CCO’s “Rise Up” Conference: Lord, I hear you calling my name
Between December 28, 2013, and January 1, 2014, I had the privilege of attending the Catholic Christian Outreach “Rise Up” conference in Ottawa. There were 850 university students present, representing all ten provinces and the Northwest Territories and 88 universities. I was one among 55 priests and religious from 19 different religious communities.
This is an annual religious conference for universities students. This year it was celebrating 25 years of ministry. The theme of the conference was “All That Matters” and consisted in sessions with inspirational speakers, music, private prayer and reflection, and opportunities for socializing and visiting some sites in Ottawa. Mass was held at the Cathedral, St Patrick’s Basilica and in the hotel on different days. The talks started by encouraging the students into a personal relationship with Jesus and as the conference progressed to focus them out ward as missionaries of the new evangelization in our Church. Between sessions the young people had the opportunity to visit many different booths representing the various religious communities and Catholic organizations.
With the help of our CSJ staff members, I went very well prepared to represent our community at a booth. It was a marvelous opportunity for me to be with representatives of the young adults of our country, to listen to their ideas and concerns and to learn their ways of perceiving and expressing their Christian commitment in our world. Below is a copy of the commitment prayer they signed at the end of the conference and sent to Pope Francis. I ask you to give thanks with me for these young people and their ideals and for this organization that supports them in those ideals.
CCO Apostle’s Prayer
Lord, when you called Abraham, he responded, “Ready.”
When you called Isaiah, he answered, “Here I am Lord.”
When the angel Gabriel called out to Mary, she responded,
“I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to your word.”
Lord, I hear you calling my name.
I hear you entrusting me with the task of building your kingdom.
Like those holy men and women who have gone before me, I give you my ‘yes!’
I will go anywhere you want me to go.
I will do anything you want me to do.
I will say anything you want me to say.
Holy Spirit I welcome you and ask you to guide me.
Form in me an apostle’s heart – filled with love for Christ and zeal for souls.
I will commit myself with courage and generosity to the New Evangelization.
I will build brick-by-brick, the city of God inside the city of man.
Article and pictures by Rosemary Fry CSJ