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Archives Diocesan teens gather in Canton to reflect on the theme ‘Remain in Me’
Youth Rally 2018

May 9, 2018

By Tom Semeraro
Contributing Writer

Canton - It was a typical overcast spring morning April 28 but, the damp chill of the outdoors was easily Youth Rally replaced by the warmth inside St. Mary’s School as young people from across the diocese gathered for the annual Youth Rally.

The rally brought North Country teenagers together for a day filled with games,  faith-building activities, speakers and prayer.

In one game, the participants were grouped into teams creating mad lib lyrics set to Journey’s "Don't Stop Believing." Then they engaged in a fast and furious game of super "Rock, Paper, Scissors" with one winner in the end.

Following a bit of  Biblical trivia, the young people settled themselves for morning prayer led by fellow students. After the prayer service, the group of youth, chaperones,  and clergy made their way into St. Mary's Church to hear key note speaker, Bob Perron. 

Perron, a renowned speaker, youth minister, director of education, and Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia, opened his talk with a unique game of “Simon Says." After many laughs, he shared a few humorous, personal stories. 

Perron  then introduced the audience to a game he called "The Curly Shuffle" based on one of The Three Stooges comedy routine from many years ago. 

The participants were asked to change seats and sit next to somebody different, and they had 10 seconds to do so. Once they repositioned themselves, Perron asked them to share a story with each other, offering the attendees the opportunity  to get to know each other.  

Perron dove into his presentation with humor, warmth, insightful words and spirituality.

Intertwining his personal experiences with God and Catholic belief, he masterfully displayed the truth in the passage " I am the vine, you are the branches;  he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing". John 15:5.  

Perron shared numerous examples of how people fall short,  even fall away and die spiritually without complete dependence on God, just as a broken branch does when it is separated from the vine that gives it life.

He left the young people with a positive message to "always stay connected" to the vine that is Jesus Christ.  'For when you do, God will work in your lives, in God’s amazing way,” he said.

After the keynote presentation, everyone broke for lunch and free time.

During the break, the youth had an opportunity to receive the sacrament of penance, retreat into quiet adoration of the Eucharist, engage in fun activities and visit information booths covering ministry, right to life, caring for the planet, vocations and more. 

The participants then had the opportunity to participate in two separate afternoon workshop sessions. 
The workshops were full of information ranging from, caring for the planet to the miracle of the Eucharist. 
Immediately following the workshops, home baked snacks were offered, followed by a Q&A session with Bishop Terry R. LaValley.

The bishop presided at the  Mass at the conclusion of the day.

Youth Rally

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