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 “We have had a Year for Youth all over the diocese and great things have happened, but we can’t let that stop,” Bishop Barnes said at the event. “The youth will always be important. You will always be important.”

 Themed, “Sealed in Eternal Faith” the youth day rally served as an opportunity for youth to recognize that the Holy Spirit is alive in their hearts and that through their faith and trust in God, they can celebrate eternal life. 

 For some youth, the event also provided a chance to meet old friends made during other events held throughout the year.

 “We get to reunite with people from Virtual World Youth Day. It feels like a big family reunion,” said Audriana  Aldape, a parishioner from Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Indio. “It’s good to know that we all have the same interests, the same faith.”

 Keynote speaker Father Steve Porter, pastor at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Rialto spoke on how God’s love endures for eternity. Other speakers included Raymond Deang, Youth Minister at St. Christopher Parish in Moreno Valley; Chris Estrella from Our Lady of the Assumption Parish, San Bernardino; Cary Santiago, director of Catechetical Ministry at St. Joseph the Worker in Loma Linda; and Kristiannel Atienza, member of the Filipino Ministry of the Diocese of San Bernardino.

 “I was hoping to be refreshed, be in a godly environment and know that there are others that are strong in their faith,” said Stephanie Garcia, a parishioner from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Ontario. “I feel like I got that.”

 Music and entertainment played an important role throughout the event. The Chris Estrella Music Ministry served as the main band. The Late Night Jammies Concert held Friday night also included performances by For His Glory, based out of St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in Menifee; Verse|Us, based out of St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish in Riverside and beat boxing by Izzy Aldape, a parishioner from Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Indio.  

 “The music gets me so pumped up,” said Marissa Lomeli, a parishioner at Our Lady of Soledad in Coachella. “It was good to interact with different people from different churches.”

 Other activities included a diocesan version of the parade of nations, performances from Aztec dancers and modern dance from the Filipino youth group, live stations of the cross by the Youth Day committee, a dramatic interpretation of the Casting Crowns song “Set Me Free”  by Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Indio and a presentation on the soon-to-be-canonized Kateri Tekakwitha by the Blessed Kateri parish youth group.

 The Youth Day ended with Mass.  As the Church prepares to enter into the Year of Faith in October, Bishop Barnes in his homily challenged the youth to take the spirit gathered from the Year for Youth and embrace the Year of Faith’s call to study the faith and fall deeper in love with God.

 “Faith and religion is no good unless you live it,” Bishop Barnes said. “But we must know what it is that we believe. It must be the Lord Jesus. And if we trust in Christ, we will never be disappointed.”

 Food was provided by Jersey Mike’s Subs, the Office of Catholics of African Descent and the Knights of Columbus Grand Terrace Council 12050.

 Several prizes were raffled off during the day, including free airplane rides at Flabob Airport in Riverside.

 “Bishop Gerald Barnes told us on the retreat to ask God what it is that he wants us to do, and I really feel that He wants me to become more involved in church and in the diocese,” said Samara Munoz, a parishioner at Our Lady of Hope in San Bernardino.