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Youth rally to feature Jason Evert

By KATIE LEFEBVRE, Globe staff reporter
(Email Katie)


FORT DODGE – Calling all high schoolers in the Diocese of Sioux City to attend the 2014 Diocesan Rally!

The rally is scheduled for Sept. 28 at St. Edmond Catholic School in Fort Dodge and is open to all students in grades 9-12, including public and private schools.

“First and foremost, this shows our youth our church is bigger than their parish,” said Linsey Hoard, assistant diocesan director of youth catechesis and evangelization. “It’s important for our youth to gather together at an event for youth, geared towards youth, so they can see other youth who are involved in the church.”

Registration will begin at 11:30 a.m. Bishop Walker Nickless will celebrate Mass at 12:30 p.m. followed by lunch.

Keynote speaker

Jason Evert, who is based in Denver, Colo., will be the keynote speaker for the rally. He has traveled to six continents to bring the message of chastity to more than one million teenagers over the past 15 years.

“Hearing Jason Evert talk is a once in a lifetime opportunity for a lot of our students,” said Hoard. “He’s a world renowned chastity speaker. He speaks at Steubenville conferences every year. He has a great message that he conveys in a very charitable and loving way.”

Evert earned a master’s degree in theology and undergraduate degrees in counseling and theology, with a minor in philosophy at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is a best-selling author of more than ten books, including “Theology of the Body for Teens” and “How to Find Your Soulmate without Losing Your Soul.”

“I began the ministry after college, and met my wife (Crystalina) in the process,” said Evert. “She and I began speaking together as a dating couple, and I even proposed to her during a high school assembly.”

Crystalina Evert runs the website womenmadenew.com to help women start over, while Jason Evert manages chastityproject.com.

“Another important part of our ministry is that we offer nearly all of our chastity books and CDs for $2 or less, so that people who need to reach teens with the message of chastity can do so affordably,” said Evert.

Evert’s first keynote address will focus on What’s So Great About Being Catholic? In this presentation, Evert shows the beauty and the treasures of the Catholic faith, as revealed through the saints and sacraments.

The title of his second keynote is Love or Lust? Evert will address such topics as modesty, how far is too far, starting over and pornography.

“I'll be encouraging them to embrace the virtue of chastity, regardless of the past,” said Evert. “Unfortunately, many people think the word ‘chastity’ means that a person has a repressive and prudish attitude toward dating, relationships and sexuality. While I'm speaking with the teens in Sioux City, I will explain chastity as a virtue that frees a person to fall in love for all the right reasons.”

He added it's not about shame, fear or guilt, but “about understanding how to find and give the love that God created us for.”

“Teens today are bombarded with messages that confuse love with lust, and are longing to know how to navigate through the confusion of modern relationships,” said Evert. “Unfortunately, many Catholic teens know everything they're NOT supposed to do (premarital sex, abortion, cohabitation, etc.), but they have no idea what they ARE supposed to do when it comes to relationships.”

Concert, holy hour

Following Evert’s first presentation, there will be a concert featuring The Thirsting, a four-piece Catholic alternative rock band from Portland, Ore.  The band consists of lead singer Daniel Oberreuter, bass player Vlad Belonozhko, lead guitarist Roman Belonozhko and drummer Bruce Briggz.

The Thirsting was founded in 2006 under the direction of band leader, Daniel Oberreuter. He felt called to start a band that would be authentically Catholic and at the same time be appealing to youth and young adults. 

The rally will conclude with a holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament and reconciliation.

Cost is $25 per participant, which includes lunch and dinner. Youth can register through their DRE, parish or school. The registration deadline is Sept. 19. More information about the rally can be found at www.scdiocese.org/youthrally.

All youth attending must have a chaperone. If individuals want to attend and are not part of a parish or school group, contact Linsey Hoard at (712) 233-7561 or linseyh@scdiocese.org.

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