The following story appeared in the September 8 Idaho Catholic Register.
Stephanie Craig & Rachel Avila welcoming people to the Boise Junior High Rally at Bishop Kelly High School in Dec 2022. (Courtesy photo/Andrew Furphy)
My first experience of a junior high rally was less than a year ago at Bishop Kelly, and in two words, I would describe it as holy energy.
Holy energy consists of live music, lights, and high school volunteers pumping everyone up during the 8 o’clock hour on a Saturday morning. One of my job’s greatest perks is to see young people’s lives change, to see them encounter Jesus through His Bride.
This holy energy acts as a bridge for others to come to these encounters. During junior high, these encounters with the Lord are arguably some of the most important because most people would use ‘awkward’ to describe themselves and their lives during their junior high years. But in these encounters, our preteens are learning who they truly are and who they are meant to be.
Junior high rallies start with high energy to create buy-in from our youth. The holy energy allows them to be free in who they are, who Jesus has created them to be. With this buy-in, we bring them to a place where they can encounter Jesus in the Exposition of the Eucharist and in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Ultimately, the goal of each rally is to strengthen their commitment in three areas: their community, the truth of the Faith, and their love for the Eucharist.
It is crucial to provide opportunities for the Almighty to share with these young people who they are, rather than social media or even their peers. To see groups of girls choose to go to Reconciliation with their friends, or see guys on their knees praying before the Blessed Sacrament rather than posturing for their friends or a cute girl — are memories I will cherish, knowing He is moving in their lives.
We must create spaces for our young people where it is normal and encouraged to surrender their lives to God.
This year, our Junior High rally season kicks off in Northern Idaho at All Saints Catholic Church on Sept. 30. The theme for this rally is ‘Belong in Christ,’ which shares the reality that we belong to Someone, and that Person is Christ. There is so much to unfold in this theme because, at this time in their lives, our youth are often so confused about who they are and what their purpose is.
Our goal is to affirm their identity in Christ and that they belong and have a purpose. This is the truth of our faith, we want our youth to be sent from this rally to live more fully the truth that they belong in Christ.
All three rallies will be an amazing event for junior high students, and I can’t encourage you enough to discern which rally you should attend!
Please check with your Parish Youth Minister for registration and cost
for these events. Look for follow-up articles about these events in upcoming editions of the Idaho Catholic Register.
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