Hip hop priest comes back to Toronto

By  Vanessa Bertone and Natalie Guadagnoli
  • February 5, 2007
Fr. Stan FortunaTORONTO - The rapping friar from the Bronx returns to Toronto to perform at the You Are the Light of the World Rally on Feb. 28 at the Ricoh Coliseum.

Fr. Stan Fortuna said he will make some kind of positive contribution to the event.

The rally's co-ordinator and founder, Angie Carboni, is expecting upwards of 9,000 youth from across the GTA to attend the rally, now in its fifth year.

Carboni started this rally after World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto, aiming to nurture the spirit of life that came from the international Catholic youth gathering.

“Jesus wanted me to continue. He wanted youth to know the joy of the Lord through music,” said Carboni, founder of St. Bernadette’s Resource Centre, a centre for people with special needs.

Carboni said she booked Fortuna to perform at the rally because he’s able to connect with the youth of today as he responds to contemporary culture.

Fortuna first encountered rap on the streets, where he said he was attracted by the “spontaneity” of it. He later used rap at a retreat, to help children understand what was being said.

“Rap chose me. I wasn’t into rap, but it chose me,” said Fortuna, explaining his songs are “a public expression of (his) private prayer.”

After the rally Fortuna will stay in Toronto to perform at other concerts and give inspirational talks until March 4. He will be a featured speaker at the Catholic Faith Leadership Youth Conference at Mary of Mother God Church in Oakville on March 3 and he will host a parish mission for all ages at the same church on March 4.

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