Diocese of Rockville Centre

ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NEW YORK, July 19, 2007—This weekend’s Youth2000 major event at Kellenberg Memorial High School, Uniondale, will feature continuous music from the 10-member Youth2000 Music Ministry, a praise and worship group.

Worship artists covered will include Aaron Shust, Charlie Hall and Hillsong United, the Youth Ministry of Hillsong Church, Sydney, Australia.

Youth who attend the retreat participate in the music by singing along and following hand movements, said Tom Smith, coordinator of the diocesan Youth Ministry and a guitarist for the group.

“Music engages the whole person,” Smith said. “It’s an activity where you get your body and voice involved. It’s more than just something that is emotional.”

The music is easy to follow, upbeat and prayerful, according to Felicia Navarro, a coordinator and vocalist for the group.

The best part of singing for the ministry is “being able to pray and to share that with other people,” Navarro said.

Mike Rodgers, 23, a youth minister at St. Bernard parish, Levittown, attended a Youth2000 retreat in the winter. He said the music deeply affected how his group felt about the event.

“The music is very moving and very spiritually powerful,” Rodgers said. “It gets them up, it gets them dancing, it gets them moving. They said it was a very converting experience.”

Theresa Atanasio, 18, of St. Anne parish in Brentwood, said the music at the last retreat was a good complement to eucharistic adoration and speakers.

“It was an awesome band with awesome music,” Atanasio said. “I still have half the songs they played stuck in my head.”

Youth2000 is a weekend prayer festival centered on the Holy Mass and eucharistic adoration for Catholics between the ages of 15 and 30. It began in response to Pope John Paul II’s 1989 call for a decade of evangelization of young people. The first one was held in 1990 in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It came to New York in 1993.

Youth 2000 retreats in New York attract about 200 participants, while the annual major event generally attracts more than 600 participants, according to Angela Scannapieco, spokeswoman for Youth 2000 NY.

The Most Reverend William Murphy, bishop, Diocese of Rockville Centre, will celebrate Mass at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, the last day of the retreat.

The retreat is hosted by the Office of New Evangelization of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, along with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal and Youth2000 NY.

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About The Diocese of Rockville Centre
Celebrating its Golden Jubilee, the Diocese of Rockville Centre (www.drvc.org) was formed in 1957 and covers 1,198 square miles in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The diocese serves approximately 1.4 million Catholics (total population in both counties is approximately 2.8 million). There are 134 parishes in 115 towns. Last year over 18,000 baptisms, 18,000 confirmations, 19,000 first communions and 4,000 marriages took place in the diocese. There are approximately 22,000 students in Catholic elementary schools; 13,000 in secondary schools and 3,300 in higher institutions. There are 69 Catholic elementary and high schools and one Catholic college in the diocese. There are also 120,189 total students in religious education. Catholic Health Services of Long Island consists of five hospitals, three nursing homes, a community-based home for those with special needs and a hospice. Last year, Catholic Charities assisted more than 59,000 individuals who are poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged on Long Island. (4/20/07)

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Sean P. Dolan
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