Amazing race


Chris_StefanickDiocesan youth rally to be held March 7

By Claudia Mathis
SUN staff writer

The stage has been set at Bishop Grimes Junior/Senior High School in East Syracuse. The Race for the Cross youth rally will be held there March 7. Principal Sister James Therese Downey, OSF, is hosting the event for the second time. “Sister has been great — she has really gone out of her way to accommodate us,” said Bob Krause, rally coordinator.

The event will feature live music by Martin Doman, music minister at St. Joseph’s Church in York, Pa. Doman has provided his energetic praise and worship music at youth rallies and has led the worship team for the Steubenville East Conferences held at the La Sallette Shrine in Attleboro, Mass.

The master of ceremonies and feature presenter will be national speaker Chris Stefanick, director of youth, young adult and campus ministry for the Archdiocese of Denver. Stefanick is a highly effective speaker. His dynamic stage presence enables him to connect with audiences as he shares gripping stories, humor, music and drama. Doman frequently talks about the saints on Relevant Radio as the vice president of the Dead Theologians Society and occasionally on Catholic Answers Live as one of its chastity speakers. Doman co-authored his first book with Matt Pinto, Do I Have to Go? — 101 Questions About the Mass, the Eucharist and Your Spiritual Life, released in January 2008.

Krause said that this rally will raise the bar when compared to previous diocesan youth rallies. There will be a new Interactive Park in the second Bishop Grimes’ gym, more breakout sessions for the youth and their leaders, a new Video Challenge and a closing social/pizza hour.

The Interactive Park was designed to provide a place where the young people and youth ministers can relax between workshops and talks. It will also offer athletic activities that tie-in with Scripture readings from the letters of St. Paul. The activities include Sumo wrestling, a pedestal joust, a bungee run and a Velcro wall.

The Video Challenge offers the youth a chance to create a two-  to five-minute video, mpeg, mov, avi, flv or wmv. The entries were submitted before the day of the rally. The top video makers will be awarded prizes on the day of the rally.
Rally participants will have an opportunity to choose from a wide array of breakout sessions that include topics such as music, vocations, talking about faith in an unfriendly world and using technology to communicate.

Father Richard Prior, pastor at Holy Family Church in Syracuse, will give a presentation entitled “Leadership that Makes a Difference.”  “Theology of the Body for Teens” will be presented by John Sheridan, youth minister at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Baldwinsville and Sharon Flanagan, diocesan abstinence educator. Paul Welch, director of Project Connect, a teen social justice program, and some teen volunteers will present “Project Connect — Try a Real Adventure.” “Music and Prayer” will be presented by Martin Doman and “How Do you Know What God Wants You to Do With Your Life?” will be presented by Father Joseph O’Connor, director of diocesan vocation promotion. Sister Caryn Cook, OSF, and Sister Amy Williams, OSF, will present “How Do You Know What God Wants You to Do With Your Life?” and “Following God in a Religious Vocation for Women.” Andrea Jacobs, youth minister at Holy Cross Church in Dewitt, will give a presentation entitled, “Feet On the Ground: How Beautiful are the Feet of Those Who Bring Good News.”

Mass and Eucharistic adoration, celebrated by Bishop Thomas Costello and Father Joseph O’Connor, will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The rally will conclude with a social hour.

Bob Walters, diocesan director of the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, said he expects 400-600 people to attend this year’s rally. “It’ll be an amazing day for the youth, any adult that is involved in it and for the diocese,” said Walters.

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