In 2015, the first Walk for One Rock took place over a period of two days. When Fr. Joseph Nagothu heard Bishop Henry’s request for priests to get more involved, he decided to respond to the invitation and began the Walk for One Rock to raise more awareness for the One Rock Festival. The desire was that many others would participate in this walk. The journey began at St. Rita’s Parish in Rockyford, Alberta, home of the first One Rock Festival. The participants made the 80 km journey by foot to St. Thomas More Parish in Calgary. This pilgrimage walk created the opportunity to spread the word about this great festival of faith, as well as to raise necessary funds for it. Together the pilgrims walked, sang and prayed, all rejoicing in the name of Jesus. Some walked the whole distance, and others the distance that their time would allow.
It was an enriching experience where we were able to spend time with others who believe in Jesus. While walking we met strangers on the journey, and shared bread together thanks to the generosity of volunteers who prepared sandwiches, and provided places for us to stop along the way to be refreshed. To journey together with love and faith in God, can be considered the reward for having had the strength to complete the journey. Not only was there a spiritual reward, but the participants were welcomed to a huge feast prepared by the parishioners of St. Thomas More Parish.
Inspired by the Lord and everyone who participated in the walk, we rejoiced! We all shared a memorable experience, and were not discouraged by the challenges that were encountered. Having the chance to dedicate your actions, your time and yourself fully to the most worthy cause in our lives ensured memories for a lifetime. Now you can be a part of the experience this year!
Another Walk for One Rock will be taking place on Friday, June 9, and for a $5.00 entrance fee all are welcome to join several priests of the Diocese for this occasion. Again, we will start at St. Rita’s Parish in Rockyford, and finish in Strathmore. The walk should be full of spiritual and physical rewards for all who participate. Those who wish to participate or donate please go to www.onerock.ca for more information.
The blessings that have been born out of the One Rock Festival of Faith would not be possible if it were not for the donors and sponsors who back the festival on a yearly basis. In the Diocese of Calgary we have a lot to be thankful for, and particularly for the diverse and ever expanding programs for our youth and young adults. Over the last eight years our programs have expanded from 24 youth programs to more than 37, and young adult ministries encompassed either within these programs or attached to universities, and other post-secondary education facilities, and groups. Every year One Rock strives to reach those who are not only within these existing programs, but also those in the universities, who are not affiliated with a church community on a weekly basis, and to the wider community as well.
The number of Roman Catholics in the Diocese of Calgary has doubled in size over the last 19 years. This is exciting news, but it also means that it costs more to run the programs, and we need you to help us. Will you share of the abundance of what you have received as gift from God? Come and hear what your generosity does for young people, and how the festival has made a difference in their lives.
Bishop McGrattan and the One Rock team invite you to a Wine and Cheese event to hear of the great things that God has done for us, and to encourage you to step out in faith to share of your treasure.
One aspect of our Catholic life where the beauty of the Church shines through is our sense of being a community. And in this community, everyone pushes each other and helps them grow in their conviction in living the Christian life. Sometimes, we do this intentionally, such as when we provide mentorship to people through the different parish ministries. But just as often, we also do them unintentionally. It often comes to us as a surprise when something that we’ve done in the past – something we thought was seemingly small — has tremendously inspired others, and we just did not know it. Something similar to that happened last year.
Enter Fr. Joseph Nagothu of St. Rita’s Parish in Rockyford, Alberta. Responding to Bishop Henry’s call to encourage the youth in different parishes to participate in One Rock, Fr. Joseph said, “that’s why I was thinking: how can I contribute to One Rock as a priest of the Diocese?” That was when he decided to walk from Rockyford to Calgary, with the hopes of raising awareness for One Rock.
After months of meticulous logistical planning, the walk began after Sunday Mass at St. Rita’s parish, where Fr. Joseph was joined by his parishioners who pledged to walk with him for the first few kilometers – the young and old alike, some with baby strollers with them. Along the way, parishioners from Chestermere and from the different parishes of the Diocese joined him. What touched me the most was when a young man living in one of the houses along the route, went out to see what was happening and ended up joining us in the walk for a few hours, all the while talking about One Rock and our Catholic faith.
This year, Walk for One Rock will once again bring together people from the different parishes of our diocese to raise awareness for this festival that has brought so many closer to Christ. On July 10, 2016 everyone is invited to join in the Sunday Mass at St. Rita’s for the send-off to everyone participating in the walk. Or, better yet, join in the walk! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every single parish in Calgary would have a representing team in this journey? Pledge a kilometer or two (or more) and share with people along the way the purpose behind it. It is always a great privilege to walk the road God has set before us, and in sharing the Gospel with those whom we meet.
