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Anchored - Rise Up 2019

Emilie Callan

December 31, 2019
While many of you were still gathering for (or recovering from) various holiday gatherings, over 1300 young adults from across Canada were participating in a five-day conference in Toronto between Christmas and New Year’s. Rise Up, organized by Catholic Christian Outreach, attracts young men and women from coast to coast each year. But in its twentieth year, on the theme “Anchored”, this was the biggest conference put on by the national evangelization movement.
Rise Up always brings in renowned speakers. Last Saturday night, after an opening speech by Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, Paul J. Kim, an American speaker and musician, gave the keynote address. He expanded the theme while sharing his personal testimony and left participants with a question: “Where does your hope lie?” He added, “If your hope isn’t in the Lord, we will be left empty.”
Other than great speakers and workshops, the Conference gives participants the chance to worship and celebrate together. Each day begins with Mass and there are moments of praise and worship with a live band throughout. On Sunday night, Eucharistic adoration was a chance for participants to meet Jesus face to face, some for the first time, and go to confession. The third evening is dedicated to inviting them to put Christ at the centre of their lives and share their love for Him with others. The final night is one of the most anticipated moments of the conference. This year, after the final Mass at St. Michael's Cathedral in Toronto, the conference ended with a New Year’s Eve bash when the location of next year's Rise Up was announced: Vancouver.
Since this is the largest gathering of young Catholics in Canada, and was also a meeting space for many old friends and key players in the Catholic Church, Salt and Light had to be there or else we would have had a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out). More importantly, CCO and Salt + Light Media share a common goal of reaching and working with young people for the “renewal of the world” as it is stated in their mission statement. Since the beginning of S+L, young adults have been our main protagonists and we are proud to support an event that brings so many young adults together.
Let’s keep all Rise Up 2019 participants and Catholic Christian Outreach missionaries in our prayers. As we enter 2020, may our Church be renewed by the Spirit, through the enthusiasm of all these Canadian young people.
See you next year in Vancouver!