Youth Rally 2016 planned for Nov. 12; invites teens to explore their ‘Identity’

Mike Gormley and Emily Wilson will be the presenters for Youth Rally 2016, which will be held Saturday, Nov. 12, at the Spalding Pastoral Center in Peoria.

High school youth from around the Diocese of Peoria are invited to Youth Rally 2016, a day of inspirational talks, prayer, and games scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 12, at the Spalding Pastoral Center in Peoria.

But space is limited and time is running out to register.

Three hundred teens are expected to take part in the rally, which runs from noon to 8 p.m. and will explore the theme of “Identity.” The rally concludes with a Mass celebrated by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, at the newly restored St. Mary’s Cathedral.

The rally’s major presenters are Emily Wilson, a Catholic musician and speaker from southern California, and Mike Gormley, a lay evangelist from Houston, Texas, who makes generous use of humor to connect with youth.

Shirley Plaag, coordinator of evangelization and faith formation for the Diocese of Peoria, said both Wilson and Gormley have been active in Life Teen as well as Steubenville Youth Conferences.

“First, we will talk about our identity in Christ, being a new creation. . . . Secondly, we’ll explore what that means as a man of God, or a woman of God — our identity as masculine and feminine.”

A former full-time high school campus minister, Wilson made the transition to full-time traveling ministry beginning in 2013. This summer, she published her first book through Life Teen International titled “I Choose the Sky.” The book is a scriptural devotion that features reflections on 17 women in the Bible and what can be learned from their lives, decisions, and encounters with Christ.

Gormley, who is nicknamed “Gomer,” has a master of arts degree in theology and Christian ministry from Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is married and the father of four children under the age of 5.

“He’s really good and he’s funny, and I think the kids are going to relate and connect with him,” said Plaag.

More information on Wilson and Gormley is found on their websites, emwilsonmusic.com and layevangelist.com/about-me.

HOPES, HOW TO REGISTER

Plaag expressed two hopes for the Youth Rally and its “Identity” theme:

“First, we will talk about our identity in Christ, being a new creation,” said Plaag, pointing to the Bible verse of 2 Corinthians 5:17 as inspiring the theme. “Secondly, we’ll explore what that means as a man of God, or a woman of God — our identity as masculine and feminine.”

In addition to the presentations, the rally will feature games, food, and a candlelit time of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. About 15 priests are expected to be present to offer the sacrament of reconciliation.

Youth Rally 2016 is open to all youth in grades nine through 12. The registration fee is $30 per person, which covers the program, as well as dinner and a rally t-shirt. Registration deadline is Friday, Oct. 28.

Registration is done through youth group leaders (parish, school, home-school, etc.) For the first time, group registration is being accepted online at cdop.org/youth-rally-2016, which also includes a list of frequently asked questions about the rally.

Individuals who are not part of a youth group but wish to attend should contact Shirley Plaag at (309) 671-1550 or splaag@cdop.org for more information on how they can join an existing youth group.

SPALDING PASTORAL CENTER | 419 NE MADISON AVENUE | PEORIA, IL 61603 | PHONE (309) 671-1550 | FAX (309) 671-1595
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