Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of February 18, 2002
Youth get program at Catholic Conference
By RENATO GANDIA
WCR Staff Writer
Why Believe, the youth program at the Catholic Conference 2002, promises to provide a fun atmosphere for youth to discuss topics about Catholic faith and morals.
Questions like, "Why have faith? Why have a relationship with Jesus? Who is Jesus? Why does he matter so much?" will be asked throughout the day on March 9, at Shaw Conference Centre.
The program is replete with musical productions and will conclude with a presentation of Song of Mark, a musical storytelling of the Gospel according to Mark, by a group from Red Deer. After this, a Christian rock concert is slated.
"When you have the right kind of contemporary music that young people listen to, another channel is opened for them to really celebrate their faith," said Maurice Fritze, promoter of the event.
"We want to show (the youth) that celebrating and learning about the faith can be a totally cool experience," Fritze told the WCR.
Large Catholic gatherings, where youth can talk about their faith, are rarely experienced by the teens, he noted.
In many instances, Catholic youth attend other Christian conferences where Christian music is played and young people talk about their faith.
"We're not experienced in the same way as other Christian denominations are. We feel that there is something to learn from this," said Fritze.
Looking at models from the other Christian denominations, organizers found out that it is crucial for the youth to have somebody tell them, "It's okay to be Catholic or it's okay to be confused and looking for directions concerning different issues that youth face."
"Without opening ourselves up to these kinds of things, we're missing a valuable way to reach young people."
The program was designed from the point of view of young people, who were consulted as resources in shaping the youth event.
It is important that youth know the speakers will be talking about topics that really matter to them not because adults chose the issues, said Fritze.
Reflecting on the Nov. 19 Godiseum when the World Youth Day Pilgrim Cross visited Edmonton, organizers hope that students from Grade 9 to 12 in the province would be interested in Why Believe.
Singers and dancers from Godiseum will be at the conference, which also features Mark Mallet's music and ministry.
Archbishop Thomas Collins, will be a guest panelist on the topic, Hotmail: Morality in a MuchMusic Society.
Mike McLean, former Edmonton Eskimos player and Wildcats' head coach, will give an inspirational talk while two professional athletes will give personal testimonials.
Father Ron Nuzzi from the U.S. will give a talk on Why Jesus Matters: Witnessing to Christ in a Virtual Age, while another American Pam Stenzel will give a presentation on Sex Has a Price Tag.
Chaplains and principals in Edmonton are well informed about the Catholic Conference and are working to turn out a great number of students. But organizers are concerned the teachers' strikes in other Catholic districts may affect the turnout. Deadline for registration is Feb. 22.
Please call (780) 988-6650 or email email@example.com for more information.