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Youth Forum


Our theme is

Awake, Arise, Announce: The Glory of the Lord is Within and Among You

The Glory of the Lord is Within and Among You. The Glory of the Lord is the presence of God, but more than just a presence, it is power. The kind of power that resurrects and transforms us. God calls us to awaken, arise and announce the goodness and glory of our God.

Over the last few years, we have faced many challenges in our lives. We are in a process of healing as individuals, groups, and communities of faith. We are called to renew our relationship with God and others and to re-build our sense of community within our homes, parishes and schools. We look to God for continued protection and guidance. This provides us an opportunity to get in tune and in touch with God’s Spirit in a new and fresh way.

Scripture tells us that we must “wake up.” By the power of your Holy Spirit, enable us to wake up and be embraced by your love and light so we can share it with others.

In Isaiah 60. 1-3, it says Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.

Our spirit longs for connection with God. We are made in God’s image, with the ability for self-reflection, intelligence, creativity and a need for relationship. All people have the capacity for love and for doing good. We are called to awaken and grow in deeper relationship with God. This growth is experienced through God’s continued presence in our lives. It is seen in our relationship with our Church, community, and friendships which lead us to greater intimacy with God.

To arise means having faith and trusting in God and getting rid of all that that is preventing us from walking and embracing God’s gifts and callings for us. We can ask the Holy Spirit to make the word of God life-giving to you so that you can begin to experience a change in light of those words. It is the Holy Spirit who can make those words come alive in us to bring about our deliverance from fear, insecurities and anxiety.

We can be open to God’s glory by looking, praying, preparing and walking, and the glory of God will be revealed in us! We need to be filled with awe over God’s glory in order find joy and privilege in sharing the Gospel with others. Building our relationship with God will bring tremendous glory and joy to ourselves and others. Start believing that “The glory is in us! We receive it! We continue walking in it!” God’s strength, God’s wisdom, God’s love, God’s peace, God’s joy all dwell within you.

Keynote speaker

Fr. R. Tony Ricard, M.Th., M.Div.

Rev. R. Tony Ricard is a Priest for the Archdiocese of New Orleans and is the Campus Minister and Chair of Theology at St. Augustine High School in New Orleans. He is the Pastor of St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish and is also a Core Instructor of Church Doctrine and Youth Ministry for the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana.

Mr. Devin A. Boucree

Mr. Devin A. Boucree, is a native of New Orleans, La and product of Catholic education all of his life. A graduate of St. Peter Claver Catholic School, St. Augustine Senior High School and Xavier University Institute for Black Catholic Studies. He has been in Youth Ministry and teaching in Catholic Schools for over 10 years.

A retreat facilitator, motivational speaker, song writer/ composer and author are just a few ways in how he spreads the Gospel message of Christ to young people throughout his community.

Feature Speaker

Susan HooKong-Taylor

Susan HooKong-Taylor is a singer/songwriter from Toronto, Canada, as well as a recently retired Religion and Family Life Resource Teacher with the Toronto Catholic District School Board. She has had the privilege of writing and performing music for World Youth Day in Toronto, most notably, the Song of the Cross, which she co-wrote with Ana Da Costa. Currently, she is the Vice President of the board for the charitable organization, Canadian Samaritans for Africa, which works to build on the assets of African women through micro-financing opportunities to support income generating activities. She also has been consulting with a team from Pan-African Catholic Theological and Pastoral Network (PACTPAN) for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI). BBI is gathering young people on digital platforms from 54 nations across Africa to discuss and act on pressing issues that pertain to faith, culture, health, economics, ecology and social justice. Susan continues to compose and perform music, lead retreats, and facilitate workshops. She was happily married to Kyle Taylor+ for 24 years, and together they have two children, Evan and Julia.

Sponsor of Delegate Comfort Breaks