Youth Apostolate readies for 'Celebrate Youth'

Reservations are still being accepted for "Celebrate Youth," an archdiocesanwide youth gathering to be held on Palm Sunday, March 16. About 375 people already have indicated they will attend the event, which is sponsored by the archdiocesan Catholic Youth Apostolate. It will take place from 1-5 p.m. at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis. "It’s a day to come together to celebrate young people on International World Youth Day, which is on Palm Sunday," said Sister M. Consolata Crews, FSGM, director of the apostolate’s Office of Youth Ministry. "But even more importantly, it’s for all of us to enter into and prepare for Holy Week." A highlight of the event is the presentation of the Karol Wojtyla Youth and John Paul II Youth Coordinator awards, which will recognize a youth and adult youth coordinator from the area who strive to be models of Christ. Archbishop Raymond L. Burke and Auxiliary Bishop Robert J. Hermann, with Catholic Youth Apostolate executive director Father John J. Borcic, will celebrate a 3 p.m. Mass. Priests of the archdiocese have been invited to concelebrate the Mass, and men and women religious also have been invited to volunteer and give witness at the event. Other scheduled activities include music from local Catholic musician Brad Hood and friends; prayer and song led by a Gospel choir of children from the North City Deanery, directed by Nancy Collier and organized by Arlecia Stamps and Angela Thames from St. Alphonsus Liguori (Rock) Parish; a performance of Christ’s Passion by members of Assumption Parish in O’Fallon; and the blessing and distribution of palms. Paul Masek, coordinator of the REAP Team, and Liz Buncher, coordinator of youth ministry for the Office of Youth Ministry, will serve as emcees. The event also will draw to a close a yearlong traveling pilgrim cross effort that was organized by the Youth Ministry Office. Created in anticipation of World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia, this summer, the 7-foot wooden pilgrim cross has been shared among 50 local parishes, schools and other Church organizations since last April. Reservations for "Celebrate Youth" should be submitted as soon as possible. For more information, call the Office of Youth Ministry at (314) 633-2500 or send an e-mail message to Sister M. Consolata Crews, FSGM, at srmconsola

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