February 4, 2011

‘Life is Very Good’ rally attracts thousands of teenagers from across U.S.

Musician Matt Maher performs during the “Life is Very Good’ rally on Jan. 23 in Virginia. (Photo by Alea Bowling)

Musician Matt Maher performs during the “Life is Very Good’ rally on Jan. 23 in Virginia. (Photo by Alea Bowling)

By Alea Bowling (Special to The Criterion)

WOODBRIDGE, VA.—Youths from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis were among the 3,400 teenagers who attended the “Life is Very Good” rally in Virginia on Jan. 23—a day before they participated in the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C.

Young people came from 21 archdioceses and dioceses to attend the rally, which also featured Mass, adoration of the Eucharist, and a concert by Catholic singer and songwriter Matt Maher at the Hylton Memorial Chapel in Woodbridge, Va.

Bishop Paul S. Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington celebrated the Mass, welcoming the youths as “the Church that gives us hope for tomorrow.”

During his homily, Bishop Loverde emphasized how Christ calls his disciples through baptism. “He is repeating that call right here. ‘I need you to bring light where there is darkness, hope where there is despair, forgiveness where there is hatred, and life where there is death.’ ”

Bishop Loverde encouraged the youths to open their hearts to Christ’s call.

“Tonight is a new moment for you and me to say, ‘Yes, Lord. Here I am. Come walk with me, stay with me,’ ” he said.

After Mass, Maher touched a chord with the crowd through his energetic and inspirational songs before he slowly set the mood for adoration with quiet, prayerful music.

During the concert, Maher led the youths in singing “Here I Am, Lord,” inviting them to open themselves to Christ.

“The Matt Maher concert was very inspirational,” said John Welch, a member of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish in Indianapolis.

Bishop Loverde said that all people must pray for a deep commitment to be heralds of life.

“Tomorrow we will pray again,” Bishop Loverde said, “and we will march to witness because human life itself is very good and very precious.” †

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