Fr. Graham Keep conducting Mass at the conclusion of the Lift Jesus Higher Youth Rally in 2023. This year’s Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Scott McCaig. Photo from

All ages invited to Lift Jesus Higher

  • February 23, 2024

The 33rd annual Lift Jesus Higher Rally returns March 2, giving attendees the chance to experience Jesus’ love in a unique and grand format. 

The Lift Jesus Higher Rally will be taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre with two distinct celebrations, one for adults and a second for youth aged 13-18. Both will feature important pillars of the Catholic faith throughout the day, with testimonials, reflections, divine mercy celebration and eucharistic adoration. 

Although heavily centred around Catholic celebrations and services, people from all denominations are welcome.

“I would say the thing that if someone’s feeling a push to go, regardless of their denomination or where they’re at, I would say that’s probably the Holy Spirit drawing them into something,” said Rachel Herbeck, Renewal Ministries’ director of Young Adult Discipleship and an emcee at this year’s youth rally. “There’s going to be Mass, adoration and confession so the whole thing will be very Catholic, but of course we want everybody to encounter and come into a deeper relationship with the person of Jesus.” 

The event, in partnership with the Archdiocese of Toronto, Renewal Ministries and EWTN, is offering a loaded itinerary complete with multiple guest speakers for adults and youth alike. As part of the youth rally, Catholic musician Connor Flannigan is expected to perform a concert set, with speakers like Fr. Alex Colautti and Katey Norman scheduled for talks throughout the day. The event will conclude with a Holy Mass celebrated by Bishop Scott McCaig of Canada’s military ordinariate. 

Herbeck emphasized the events will give all who attend as many avenues as possible to celebrate and experience Christ in an exciting way. 

“I think it’s appropriate to come (together) with everything that’s happening in the world, with so many places that we can run to for false security, to have a day where we can come receive from the Lord, encounter Him and find out what it means to take heart,” she said. “Expect to encounter Jesus through the Eucharist, expect some amazing preaching and teaching through our great speakers and just to have fun.” 

The size of the rally is often a sight to behold, with the event being the largest Catholic rally in all of Canada. The separation of adult and youth participants allows specific topics and themes to be properly reflected to each audience. 

Herbeck noted that although Jesus and His message aren’t dependent on age, being able to delve into the nuances of what specific groups are dealing with and how it relates to their faith can allow for a more personal day of prayer and reflection for all involved.

“Sometimes God brings us an opportunity to come to something that is just at the perfect time.  Sometimes when we step out of the ordinary circumstances, we open ourselves up more than we can in our day-to-day lives,” Herbeck said. “There’s something about actually taking a step to go somewhere new and to do something different that you’ve never done before, and that opens us just a little bit more to encountering something new that God has for us.” 

Not to be misconstrued as a Catholic “cattle call,” she said while sharing a day of praise with like-minded Catholics enhances the overall experience of the event, it’s a personal connection with God the meeting promotes.

“I remember when I was a senior in high school and I was helping with this rally and I had recently restarted a deeper relationship with God, looking at Jesus in adoration in the monstrance and hearing Him say, not audibly, but in my heart as I was looking at Him, your life is mine,” Herbeck recalled. 

“When we step out of the ordinary of our lives and leave our phones at home and when we give Him even just eight hours of our day, it’s amazing what He can do with it. Come follow that tug on your heart and have high expectations because God not only wants to encounter you personally, but He wants to pour out His love on you, power you with the Holy Spirit and send you out to achieve the particular purpose that He has for your life,” she urged. 

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