This year’s fun and faith-filled Guppy Fest focused on spreading the faith to a smaller group of youth.
The June 6 youth rally at St. Thomas More Parish in Centennial hosted a day of inspirational talks, Mass, games, skits and faith sharing for some 200 middle-school students.
In previous years, since its roots in Denver’s World Youth Day 1993, the rally was open to all students in sixth through 12th grades. This year the gathering invited middle-school youth and asked high school students to lead the rally, touted as one of the longest-running Catholic summer youth programs in the Archdiocese of Denver.
“We had a lot of high school kids who ran it and helped us out a lot,” said David Tschumper, director of youth ministry at St. Thomas More Parish. “We ended it with the dance, bingo and karaoke. It was just a good spirited day.”
Father Randy Dollins, moderator of the curia and vicar general, gave the keynote talk at the rally. Tschumper said he incorporated the theme of this year’s rally, “Be Thou My Vision,” that included the story of Jesus’ healing of the blind man.
Youth acted out the biblical story and performed skits. They also participated in games, danced to music, sang praise music and watched videos.
Tschumper said more middle-school youth have been attending the rally, dubbed “Guppy Fest” in 1994 as a continuation of World Youth Day’s “Fish Dance,” designed to cater to a smaller group of Christian youth. Today’s rally draws youth from several Denver-area parishes and is held yearly at St. Thomas More.