The deanary consists of the parishes of: Christ the King, Springfield Gardens; Our Lady of Light, St. Albans; Sacred Heart, Cambria Heights; St. Bonaventure-St. Benedict the Moor, Jamaica; St. Clare, Rosedale; St. Clement Pope, Jamaica; St. Joseph, Jamaica; St. Mary Magdalene, Springfield Gardens; St. Pius V, Jamaica; and St. Pius X, Rosedale.
The teens, ranging from eighth graders to college students, participated in activities and workshops focusing on ways to make connections with God, Church and each other.
The day at St. Clare Catholic Academy commenced with a lively praise and worship led by the vocal sounds of Christ the King’s “Heaven’s Voices” Youth Choir and featuring energetic and inspiring dances from youth Liturgical Dancers of St. Bonaventure and St. Mary Magdalene.
Afterward, the first keynote speaker of the day, Father Alonzo Cox, administrator of St. Martin de Porres, Bedford-Stuyvesant, spoke to the teens about answering God’s call in their lives. Father Jeffry Dillion of Christ the King and St. Mary Magdalene also addressed the teens followed by a hip-hop rendition of “Dream Big” from Warren Rollings of St. Bonaventure. Robbin Johnson, a member of Christ the King and the mistress of ceremonies for the day, introduced the second keynote speaker, Tony Forte, also known as a the Urban Professor. Through Forte’s dynamic character, he reminded the group that “your talent is God’s gift to you and what you do with your talent is your gift to God.”
After lunch, the teens were divided into three groups to attend breakout workshop sessions.
The “Making Connections with God” workshop focused on how the teens can stay connected to God through prayer and positive moral decision making. It was facilitated by Taryn Bettis of St. Mary Magdalene and Amanda Nelson of Christ the King.
“Making Connections with Church” was conducted by Peter Damour of St. Clare who reminded the teens that “we are the Church!”
Tony Forte led the “Making Connections with Each Other” workshop and he focused on the teens being able to present themselves in front of a crowd. After the workshops, the revival concluded with Mass at St. Clare Church.
As a way to incorporate social media throughout the Youth Revival, pictures were taken and uploaded to the Q9 Deanery Instagram account using the hashtags: #MakingConnectionsWithGod, #MakingConnectionsWith Church, and #MakingConnectionsWithEachOther.
During lunch and at the end of the day, the teens were able to repost pictures or “like” them. The same applied for the Q9 Deanery tweets. To see any of the tweets or pictures from the day, follow the group @Q9Deanery.
“The revival was great,” said Doris Ekwebelem, 15, from Christ the King. “I had so much fun interacting with other young adults and singing with my choir. I hope there will be another revival next year.”
The Q9 Deanery has already met to begin contemplating the theme for their next youth event.
“It was such a success that we cannot wait to do again,” said Angela Lewis from St. Bonaventure.