Byzantine Catholic Teens Convene
Every other year, teenagers from parishes of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolitan Church
across the U.S. gather in an atmosphere of fellowship, prayer, and spiritual enrich-ment. The ByzanTEEN Youth Rally offers a rich opportunity for young Byzantine Catholics to meet and form lasting relationships that are mutually supportive in the Faith.
The 2016 ByzanTEEN Rally brought together Byzantine Catholic teens and their mentors from across the country. Over 100 teens participated in the event, held July 7 through 10 at Notre Dame College in South Euclid, Ohio.
It would have been challenging to find even one participant who could convincingly utter the “I’m bored” mantra during the duration of the Rally, as the four-day assembly was filled with a broad gamut of activities, from serene and spiritual to animated and spirited.
Keynote speaker for the Rally – themed “The Lord is my Rock and my Refuge: FEARLESS”- was Father Damian Ference. A priest of the Diocese of Cleveland and writer for Word On Fire Catholic Ministries, Father Damian is a respected retreat master and founder of the Tolle Lege Summer Institute at Borromeo Seminary.
Clergy and religious from each eparchy also were on hand to provide spiritual guidance via group and individual talks, presentations and reflections, as well as to engage in social activities with the teens and chaperones.
Rally-goers also had the opportunity to visit the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, where they encountered a number of dynamic musical experiences. Engaging in more traditional fare back on campus, the teens received a crash course in pysanky-making and also tried their energetic legs at folk dancing with principals from the “Living Traditions” Folk Ensemble of nearby Brecksville, Ohio.
The spiritual culmination of the event was a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy celebrated at the Byzantine Catholic Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Parma. Metropolitan William, Bishop Kurt Burnette, Bishop Emeritus John Kudrick, and Bishop Bohdan Danylo of the Ukrainian Eparchy of St. Josaphat in Parma concelebrated the liturgy.
Plans are underway for the 2018 ByzanTEEN Rally, which will be held July 5-8 in the pastoral hills of Latrobe, Pa. at St. Vincent College. (The college is well-known for another annual gathering which occurs on their campus in late summer: Pittsburgh Steelers training camp.) As soon as new information on the 2018 rally is available, it will be posted on both the official web site www.byzanteen.com/ and on the Rally Facebook page.
Sincere thanks are extended from the event organizers to all who helped to make the 2016 ByzanTEEN Youth Rally a remarkably memorable and joy-filled experience.