The evening of May 3 promises to be “unforgettable,” according to Dave Valone.
That evening, Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Rochester will host two speakers from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, who will lead participants in a two-hour experience of intense praise, worship and eucharistic adoration. This Steubenville Night of Worship will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. at Guardian Angels Church, located at 2061 E. Henrietta Road in Henrietta.
“It’s a very strong experience of devotion and reverence. You can almost say it’s an awe-inspiring experience,” remarked Valone, who organized the Steubenville Night of Worship.
The evening will begin with “exuberant” songs of praise and worship, he explained.
“One song builds upon another. The congregation is brought into an attitude of real deep worship and love for God. You really sense that God is present,” Valone said.
The evening’s worship will be led by Ben Walther, a graduate of Franciscan University who for more than 15 years has been a Christian musician, minister and educator. He currently is the director of campus ministry at Walsh University in Ohio. The keynote speaker will be John Beaulieu, a lay evangelist and ministry coach who leads retreats, missions, trainings and workshops throughout the country. He currently serves as the director of partnerships and engagement in Franciscan University’s Christian Outreach Office.
The night of worship also will include periods of silence, which will allow participants to reflect on the presence of God and his love for them, Valone said. That period of silence will lead into a time for eucharistic adoration, he added.
“The evening kind of culminates with a beautiful eucharistic procession. The priest will take the monstrance and walk through the aisles of the church, blessing people with the sacrament,” Valone said.
Refreshments will be available at the conclusion of the program.
The event is intended to help people recognize God’s love for them and return that love to him, Valone said.
“God wants so much to break through all the distraction that we have today,” he said. “These times of intense, focused worship really help us to see where he is and how much he loves us.”
Times of deep worship often bring about inner healing, repentance and reconciliation, which Valone believes are needed now more than ever. The fallout from the priest sex-abuse scandals plaguing the Catholic Church have left both priests and laypeople hurting, he said.
“There’s a lot of woundedness in the church,” Valone said. “So many of our good priests are caught up in the burden of their fellow priests that have done wrong things, and I think the whole priesthood is suffering. The laity have been wounded. A lot of people don’t know where to put their trust anymore, and I just think the healing can really happen.”
Those interested in attending the Steubenville Night of Worship may register in advance for $5 per person until April 12. Checks should be made payable to CCR-Rochester and mailed to Night of Worship, PO Box 609, Henrietta, NY 14467. Those who don’t preregister must pay the $10 admission fee at the door. Priests are invited to participate in the event at no charge.
For more information, visit www.ccr-rochester.org.