FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 16, 2023
Contact: Fr. Emanuel (Manu) Franco-Gomez, O.Carm.
Order of Carmelites, Province of Most Pure Heart of Mary
Instagram: @manuocarm

Photo courtesy of @TucsonCatholicU

Carmelite Friar Emanuel (Manu) Franco-Gomez Creates Artwork for “Fully Alive,” the 2023 National Catholic Youth Congress to be held in Indianapolis from November 16-18, 2023 Indianapolis, IN: The National Catholic Youth Congress (“NCYC’23”) announced that artist and Carmelite, Fr. Emanuel Franco-Gomez (Fr. Manu), created five large digital illustrations that will serve as the background for the general sessions of the three-day long Congress. Fr. Manu’s illustrations center on the NCYC “Fully Alive” theme and will be revealed in parts. Ultimately, the parts will be joined together as one large piece and become “fully alive” through the magic of animation on large screens.

Not wanting to break with the continuity of tradition, in each of his illustrations, Fr. Manu created a “visual language in communion with the history of art in the Catholic Church,” but one that is also“fresh, new and compelling.” He utilized symbols, colors, and shapes to carry meaning from one illustration to another. He hopes that “those who look at these images and listen to the words that accompany these images can grasp and internalize the symbolic language” and think deeply about
the spiritual meaning of the art.

Fr. Manu was interviewed by NFCYM staff member Natalie Ibarra, who talked with him about his process, thoughts, and hopes he has around the artwork he created for the NCYC general sessions. (Link to interview:

Emanuel (Manu) Franco Gomez, O.Carm.: Fr. Manu is a Carmelite and member of the North American Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary. He was born and raised in Mexico, and is an experienced teacher, a professional artist, a musician, and a composer. Fr. Manu illustrated the Liturgical Press Spanish edition of the Roman Missal in the U.S.

Fr. Manu was ordained as a priest in 2018. He presently serves as Director of Youth Ministry for the Diocese of Tucson and teaches theology at The Catholic University of America – Tucson (faculty profile:

NCYC Congress: At NCYC Catholic young people and their chaperones—youth ministers, campus ministers, parents, catechists, priests, coaches, and scout leaders—come together to pray, learn, and grow in their faith. In addition to opportunities to receive the sacraments of the Eucharist and penance, NCYC participants attend general and breakout sessions on topics relevant to living as a disciple of Christ in today’s world, visit with organizations that provide resources and other support to youth and youth ministry, spend time in personal and communal prayer, and engage in service to others.