Middle school kids told to keep coming to Jesus

by Paul Braun | New Earth

The gym at St. Mary’s school was packed with 6-8 graders and their adult leaders for the Middle School Extravaganza, held April 6 in Grand Forks. (Paul Braun | New Earth)

Games, song, comedy, and inspirational messages were all part of the Fargo Diocese’s 2019 Middle School Extravaganza, held at the St. Mary’s School gym in Grand Forks on April 6.

About 230 middle school students from across the diocese and their adult leaders attended the all-day event, which featured skits, workshops, prayer, adoration, reconciliation, Mass, and a dance.

“From the moment I walked into the gym, the students were definitely engaged in the games and all attendees were prepared to have a great day,” said Kathy Loney, Director of the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry at the Diocese of Fargo, and the organizer of the event. “The afternoon workshops were packed with students and chaperones ready to hear the messages that our workshop providers offered. From learning about our vocations to experiencing prayer, why we have Lent, what makes great family life, is music a bad thing or a good thing, and how to help someone become Catholic if they were born into a Protestant faith.”

Keynote speaker Paul J. Kim from California lent his beat-box, comedic and inspirational talents to the Extravaganza. (Paul Braun | New Earth)

The highlight of the day was two presentations by keynote speaker Paul J. Kim, who used his musical beat-box talents, comedy, and his ability to relate to kids on their level, to encourage them to open their hearts to Christ, who wants to have a relationship with them.

“I feel like so often as Catholics we know things about our faith, but we don’t know about the one person who our faith is about,” said Kim. “My job is simple, to help facilitate an encounter with the person of Christ so that these young people will open up their hearts, and in short be saved. That’s where everything starts, just like it did for the disciples and everyone else in the scriptures.”

After a time reserved for reconciliation and adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, the students and leaders processed with the Blessed Sacrament for about five blocks and into St. Mary’s Church to attend Mass. A dance closed out the day.

“I noticed people leaving with smiles on their faces, both young and old,” said Loney. “The day was good, it was very good!”