By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger
IOWA CITY — “Do you thirst for a place to belong, or for truth? Then you thirst for Jesus. How do we get to know Jesus? Just like the woman at the well, he reveals himself to you, but not always the way you expect. We must all go out and try to be like Jesus in other’s lives. If we live like Jesus did, then we will create a ripple effect in the lives of others,” said Emma Davis, a member the Diocesan Youth Ministry Committee.
This is the overall message of the 2017 Junior High Rally, iThirst, which will address many of the struggles today’s young people face, especially as it relates to their thirst for self expression, meaning and a sense of belonging.
“They might look for these in sports, relationships or social media,” said Don Boucher, diocesan coordinator of youth and young adult ministry. But only temporary fulfillment can be achieved through these means. “No one quenches that kind of thirst but Jesus.”
The Junior High Rally will take place at Regina Education Center March 19 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Through breakout sessions, keynote addresses, fellowship and reflection time, youths will have an opportunity to break down the story of the woman at the well from the Gospel of John as it relates to their lives. Bishop Martin Amos will conclude the day with Mass.
Cooper Ray, a singer/songwriter and speaker from Dallas, will give the keynote addresses and lead music worship. Ray has spoken and performed at the National Catholic Youth Conference, the Steubenville Youth Conferences, among other events. Boucher said Ray has a great rapport among teenagers.
Appropriate social media usage, especially as it relates to youths’ spiritual fulfillment, will be addressed at the conference. Boucher noted that the topic has been of interest to the Diocesan Youth Ministry Committee, which helps organize and orchestrate the Junior High Rally. For this reason, a cell phone illustration is the key graphic element in this year’s rally logo.
Youths can contact their parish’s director of religious education or youth ministry coordinator to register for the event. Early registration (by Feb. 28) is $30 for youths and $20 for adults. Late registration will be accepted until March 10 for $5 more per person. Rally T-shirts are available for $12. For more information or to register, go to www.davenportdiocese.org/jhrally.