Walk for One Rock 2016
July 10 - 11, 2016
The Office of Youth & Young Adult Ministry is here to serve youth and whose working with youth in your diocese with Direction, Guidance and Collaboration.
Our Office offers resources, information, and support: Our intention is to provide a comprehensive ministry to all our youth and young adults, aged 6-35. These are some of the resources and programs that are a part of the Youth and Young Adult Ministry.
Our Office offers resources, information, and support:
Our intention is to provide a comprehensive ministry to all our youth and young adults, aged 6-35. These are some of the resources and programs that are a part of the Youth and Young Adult Ministry.
Many parishes in this diocese choose the option of celebrating a distinct Liturgy of the Word for children at Sunday Mass. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops recognises the beauty of occasional use of this celebration in their publication Celebrating the Liturgy of the Word with Children: Guidelines for Practice. It takes a lot of preparation, skill, and resources to celebrate a children's Liturgy of the Word well. Few of us are aware that it is only recommended for occasional use, not weekly. The value of routine notwithstanding, the rightful place of children is in the assembly. Moreover, to celebrate children's Liturgy of the Word weekly as well puts undue pressure on the people who coordinate and lead the celebration.
Indeed, at most Masses, children are among the assembly for the entire liturgy. The Mass has always been intended for all ages. It has been the tradition of the Church since the beginning to baptise infants. Therefore, those of us preparing the liturgy should consider the rightful place of all the baptised, including children, at Mass, including the Liturgy of the Word.
This article offers some suggestions and considerations for acknowledging the baptismal dignity of young people at Mass and for calling forth their gifts and their ability to understand. The ideas presented here are by no means exhaustive. Give them a try and allow them to stimulate your own thinking and practice in the parish.
- Sit up front. Parents often sit at the back so as not to draw attention to themselves and their potentially disruptive children. However, children will be less frustrated if they can see what is going on at the altar and more engaged in the ritual action.
- Pique their curiosity. Ask children before Mass to listen for the prayer that they say at home, e.g. the "Our Father". You can also ask children age-appropriate questions to engage them in the action: what do they think it means when the priest lifts up his arms? How do they understand the meaning of ritual elements in the Mass like incense, bells, water sprinkled, and the sign of the cross? Be prepared to share your own understanding with your children.
- Storytelling. Read with your children the Gospel of the day in advance from a children's bible with pictures so that the story they hear will already be familiar to them.
- Ministries. It's a common complaint that the same people fill all the ministries. An untapped resource for ministries is the young people in the parish.
- Get to know young people individually, through parish groups, or by organising a ministry event for youth. Find out their interests and gifts and give them a chance to be involved in a ministry. Whether you have invited young people into ministries as a group or individually, follow up. Ask them how they are enjoying the ministry. If it is not a good fit, respond with understanding and suggest alternatives. Sometimes trial and error helps the young person identify his or her gifts. Also, difficulties may arise in terms of transportation or coordinating with the family.
- Lectors: need only have received their First Communion. Students, who enjoy drama class, often make confident and effective proclaimers of the Word
- Eucharistic ministers: Young people who have been confirmed and have a sense of reverence for the Eucharist can serve as Eucharistic ministers. It is a beautiful sight to see communion distributed by younger members
- Hospitality: People of all ages can welcome, mingle, and serve refreshments. Even infants can be held and present a welcoming face to those arriving for Mass
- Music ministry: It is not necessary to have a children's choir. Many young people study music and can sing or play as part of the parish's music ministry
- Serving as a family: Families can be scheduled together to serve at the altar, to be the readers, to serve as Eucharistic ministers, and as a hospitality team
- Homily. Consider preaching a children's homily once a month. Come down to the level of the assembly, gather the children around, and maybe sit. Use props or a dialogical approach. Chances are you'll have the adults at least as engaged as the children.
- Schools. The presence of the priest in the schools helps make the connection between liturgy and life for young people.
- Blessings. Our liturgical tradition includes many special blessings and paraliturgical celebrations. These rituals also tangibly connect the liturgy to our material lives. When days associated with these rituals fall during the week, consider promoting a weeknight liturgy for families to attend or repeat the blessing for the Sunday Masses. Some examples include the blessing of candles on the Feast of the Presentation, the blessing of Throats the next day, the blessing of animals on the Feast of St. Francis, or the blessing of Easter baskets after liturgies on Easter Sunday. Different cultures incorporate additional blessings, which may be appropriate for your community: the Eastern Catholics bless fruit on the Feast of the Transfiguration; in Latin America, animals are blessed on the Feast of St. Martin de Porres.
2010. Simone Brosig, Ph.D. (Published in Carilon)