Musician Chris Bray performs for the youth gathered at the Lift Jesus Higher Rally on March 7 in Toronto. Michael Romen

Rally challenges youth to make the most of risk

By  Michael Romen, Catholic Register Special
  • March 11, 2020

For Christy Dupuis, Catholic speaker and mother extraordinaire, the Lift Jesus Higher Rally was an opportunity for young people to do just that — go a little higher.

Or, in her family’s case, jump a little higher.

She illustrated her point to the more than 1,300 young Catholics at the March 7 event by telling the story of her husband buying a trampoline, hoping to have a safe space for their four kids to play. During all the bouncing, the safety net around it ripped, though that only seemed to be a minor inconvenience for the kids,  who continued  to jump and have fun.

“They see something, and they see opportunity,” said Dupuis, who challenged the youth at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to be more than passive observers at the rally. “They’re willing to take risks. … I want to invite you to take risks.”

The rally, run by Catholic Renewal Ministries and partnered with an adult rally at the same time, drew young people and young ministries from Scarborough to St. Catharines for its 28th year of operation.

“Jesus, the Servant King” was the theme of the conference, and the speakers built on Dupuis’ call to action by inviting the youths to grapple with that image. She recalled her disbelief when she came into the faith, and her former self might have scoffed at praising the Lord through Chris Bray and his music ministry. Her conversion, she noted, came when she stopped trying to please others and learned to lean on the sacraments.

Fr. James Mallon, author of Divine Renovation, oriented the conference around the Eucharist and invited the youth to speak Jesus’ name as a kind of creed. As he led adoration, young Catholics throughout the conference hall could be heard whispering the name of Jesus.

In addressing the crowd, Mallon remembered his first “stupid religious weekend” as he spoke on some of the anxieties he faced as a youth. “If I do this, this, this and this, God will love me. That’s not why God loved me. That’s not why I do what I do — I do what I do because He loved me first.”

High school student Dominic Schoenle was invited to give his testimony. He shared about leading a four-day retreat in Grade 11: “It was my first time completely surrendering my will to God’s will and it was the most joyful I have ever been. Since that experience, I have tried to make Jesus the King of my life. I would daily feel Him inviting me into something. Instead of wasting time asking whether I should obey, I immediately took action, trusting in the Lord. … When you’re open with God, He will give you a glimpse at what He has for you.”

For many of the youth, the music was where they saw that glimpse of God, courtesy of speaker and hip-hop artist Connor Flanagan, and award-winning musician Bray.

For Brendon Orian, youth minister at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Whitby, the impact of the rally came in prayer ministry. “It was my first time being a prayer leader at LJHR and I didn’t quite know what to expect from the Lord,” he said. “He worked so many great things in the lives of the youth through me and I was so humbled that He chose me for that. There was one person who came up to me and the Holy Spirit used me to speak the exact words that she needed to hear. I was left speechless when she told me the impact. It’s moments like this when I choose to focus on others instead of myself that the Lord works the most in my life.”

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"For many of the youth, the music was where they saw that glimpse of God, courtesy of speaker and hip-hop artist Connor Flanagan, and award-winning musician Bray..."

I heard the music and I ran. If that music is a glimpse of God - then St....

"For many of the youth, the music was where they saw that glimpse of God, courtesy of speaker and hip-hop artist Connor Flanagan, and award-winning musician Bray..."

I heard the music and I ran. If that music is a glimpse of God - then St. Augustine & the church had it wrong for all these centuries Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRtjQbtnvxA

Read :http://catholicnewsherald.com/faith/198-news/faith/faith-facts/2536-gregorian-chant-offers-catholics-elevated-liturgy-tied-to-early-church

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