Archdiocese celebrates 225th anniversary with contemporary Christian concert

September 22, 2014

More than a thousand Catholics gathered at Loyola Blakefield in Towson Sept. 21 to hear singer Matt Maher perform. (Christopher Gunty | CR Catholic Review)

By Jessica Marsala 

Special to the Catholic Review

The thousand-plus Catholics who gathered in Towson for a concert Sept. 21 by two-time Grammy-nominated Catholic musician Matt Maher helped demonstrate the timelessness of the faith and its power to inspire both the young and the young-at-heart.

Archbishop William E. Lori, who addressed the crowd before the concert, held on the grounds of Loyola Blakefield as part of the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s 225th anniversary celebration, stressed the importance youth play in the local Church. 

The archdiocese, Archbishop Lori said, is more than “a big building with a bunch of offices.

It’s all of you.” 

Archbishop William E. Lori mingles with the crowds at the Matt Maher concert celebrating the Archdiocese of Baltimore's 225th anniversary. (Christopher Gunty | CR Staff)

Local Catholic organizations, including Loyola University Maryland’s Campus Ministry, the University of Maryland Catholic Terps, the University of Maryland Baltimore County Catholic Retrievers and Towson University’s Newman Center as well as the archdiocese’s vocations office hosted display tables at the event and provided attendees with information and games such as corn hole and “arm wrestle a seminarian.”

The Archdiocese of Baltimore Vocations Office offered arm wrestling at their booth, which seemed to be a hit with young people. (Christopher Gunty | CR Staff)

Among the concertgoers were Mount St. Mary’s University senior Harrison Stadnik and Matt McDonald, 17, who attended the concert with his peers from Archbishop Curley High School in Baltimore. 

“Even at school, there are a lot of people who aren’t as expressive of their faith,” said McDonald, whose favorite Matt Maher song is “Hold Us Together.” Other songs Maher performed included, “All the People Say Amen,” and “Alive Again.”

“Just to be here with hundreds of other people, gives you a real feeling of community and unification in the religion,” McDonald said. 

Stadnik added that when you leave Mass, “you’re supposed to carry the Gospel with you.”

“This is in effect exactly what everybody here is doing,” he said.

Maher, who turns 40 in November, has seen success in the contemporary Christian music industry, including Dove and Grammy award nominations and the last four of his seven albums in the top 25 charts.  (Christopher Gunty | CR Staff)

The concert, which featured opening performances by local musicians including Loyola Blakefield and Calvert Hall College High School in Towson's liturgical bands, also recognized the 50th anniversary of the Monsignor O’Dwyer Retreat House in Sparks.

For a list of upcoming events celebrating the archdiocese’s 225th anniversary, click here

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