They came from all over the Regina Archdiocese, by bus, by car, and some were dropped off by their parents for two days of fun and learning more about their Catholic faith.
It was the annual MyGen youth rally held March 17 and 18 at Michael C. O’Neill Catholic High School. The Regina Archdiocesan Youth Ministry Team led by Youth Ministry Co-ordinators Michelle Braden and Braden Kuntz, and assisted by a team of 70 young adult volunteers, an army of knights, numerous CWL members and a committed core from Regina Catholic School Division organized the two-day rally. More than one hundred high school boys and girls were greeted on the first day with upbeat praise music performed by the Rally Band, a group of young musicians who come together and lead worship for the rally. The band provided all the music ministry for the weekend, including breaks between sessions.
Saturday was the busiest day. After introductions, the Rally theme “Where Do I Fit?” was presented along with icebreaker games and an explanation of the puzzle project, a world-wide art project based out of New York and made of puzzle pieces contributed from all over the world. After lunch participants and leaders were divided into groups and transported to 15 non-profit organizations to perform service projects. Upon their return to the high school, they shared their experiences at the non-profits then listened to a panel composed of Reverend Deacon Joe Lang, Sister April Mireau, from the Community of The Sisters of The Presentation of Mary, and seminarian Parker Love. Each member of the panel shared their stories and answered questions about Ordained and Consecrated Vocations. All spoke briefly about how they perceived the call to their vocation, and their struggles and joys in eventually accepting and growing into their vocation. Questions raised after the panel presentations indicated a few wanted to hear more about their story and several engaged individual panel members to learn more about their vocations.
Archbishop Don Bolen also addressed the rally, coming directly from the airport after flying in from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories where he attended the ordination of the new territorial bishop. A few of the ralliers were impressed that he came to the rally without first going home. They said privately that it showed he really wanted to be with them. He talked to them about life being beautiful despite everyday struggles and challenged participants to be kind with everyone because you don’t know what battles an individual may be fighting.
After supper Will and Edrina Sinclair, married for 30 years, talked about how God brought them together and the sacrament of marriage. They also cautioned the young people that if they marry, to be themselves and do not try to be something they’re not. The Sinclairs manage the boys and girls camp at Kenosee Lake. A dodgeball tournament with the archbishop as an enthusiastic participant took place after the Sinclair presentation. The day culminated with one of the highlights of the rally which was time spent in adoration and prayer. The band led the group in worship, several groups were available to individually pray with participants and a dozen priests offered reconciliation until late into the evening. The evening ended with a dance and some board games.
Sunday started off with the Knights providing a pancake breakfast in St. Peter’s Church Hall which is next door to O’Neill. Scott Heatcoat, a youth ministry volunteer, gave some advice about living out the call to holiness within the vocation of being single. In the later part of the morning three breakout sessions were offered; “How Do I Discern Where I Fit?”, “I Am Ready to Share My Story”, “You Don’t Understand….I really DON’T fit!”
Between sessions the rally band played upbeat music to give the entire two days a festive atmosphere. Inspired by the upbeat music, a number of ralliers took to impromptu dancing in front of the stage. An 11:30 mass celebrated by Father John O’Brien from Campion brought the rally to a close leaving the afternoon for the trip home.