‘Roamin’ Catholic’ set to greet youth at annual convention

By Dave Jolivet
Anchor Editor

FALL RIVER, Mass. — With less than two weeks to go, plans for the annual Diocesan High School Youth Convention and Middle School Rallies are being finalized. This year’s High School Youth Convention will take place at Bishop Connolly High School, 373 Elsbree Street, Fall River, on March 18 beginning with arrival and registration at 9 a.m. The day-long event, filled with workshops, fun, prayer, lunch, and Mass with Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., will wind up shortly after 5 p.m.

The convention will feature musician, retreat leader, presenter and family man Vince Nims, affectionately known as “the Roamin’ Catholic.” Beginning on an eighth-grade retreat in 1981, Nims has been involved with youth ministry for nearly four decades.

As a musician he has produced four CDs and travels the U.S. and Canada performing concerts, youth rallies, conferences and other faith-based events.


As a speaker, he delivers bold Christ-centered messages that challenge people of all ages to move toward Christ and live life uncontrolled by this world and its values, and even more importantly, grounded in the Truth. According to his website at www.vincenims.com, “He’s a dynamic storyteller who pays attention to the way God works in and through our day-to-day experiences. He only tells true stories! People find themselves drawn into his down-to-earth accounts of everyday things where he sees the Lord’s activity. You will laugh, cry, wonder, sing and pray during his keynotes.

“He has been called ‘The Banana Guy’ because of a song called ‘I Like Bananas’ he made popular all over the United States. And since high school he was called the ‘The Roamin’ Catholic’ because of Jesus stickers he had all over his car. Naturally, he continues to roam from place to place sharing faith and doing ministry.”

Recent graduates of the diocese’s Christian Leadership Institute play a large part in planning the convention and rallies, all of which are sponsored by the diocesan Faith Formation Office.

Ashlinn Hoffmeister participated in CLI last summer, going because, “I heard really good stories from my friends who went the previous year and also Father David [Frederici] really convinced me to go,” she told The Anchor.

“I became a part of planning the youth convention because it is our CLI ‘graduation’ as Deacon Frank [Lucca] calls it. We pick either icebreakers, Liturgy, music or hosting (or a combination) based on what our talents are.”

Hoffmeister has been involved with the welcoming and icebreakers group, developing fun and entertaining activities so attendees will “feel comfortable as they arrive in the auditorium.”

Jasmine Hunt is also a summer 2017 CLI graduate, who took the six-day leadership training experience based on what other CLI grads told her and her own retreat experiences. “During the last few days of CLI we were told about the convention and were given the chance to pick which team we wanted to be apart of,” Hunt told The Anchor. “We met with our teammates for a little and then we all joined a Facebook page to keep in touch and stay posted about any upcoming meetings and such.”

The itinerary for the convention at Bishop Connolly includes two general sessions, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon; Mass with Bishop da Cunha; morning and afternoon workshops where attendees will have four from which to choose; lunch; and a closing prayer and dismissal.

“My hope for this year’s convention is that we meet a bunch of great people and everyone attending will feel comfortable enough to participate and make the most of it” said Hoffmeister. “If everyone participates and has fun, we will have a great day. I also hope that everything we have planned goes smoothly and the CLI grads and myself continue to see each other and catch up once in a while. We are a really close group and it is awesome that we can still catch up and keep in contact while living in so many different areas. 


“If anyone has any doubts about attending CLI, they should definitely go because it was the highlight of my summer and there are so many memorable surprises.”

Hunt added, “I hope that all those who attend the convention will learn that they have a voice and that they can make a difference in their parish. I hope they leave with the courage and strength to tell others what they have learned and to understand that God is calling them to do so much more than they think they can.”

The Middle School Rallies, for students in grades six through eight will be held on March 19 at Holy Cross Parish Center in Easton and on March 20 at Bishop Stang High School in North Dartmouth.

Both events begin with arrival from 6-6:15 p.m. Following opening prayer there will be two general sessions, closing prayer and dismissal at 8 p.m.

The cost for the Youth Convention is $20 per person and the Middle School Rally cost is $5. Chaperones are free.

For more information on any of the events or for registration forms visit the diocesan Faith Formation Office website at fallriverfaithformation.org, or contact Rose Mary Saraiva at 508-678-2828 or email rsaraiva@dfrcs.org.

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