Photos can be viewed here
Video can be viewed here
The video summary which was shown at the event can be viewed here
KOCHVILLE TWP. – An unprecedented number of young people gathered yesterday for the Diocese of Saginaw’s first Mid-Michigan Youth Faith Exchange. The joyous event came after many months of planning as part of the Diocese of Saginaw’s 75th Anniversary year of celebration.
The all-day youth event included dynamic speakers, breakout discussion sessions, prayer, Mass and a concert featuring GRAMMY-nominated Christian recording artist Matt Maher.
The Most Rev. Joseph R. Cistone, Bishop of Saginaw, said during Saturday evening Mass at SVSU that he had looked forward to the youth rally for the entire year’s celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Diocese of Saginaw. His hope, he said, was that the rally would kindle a fire within each young person there.
“You, the young people of the church, you have so much potential. Don’t let anyone rob you of what God wants you to be,” said Cistone, who urged the young people to embrace the Holy Spirit, return to their parishes, and allow Saturday’s enthusiasm to continue flooding forth.
The theme for this year’s event was MYE Hope, building on the message of Bishop Cistone’s pastoral letter “A Future Full of Hope.”
Reina Zamora, 16, a member of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Saginaw attended the rally with a group of church friends. She said she especially enjoyed listening to the Rev. Tony Ricard, an inspirational priest and youth minister from New Orleans.
“He was really cool and told us to be ourselves and not be ashamed of who we are,” Zamora explained.
The musical highlight of the day was the performance by Maher, whose lyrics seemed to captivate the youth as they pressed closer and closer to the Ryder Center stage. With songs such as “Hold Us Together,” “ Your Grace is Enough” and “Lord, I Need You,” Maher had most of the crowd up on their feet, dancing and giving praise to God. Parents, priests, nuns, and even Bishop Cistone, sang and danced in the crowd.
The Rev. Jose Maria Cabrera, Pastor of St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish in Reese, described the youth rally as a fantastic day for everyone involved.
“Faith is the best gift we can give to the next generation. Seeing all of these young people sharing the same cup and eating the body of Christ together … this is the ‘Future Full of Hope’ that Bishop Cistone and all of us have been praying for,” Cabrera said.
The Diocese of Saginaw’s 75th Anniversary year of celebration will conclude with Mass at the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption in Saginaw on August 15. Details can be found here.
The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw was established by Pope Pius XI on February 26, 1938 and is home to 108,601 Catholics, worshiping in 82 parish communities,. Today, it includes Arenac, Bay, Clare, Gladwin, Gratiot, Huron, Isabella, Midland, Sanilac, Saginaw and Tuscola counties. The diocesan 75th anniversary year of prayer and celebration for blessings past and yet to come began on September 8, 2012, the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and will conclude on August 15, 2013, the Solemnity of the Assumption, the patronal feast of the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw.