was still plenty of time to get that picture. Meanwhile, my teens were bragging about their selfies with them. lol…
The next day, I had the opportunity to eat lunch with them! Since I helped out my youth minister friend and another giving a workshop for this conference, I was entitled to attend the presenters’ lunch. When I arrived at the lunch, I noticed Jackie and Bobby were sitting at a mostly empty table so me and my other workshop buds decided to sit at their table. Really odd, but hey! ‘Twas an opportunity!
That was really cool because it was just totally casual talking about whatever. Because Jackie is pregnant and due in a few months, the topic of pregnancy and birth came up, which one of my workshop buds was anxiously awaiting the call from his getting-ready-to-give-birth wife. And the dynamics of everyone at the table somehow led to the logistics and technicalities of giving birth unashamedly told as it is. I mean, I can’t think of a more appropriate conversation while enjoying hotel cheesecake and coffee… I just couldn’t relate, lol. #SingleCatholicGuyProbs
During the lunch, we had the idea of asking Jackie if she would be willing to talk to one of our former teens on the phone. One of our former teens is such a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge fan of Jackie and aspires to be someone like her. We actually did ask Jackie, and she actually did agree to do so after we were done eating. Meanwhile, we let our former teen know, and she was freaking out and texting in all caps. When mostly everyone left except my buddies and Jackie and Bobby, she asked about making that phone call. So I let Jackie borrow my phone, lol.
It was cool! They had a ten minute conversation, and when Jackie was done talking to her and handed my phone back to me, I tried talking to our former teen. She was just speechless, possibly hyperventilating, possibly even sobbing. Lol, I told her to grab some tissues, and I’d follow up with her when she calmed down.
After that, we went our separate ways. Jackie wanted to take a nap before the evenings’ events.
Later that night, I saw Jackie and Bobby at their table again so I finally asked them if I could grab a picture with them.
|She says he looks like Leonidas…and by “he”, I don’t mean me|
Now that I’ve met Jackie, I really want to start listening to more of her music and more of her talks. I also want to properly follow their blog at jackieandbobby.com and keep up with it.
And really, she was just truly a blessing for the conference because having her there really added to the awesome experiences that we had. She’s so down to earth and is really relatable in her message to the teens. Through her keynotes throughout the weekend, even I gained better insight about love, dealing with struggles, and allowing Christ to transform our hearts. And interacting with her and her husband was more of the same, but one-on-one.
Bobby’s last name is Angel. And that’s how I met two Angels.
PS Pictured are actually three (3) Angels. Hopefully next time I run into them, I’ll get to meet Baby Angel! 😉
Captain America // JackieAndBobby.com