BLOOMFIELD – When some 2,000 young Catholics process onto the spacious grounds at the Archdiocesan Center at St. Thomas Seminary on Sept. 12, they will be singing “When the Saints Go Marching In,” along with a Christian band called eXaudio. It will be the opening of the fifth annual Catholic Youth Spectacular, and will feature music by eXaudio and Christian singer Jesse Manibusan, said Shawnee Baldwin, coordinator of the event.
“We used eXaudio last year for the first time,” said Ms. Baldwin, who coordinates youth and young adult ministry for the Archdiocese of Hartford’s Office of Religious Education. “They have a song about Mother Teresa that is on a CD of theirs. They write a lot of their own music, and they’re local.”
Cathy Hartley, promotional agent and sometime vocalist and tambourine player with eXaudio, said the group was formed about five years ago when Steve Kibbe, of Hampden, Mass., was looking for a way to get people to hear some Christian songs he had written. “He wanted to sing about the Lord and our Catholic faith,” she said.
Music is one reason the Catholic Youth Spectacular attracts teens and young adults from all over the Archdiocese of Hartford. Last year, 1,700 young people represented 67 parishes for a day of fun, food, song and worship at New Britain Stadium.
Ms. Baldwin said this year’s theme is “Empowered by the Spirit: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives” and focuses on the saints. There will be a saint scavenger hunt and saint Stations of the Cross. Other attractions will include a giant picnic, field activities, a rosary walk, a “Catholic Idol” talent show and, of course, entertainment with Mr. Manibusan and eXaudio. The day will end with reconciliation and a Mass with Archbishop Henry J. Mansell as the principal celebrant.
The Catholic Youth Spectacular will be held rain or shine from 2 to 7 p.m. Sept. 12 at the Archdiocesan Center at St. Thomas Seminary, 467 Bloomfield Ave., Bloomfield. The registration deadline is Aug. 27.
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