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God of This City inspires young Catholics


John Niven leads praise and worship music during the fifth and final night of the God of This City Tour, Dec. 2 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. Pilot photo/George Martell

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Attracting hundreds of youth, young adults, and families from around the Archdiocese of Boston, the God of This City Tour 2011 inspired young people to follow the call of Christ in their lives.

The Tour was presented by LIFT Ministries and the archdiocese's Office of the New Evangelization of Youth and Young Adults. Each night of the tour featured a speaker, the sacrament of reconciliation, eucharistic adoration, and contemporary praise and worship music.

It began on Nov. 28 at St. Mary Parish in Dedham and continued on Nov. 29 at All Saints Parish in Haverhill. Evenings also took place at St. Bernadette Parish in Randolph on Nov. 30, St. Agnes Parish in Reading on Dec. 1, and concluded at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on Dec. 2 with Mother Olga of the Daughters of Mary of Nazareth as the featured speaker.

Music throughout the tour was provided by Jon Niven and the LIFT band.

Father Matt Williams, spiritual director of LIFT and director of the Office of New Evangelization, said that the tour has a twofold message -- to "rally our parishes in support of young people so that they may be filled and empowered with the Gospel" and "through the gift they are to the Church and their witness, they in turn ignite our parishes."

The theme for the tour was "Glory to God Forever," emblematic of our resolve as Catholics to offer our lives to the Lord as did all the angels and saints. Each evening the guest speaker addressed that theme and invited the hundreds of attendees to enthrone Christ in their hearts and in their lives.

With the beginning of Advent, the God of This City Tour offered hundreds of area Catholics the opportunity to begin the season with praise and worship and with time in prayer in eucharistic adoration. Hundreds also received the sacrament of reconciliation.

"Judging from the lines for confessions, you could say this evening was abundantly fruitful!" remarked one priest who was on hand to hear confessions.

Each evening was hosted by a different parish in each of the five regions of the archdiocese allowing for Catholics from all over eastern Massachusetts and New Hampshire to participate. Hundreds were in attendance each night culminating with an extended evening at the cathedral on Friday, featuring a choir accompanying the band.

Dozens of volunteers from all over the archdiocese are involved in supporting this ministry. Most have been helping out since the first year, returning each year to be sure the tour is able to reach as many Catholics as possible.

Father Williams said of the tour, "It is so encouraging to see how this event has grown over the years, with more and more young people and their respective communities responding to the invitation to join us."

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