At Youth Rally, students learn that

Every life is precious

 By ADAM URBAN

    Editor’s Note: Adam is the Director of the Office of Youth Ministry for the Catholic Diocese of Dodge City, and the primary organizer of the Middle School Youth Rally.

When Luke Maxwell, keynote speaker at the Oct. 7 Middle School Youth Rally in Dodge City, was 16, he crashed his family’s full-size van into an oncoming vehicle in an attempt to kill himself. 

Instead of cutting short his young life, he was led on a miraculous journey, the story of which he shared with 300 middle school students, catechists, Directors of Religious Education, and parents gathered together for the rally, held at Dodge City High School. 

Sadly, it’s a timely topic. Multiple communities in the diocese have been stricken with teen suicides and rising rates of teen depression and anxiety. 

Maxwell is the founder of “U Can’t Be Erased” ministry out of San Diego, which is designed to “break the stigma of teen depression and stop the epidemic of suicide in our country today, especially among Catholic youth.”

Maxwell gave a powerful testimony and witness of healing and hope. He speaks to thousands of adults and young people all over the country about mental health and how to unlock their potential.

After miraculously living through his suicide attempt, Maxwell, a cradle Catholic born and reared near San Diego, was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon after seriously injuring another driver. He was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder.

Maxwell sought healing and made the decision to change his life. He has since made it his mission to speak about how to heal the mind, body, and soul — replacing despair with hope. His practical testimony talks about sharing one’s struggles, taking care of the body, and prayer for the soul. He has even become close friends with the man whom he injured in the crash.

The day-long rally also included time to focus on community, prayer, and amidst it all, fun.

“Wichita Adores Ministry” provided music, dancing, sound and lights, and the environment was truly electric.  The day concluded with Mass and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

Do you know someone who missed out on the day? Don’t miss next year’s rally on Sunday, October 13, 2019 in Dodge City!