At Holy Fire, middle school Catholics are invited and challenged to embrace their baptismal call and the powerful, relevant gospel of Jesus. Through talks by dynamic speakers, witness by peers, inspirational praise and worship, and rich experiences of the Sacraments, Holy Fire helps young people feel seen, welcomed, and invited into a life changing commitment to Christ.
Brought to you by the producers of NCYC, the nation’s largest Catholic youth event: the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry, in partnership with Equipping the Saints, a division of Declan Weir Productions, Inc.
PJ’s most recent studio album, Mercy, Mercy, debuted at #7 on iTunes and received glowing reviews. In recent years, PJ has led thousands in worship at events worldwide, including World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland and the Mass for Life in Washington, DC. For the past 10 years, he has spent his summers with Catholic Heart Work Camp, offering his musical talents and serving as a director, giving students meaningful opportunities to serve and minister in cities across the US and abroad. Amidst these opportunities, the recent years have been a time of immense growth for PJ as a worship artist and storyteller.
Noelle was born in Texas, but has lived in Colorado, Tennessee, Michigan and now Dodge City, Kansas! She has been speaking to youth and adults for over ten years. Her primary mission is to teach through her own testimony, that we are all “wonderfully made” in God’s image. Noelle has been featured in CNN’s Latino in America and EWTN’s Life on the Rock as she shared her witness of God’s love through the midst of her struggle with depression and poor self-image and how that encounter with Christ radically changed her life.
Joe shares the Gospel in many unique ways, from his development of a faith-based clothing line (God Swagg Apparel), his release of five major Catholic hip-hop albums, to sharing the winnings from a college Chipotle contest (a year of free burritos), as a means to evangelize to different people with each meal!
Joe’s BA in Religious studies from the University of Dayton has led him to become a Religion Teacher and Youth Minister for over 10 years. In addition to his work in Catholic education, Joe’s electric ministry of music and evangelization has taken him to Europe, Africa, Australia, South America and all across the USA. Joe uses his skills to animate huge crowds of teens, and he continues to share these gifts at major youth rallies, conferences, and national events. Today, Joe Melendrez is a husband and father, as well as a natural MC, a dynamic musical performer, an inspiring speaker, and an expert retreat leader.
Giancarlo resides in the Dallas, Texas area. He fell in love with magic when he was 8 years old and loves to bring people together. He is a Bible Study Leader and a Eucharistic Minister and is the member of Beta Upsilon Chi (Brothers Under Christ). Gave a witness while incorporating magic into a witness talk at NCYC and was very well received. Team will work with him to focus content for middle school/young high school aged attendees for Holy Fire.
More information on the Holy Fire Great Lakes Venue Change
University of Detroit Mercy
Student Center - 200 Ballroom
4001 W McNichols Rd
Detroit, MI 48221
To provide the best experience for our participants, and to better match the size of the event to it's venue. The University of Detroit Mercy is a Catholic university in the Jesuit and Mercy traditions. It is conveniently located near major highways, and though it is less than 15 minutes away from our former location at Huntington Place, offers easier access and free parking. More importantly, we believe the change will allow us to better create an environment for welcoming young people into a life-changing encounter with Christ.
The program and overall flow of the day remain the same. Unfortunately, one of our originally announced presenters—Giancarlo Bernini—is no longer able to attend. However, PJ Anderson, Sr. Tracey Mattia Dugas, Noelle Garcia, and Joe Melendrez look forward to engaging with your youth, and joining with them in celebrating the sacraments.
If you pre-ordered lunches, our lunch menu remains unchanged, and we will have lunches ready for your participants. If you are bringing your own lunches, you will no longer need to leave them in your vehicle during the program, so they will be easier to access when we take our lunch break. Please note that there will be no additional food available for purchase at the event, so please plan accordingly.
Free parking is available on the University of Detroit Mercy campus. All registrants will be emailed a parking pass before the event. Please be sure to print your parking pass and display it on the dashboard of your car or bus before you arrive to the event.
Before the event, please make sure you do the following:
- Alert parents. If you are a group leader or bringing youth who are not related to you, please alert parents/caregivers to the venue change so they know where their young people will be on Sunday.
- Plan your route. The event will be held at the University of Detroit Mercy, Student Center - 200 Ballroom. The entrance to the campus is located at 4001 W McNichols Rd, Detroit, MI 48221.
- Check your email. We will provide a campus map with the student center highlighted and a University of Detroit Mercy Parking Pass later this week. You will need to print and display the parking pass on the dashboard of your car or bus to enter campus.
- Safe Environment. If you have not already, please submit a signed Safe Environment Verification Form that includes all adults in your party. Signed forms should be emailed to ProtectChildren@aod.org.
- Bring to the event.Bring your confirmation email (with QR code) and signed Permission and Release Forms for all participants in your group on the day of the event. Participants will not be admitted without a signed form.