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TOTAL (Teens Open To Accepting the Lord) Ministries, a collaboration of Wausau Deanery Catholic youth ministers and religious education leaders, expected hundreds of teenagers to attend and express their faith at Everest-area’s first Catholic Youth Rally on May 9, 2009 at the Rothschild Pavilion, Rothschild, WI. The Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity can testify that 260 friendly, energetic Catholic youth participated fully in the day’s activities.
Here are more reasons why this rally was worth the two hour drive from Manitowoc:
- All were welcomed warmly at the front door of a spacious modern building equipped for conference-like and liturgical activities (the Franciscan Sisters even got a parking place near the door to make it easier for hauling exhibit materials!)
- This event drew Catholics from three Wisconsin dioceses: La Crosse, Superior and Green Bay (Christi Parish, Sturgeon Bay, WI youth remembered the Franciscan Sisters from their recent music outreach at their parish in March 2009.)
- The youth moved to the music of SONAR, an inspired Catholic rock band from the Twin Cities who also provided worship songs for Eucharist and other prayer times.
- Tammy Borden, Lifest, Oshkosh, WI, used her own struggles to encourage and empower young people showing them that no matter how overwhelming their situation, God will extend his unconditional love and grace.
- Rich Curran, Christian Motivational Speaker and Trainer from Oshkosh, WI, challenged participants to accept God’s amazing grace and call to be for others. In the intersections of life one can even be an instrument of change in another’s life.
- Capuchins Father Tom Zelinski, OFMCap, and Father Dan Crosby, OFMCap, serving at St. Anthony Retreat Center, Marathon, WI, and diocesan priest Father Jerzy Rebacz assisted with the Sacrament of Reconciliation throughout most of the day.
- Youth planned and presented various scheduled activities.
- Father Joseph Hirsch, Vicar for Clergy for the Diocese of La Crosse, WI, presided at the sending forth Sunday liturgy with other area priests.
- The Rally Team (Father Gerry Pehler, OFMCap, John Schmitt, Steve Martin, Noel Furger, Mary Maly and JoEllen Van Galder) were applauded for their organizational efforts.