By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger
IOWA CITY — The Junior High Youth Rally on Oct. 15 at Regina Catholic Education Center will focus on helping teens embrace the liturgy.
“Many teens — and adults — do not have an understanding, appreciation or desire for the Mass,” said Don Boucher, diocesan director of Faith Formation and coordinator of Youth and Young Adult Ministry. “Understanding something often leads to a deeper appreciation for it, which then leads to a deeper desire for it.”
At the daylong rally, Diocesan Youth Ministry Committee members will immerse students in the parable of the great banquet from the Gospel of Luke. The gym and cafeteria will be transformed to look like banquet spaces.
Bishop Thomas Zinkula will preside at Mass in the morning and follow with a talk show-inspired interactive session. Panelists will ask him questions, which he will receive ahead of time. “It’s an opportunity for him to address young people,” Boucher said, “and an opportunity for the kids to get to know more about him and his background.”
Youths will be assigned to “Saint Squads,” small groups named in honor of different saints. The youths in the groups will learn more about that saint, and each other. These squads will enjoy dinner together family style in the cafeteria and have small group discussions later on.
After lunch, youths will participate in three breakout sessions: Liturgy of the Word with Tammy Norcross-Reizler from St. Ambrose University in Davenport; Liturgy of the Eucharist with Kim Mandelkow of the Diocese of Des Moines; and Mission with keynote speaker Mathias Michael and youth minister Mary-Ellen Pfeiffer.
Michael, a worship leader and singer/songwriter from Cocoa Beach, Fla., will infuse music into his keynote address. He describes his music as “encouraging,” helping listeners to seek a more personal relationship with Christ by recognizing his constant movement in their everyday lives.
Early-bird registration continues through Sept. 27. Youths pay $30; adult leaders pay $20. The cost goes up $5 per person after that date.
Applications will be accepted through Oct. 6. Rally T-shirts cost $10.
For registration information and additional details, go to www.davenportdiocese.org/jhrally.