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Rise Up 2020 reaches for the heights

Salt + Light Media

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Rise Up, organized by Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO), is known to be the largest gathering event of Catholic young people in Canada. This year, for the first time, the conference was held completely online. 1000+ young people tuned in from coast to coast to listen to guest speakers, praise and worship, explore different ministries/vocations, and connect with other Catholic youth — essentially to go deeper in the faith!
The theme for Rise Up 2020 was Verso l’Alto or “To the Heights”, inspired by the life and words of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati.
Salt + Light Media was honored to be one of the event sponsors this year. Louisa Florentin and Marie Anne Torres had the opportunity to attend the 2-day youth event on behalf of Salt + Light Media, and they share their experiences below:
A banquet hall filled with priests hearing Confession, young adults and religious filling every crevice of conference rooms, fellowship, praise and worship, and a whole lot of Jesus. These are the sights and sounds I hold dear from last year’s Rise Up conference in Toronto. I got to see my colleagues Emilie Callan and Stephanie Blaquera represent Salt + Light Media in the Mission Centre, meet many youth and young adults whose hearts were ablaze for God, and spend one-on-one time with Jesus in Confession and Adoration. It was surreal, healing, and beautiful!
This year was different, but for good reason.  There was no lavish hotel experience, no roaring praises from attendees during worship, no Confession, and no in-person meet ups. And yet it was still surreal, healing, and beautiful! Though we congregated separately-but-together in our own homes, somehow the Lord still managed to work through our hearts and give us what we needed: connection, fellowship, and Him. I was skeptical at first, but even through the computer screen I still felt His merciful love reach out to me and the many other attendees I was blessed to meet.
I pray that, however this year shapes up to be, Rise Up 2021 can be as grace-filled and fruitful as Rise Up 2020 and all the years before. I pray for all the youth and young adults the Lord has brought to my life, that their hearts never lose the fire enkindled by the Holy Spirit. And I pray for CCO and other missionaries bringing more souls closer to Christ.
Marie Anne:
Rise Up 2020 was a phenomenal two-day event; the whole experience was such a blessing. I attended on behalf of Salt + Light Media ready to answer any questions about this ministry, but soon, and in a most unprepared way, I was the one jotting down notes rapidly and being moved to tears.
It was an all-virtual event, but in so many ways, it didn’t feel that way. CCO brought on many Spirit-filled guest speakers, such as Holly Leonard and Fr. Angelus Montgomery, whose words seemed to penetrate your heart through the screen. Live comments, reactions, and questions poured in through the open chat feature, which gave a sense of a mutual experience. And finally, the conference’s platform had this incredible option of allowing participants to request a quick video meeting with any of the other participants, event organizers, or sponsors. This was probably my favourite part of Rise Up! Through this, I was able to meet so many Catholic youth from different backgrounds and locations across Canada who were totally on fire for God!
I was so happy to be able to participate in this virtual yet undeniably tangible moment.
Many congratulations to the CCO team on such a wonderful, faith-inspiring event! Verso l’Alto!

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