Night of fun, prayer and teaching scheduled at Stage AE

Thursday, March 05, 2020 - Updated: 12:12 pm

By Theresa Sullivan Correspondent

Maggie Freedy has seen the unstoppable energy that ensues when teens come together to praise the Lord. That’s why she is excited to attend Arise on Saturday, March 28, at Stage AE on Pittsburgh’s North Shore.

“I think that the night will not only set my heart on fire, but the hearts of everyone who attends Arise,” said the Mount Lebanon High School junior and member of the Diocesan Youth Council.

Arise, featuring Unaltered Tour (formerly Silver Ring Thing), is a night of prayer, teachings on how to live the faith in today’s culture and Eucharistic adoration. The event also includes a dance party, vendors and concessions, and opportunity for confession.

Event organizers have created Arise with an eye toward presenting the timeless truths of Catholicism in a manner relevant to teens, said Gary Roney, director of youth and young adult engagement.

“Arise provides an oasis for young people from the cultural voices they hear every day,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for them to recognize Jesus as their hope and their path forward.”

The eight members of Unaltered Tour’s traveling team, who range in age from 18 to 24, will integrate visual effects, music, videos, audience interaction and personal testimonies into their performance. It will all point to the joy they can find in God’s unaltered design for their lives.

Team members also teach teens how to approach social media, cultural pressures and sexuality through the lens of faith.

The lived faith that the team members model will encourage teens who may feel overwhelmed or alone, said Jason Burtt, president and CEO of Unaltered.

“Our goal is that someone will identify with a speaker on the stage, see what they have and want it for his or her own life,” he said.

Several priests and youth ministers have helped plan the event. Vocations director Father Michael Ackerman said Arise will show teens that the church is bigger than their local parish. The event is a unique opportunity for them to invite the Lord into their lives.

“Any time you have an authentic encounter with Christ, you have an opportunity for a life-changing experience,” Father Ackerman said.

Teens can struggle to prioritize faith as they juggle school, sports, jobs and social lives, said Taylor McKeegan, director of youth ministry at St. Richard and St. Catherine of Sweden parishes. She encourages them to make the time to attend Arise.

“One beautiful moment in prayer is enough to convict someone to go deeper,” she said.

Arise is made possible through generous funding from the Cahouet Foundation. All teens in grades 8-12 are welcome. Parents are welcome, too, and can enjoy a complimentary parents’ lounge with refreshments.

Tickets cost $10 in advance and $15 at the door. For information or to register, visit arisepgh.com.

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