The Best Possible Way to Spend New Year's

The Best Possible Way to Spend New Year's


Rise Up is happening in Montreal right now. The annual New Year's conference put on by Catholic Chistian Outreach is aimed at young adults aged 18-35. If you are in that bracket, you should either be here or be considering being here next year (in whatever city is hosting then Vancouver!).

I did the math last night and realized that this is actually my 6th Rise Up. That puts me in rare company for someone who isn't CCO staff, but I just love the conference and the movement behind it.

But enough about me. Here are 4 incentives for YOU to come to Rise Up.

1. Make amazing friends from across Canada

This year at Rise Up there are 700 participants from across the nation. Every province is represented and there are students from 90 colleges and universities! This is the highest concentration of young Canadian Catholics I can imagine.

And who isn't looking for more great Christian friends? I couldn't measure the impact of friends I've met and journeyed with, who've helped me grow as a person and in my resolve to follow Jesus more faithfully.

And some of them I've met at Rise Up.

2. Ask God big questions

We can ask God big questions everyday. But sometimes the big answers seem to come when we are outside our "normal" and really dogged and deliberate about opening ourselves up to God's graces.

This is the point of a pilgrimage, and Rise Up is a great place to journey to for this purpose.

I can share a few examples but one big one was an experience my wife (then fiancée) had at Rise Up 2006 in Quebec City. She came out of a time of Adoration of the Holy Eucharist with tears. She told me that she realized in prayer that she was restless. She was happy to be engaged but she was also fearing getting married. How would it change her life, her career goals? Would it be the end of youth? Was there more still to accomplish before getting married?

But in prayer she felt God answer this decisively, as much as she felt his voice at any time in her life.

"The most important work you will do is as a wife and mother."

This gave her a deep sense of relief and peace. And it isn't that she put all her career aspirations on the shelf (far from it!). But she never felt confusion after that about our life together and the things that were most key to our identities as husband and wife, mother and father.

Everything else is secondary.

3. Start the year off on the right foot

There are a lot of ways to ring in the New Year, but the best I know of is wrapping up an amazing conference with New Year's Eve Mass, a banquet, live music and a party with hundreds of Catholic young people praising God and dancing into the wee hours.

Major grace, fun and fellowship. Happy New Year indeed!

4. Maybe meet your future spouse

Lisa and I didn't meet at Rise Up, but she did finally start falling in love with me at Rise Up 2004 in Toronto. (Thank you, Holy Spirit!)

But many couples have met there. Again, highest concerntration of Catholic young adults in Canada. Do the math; the odds are in your favour!

Or you might realize a vocation to a different kind of marriage, to priesthood or religious life. That happens here, too. 

Either way it's win win, because a win for your ultimate happiness is a win for the God who loves you. 

Now if you aren't here at Rise Up, good news! You can still reap some of the fruits by joining the stream on their Facebook page.

You can also join us in prayer, asking God to come powerfully into the lives of the young people, into your life, and into the lives of citizens across the country.

And maybe see you next year?? Learn more at  

There are a lot of ways to ring in the New Year, but the best I know of is CCO Rise Up! — Josh Canning

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