Registration deadline nearing for 2015 Diocesan Youth Rally
By: By Tom Dermody
High school youth from around the Diocese of Peoria can get a head start on the approaching Year of Mercy by attending Youth Rally 2015 on Saturday, Nov. 14, at the Spalding Pastoral Center.
“Mercy,” the rally’s theme, will be emphasized in talks by nationally known chastity speaker Jason Evert and in music performed by Christian recording artist Matt Faley. In addition, Father Kyle Lucas, parochial vicar at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Morton, will offer insights into practical applications of mercy, and time will be reserved for the teens to perform a charitable work.
In a change from past years, the 2015 rally begins at noon and has a shorter program.
“In the past, it was hard for those outside the Peoria region to arrive on time, and then they got home late,” said Shirley Plaag, coordinator of the Office of Evangelization and Faith Formation.
Because the Mass for this year’s rally will be celebrated at Sacred Heart Church in downtown Peoria rather than at St. Mary’s Cathedral — which is undergoing renovation — attendance will be limited to 200, said Plaag. The registration deadline is Friday, Oct. 30.
“It will be full and I’ll probably end up turning people away,” she told The Catholic Post.
While last year’s rally invited eighth-graders, the 2015 rally is open only to youth in grades 9-12. They and their adult chaperones should register through their parish youth minister or director of religious education. Those who do not belong to a youth group should contact Plaag at (309) 671-1550 for information on how they can join an existing group to attend the rally.
The registration fee is $30 per person and includes dinner, games, and a rally t-shirt. Forms may be found on the diocesan website.
Other aspects of the 2015 rally include presentations by young adults on saints known for their example of mercy, including St. Maximilian Kolbe and St. Maria Goretti. Newly ordained Father Eric Bolek, parochial vicar at St. Jude Parish, Peoria, will discuss vocations and show a brief video. There will also be time for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, an invitation to the sacrament of reconciliation, and games.
Evert has spoken to more than 1 million people on six continents about the virtue of chastity. After working for Catholic Answers in San Diego for more than a decade, he and his wife, Crystalina, moved to Denver and began a new ministry focused solely on promoting purity: the Chastity Project.
Faley, a native of the Diocese of Peoria, is a former FOCUS missionary who now is the director of young adult and college campus ministry for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. A featured artist with Mysterium Records, his debut CD is called “The Only Light.”
The rally concludes following the 7 p.m. vigil Mass at Sacred Heart Church.