Hundreds of youth joined Hamilton Bishop Douglas Crosby for the Diocesan Youth Rally in Kitchener. Photos courtesy Christina Macaluso of CMAC Media

‘We are all one big family’

By  Christina Mines, Director of Youth Ministry
  • June 6, 2019

May is an exciting month in the Office of Youth Ministry for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Hamilton as it brings the annual Diocesan Youth Rally — an opportunity for hundreds of young people Grades 7-12 to gather for a day of prayer, celebration and encounter with the Lord. 

May 25 marked the fourth annual Diocesan Youth Rally co-hosted by the Diocese of Hamilton Office of Youth Ministry and the Catholic Youth Organization of Hamilton. Close to 400 young people rallied together at Bingeman’s Conference Centre in Kitchener to be inspired by this year’s theme, “According to Your Word.” 

The 2019 Youth Rally marked the conclusion of the three-year World Youth Day theme focused on the Annunciation to Mary.  All programming for the day was scripturally oriented and invited participants to explore a deeper relationship with God’s Word. The event was enhanced by the presence of all seven volumes of the Heritage Edition of the St. John’s Bible, our keynote guest, author and Catholic speaker Chika Anyanwu, and our praise and worship team led by A Guy and a Girl. 

Through the generosity of the Canadian Bible Society, hundreds of free Bibles were made available to participants, and those that could were encouraged to bring their own Bible from home. 

Lindsay Adoranti, a Grade 12 student from Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School in Stoney Creek, shared her excitement about the theme: “Learning more about the Word of God is not an opportunity you get all the time,” she said. “It’s exciting to do something outside of your comfort zone that invites us into a relationship with God. I’m looking forward to what this experience gives me.” 

This is her third year as an attendee at the rally. “I get really excited about the youth rally,” Lindsay says. “I love motivating my friends and school community to go. The rally gives me the sense that we are all one big family. It’s empowering to see young people motivated about their faith and growing in faith together.”

The Diocesan Youth Rally has proven to be a fruitful and blessed time for youth and youth ministers alike. This year we welcomed over 21 parish youth ministry teams who have made the Diocesan Youth Rally a part of their annual ministry schedule. 

Wes Moga, Youth Minister of St. Francis Xavier Parish, looks forward to the opportunity to enjoy the rally alongside her youth rather than being on the front lines of leadership. “For me personally it’s nice to experience things alongside the young people you minister to and with throughout the year,” Wes says. “It’s wonderful once in a while to not have to worry about organizing things and sit back, enjoy and be fed.”

The Diocesan Youth Rally has also cultivated opportunity for youth ministry teams in the diocese to sit back at the end of the pastoral year, look at current topics, themes and issues that are important to youth and make plans for ministry for the year ahead. 

“I love seeing kids come to rally and how it impacts their faith,” Wes shares. “Each of them has a highlight or a takeaway which helps me reflect and discern how we can integrate those takeaways into our week to week parish ministry. The rally has proven to be a great programming support.” 

The Office of Youth Ministry is so thankful for the opportunity to serve the youth of the diocese in this way, and we look forward to many more years of impactful and grace-filled ministry to come. If you have a chance, check out this year’s highlights at: www.hamiltondiocese.com/youthrally. We look forward to you joining us at #RallyUp in the future!

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