Youth Rally set for Saturday

NEWTOWN—Fr. Joseph A. Espaillat II, Director of Youth Ministry of the Archdiocese of New York who occasionally breaks into rap and hip hop in his homilies, will be the featured speaker at the “Fan the Fire” Youth Rally that will take place on Saturday, August 10, from 9:30 am to 10 pm at St Rose of Lima Church in Newtown, CT.

Almost 400 teens throughout the diocese are expected to attend the rally to grow in their Catholic faith and relationship with Jesus Christ.

Fan the Fire, a mix of fun and high-energy music as well as profoundly reverent prayer, is a one-day event designed to reach out to teens and help them to either deepen their relationship with Christ or discover it for the first time. The day includes recitation of the Rosary, Adoration and the Teen Mass celebrated Bishop Frank J. Caggiano.

Priests from throughout the Diocese will be available to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation throughout the day. The music ministry is led by Kevin Donovan and Katie Keogler.

The speakers reach out and engage teens with humor and a challenging, authentic, Catholic message that encourages them to seek and live out the truth of the Gospel. The music is a wonderful mix of popular and new praise and worship music as well as familiar hymns designed to interject both joy and reverence to the act of worship.

Most of the comments from past participants point to Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament as the best part of the day. We truly believe that real and profound changes can only occur when people meet Christ in a real way. All of the talks, skits, and music prepare and point to Adoration followed by the Sacred Liturgy.

About Fr. Joseph A. Espaillat II – He was raised in Manhattan and was ordained a diocesan priest in 2003 for the Archdiocese of New York. Prior to his becoming a priest, he obtained a Masters of Divinity degree in Theology and His Master of Arts degree in Theology (specializing in Church History) from St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, NY. Fr. Joe has served as a Parochial Vicar and Pastor and was assigned in 2012 by Cardinal Timothy Dolan to be the Director of Youth Ministry for the Archdiocese of New York. Currently, he is a pastor as well as the Director of the Hispanic Catholic Charismatic Renewal and the Hispanic Catholic Charismatic retreat house in the Bronx.

Aside from ministering the sacraments and proclaiming God’s Word, Fr. Joe loves working with youth and helping them encounter Christ. Fr. Joseph enjoys spending time with family and friends as well as watching movies, writing poetry and rapping. Father has led numerous missionary trips to the Dominican Republic (his parent’s homeland) and Haiti and is the founder of the ministry “Messengers of Christ.”

Fan the Fire is presented in association with Fan the Fire Ministries and the Diocese of Bridgeport. The day is being coordinated by St. Rose of Lima youth ministers Rodd Blessey and Jenna Donovan. Online registration to the event is closed.

Click for Fr. Espaillat’s rap for Jesus: