Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of February 14, 2005
Avoid Satan, become saints
Rally aims to get kids excited about their faith
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
You can be saints too," a youth minister told excited Catholic teens at a recent youth rally.
"Saints are people just like us. If you say 'yes' to being a Christian, you are saying 'yes' to being a saint," youth minister Karen Doran told some 180 young Catholics from across the Edmonton and St. Paul dioceses.
"A saint is someone who loves the Lord, trusts in God's mercy and dedicates his life to serving and loving others. (Being a saint) is not beyond our reach."
Doran, an Edmonton youth minister, was one of three speakers at the third annual UnderGround No More Youth Rally at Holy Trinity Parish Hall Feb. 5. The others were Doug Kramer of Camp Encounter and Oblate Father Mark Blom.
The rally is put together annually by the Catholic Worms Youth Ministers (formerly Underground), a coalition of youth ministers from six parishes in the archdiocese: Holy Family in St. Albert, Holy Trinity in Spruce Grove/Stony Plain, St. Stephen's in Olds and Good Shepherd, St. Thomas More and St. Thomas d'Aquin in Edmonton.
The youth ministers get together once a month to pray and support each other in their ministry. The UnderGround No More rally, the only major archdiocesan youth event in the winter, is a product of their meetings.
"The purpose of this rally is to get kids excited about their faith, to give them another experience of community and of Christ and a chance to go a little deeper (in their faith)," said organizer Mike Landry, youth minister at Holy Family Parish.
The day was filled with prayer, speeches, music, discussion and dancing. Participants were youth from Grades 7 to 12, all visibly happy to be among their peers. Between speeches and small group discussions, the teens sang and danced to the rhythm of the music of the Life Teen music ministry from St. Albert's Holy Family Parish.
Requirements for being a saint include praying often and staying away from sin, according to Doran. "When we say 'I choose the Lord,' you are saying I choose not to sin," she said, warning the teens to always be on the lookout for Satan.
"As soon as you are on God's list, Satan is after you. He wants your soul. That's his whole purpose - he wants to destroy you. But we have the weapon that will take him down - we are walking the walk for Christ, not for Satan."
It's okay not to want to go too deep with Christ, Doran told the teens. "It's okay to be at that point but know that Christ is calling you," she said. "He loves every single one of you and knows exactly where you are at. The more we say yes to Christ, the more our satisfaction will be."
In her speech Doran challenged her audience to act like saints by loving everybody like Christ does. "Love will conquer every situation."
Stacy Zalys of Holy Family Parish was excited to be at the rally. "I'm a strong Christian and I love rallies," the 16-year-old said. "They offer a tremendous opportunity to meet new people and to get together with other Christians. (This rally) opened my eyes as to how many people believe the same things I do."
Zalys was impressed with Doran for pointing out that God loves everybody unconditionally. "It's good to know God loves you regardless."
Daniel Plante of St. Paul attended the rally to learn more about Christ and he wasn't disappointed. "I learned about the story of Christ and the Bible and how Satan is trying to destroy you," he said. "And I learned that I can be a saint too if I do the right things."
Michelle Mattie, a 14-year-old from near Stony Plain, said she had "lots of fun" at the rally and was happy she attended. "I loved the music and the dancing. I learned a lot about Christ and how we should all be more like him."
The rally concluded at 11 p.m. following a youth Mass and a dance.
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