Christ Among Us – Middle School Rally 2021



The Middle School Youth Rally theme is, “Christ Among Us.” This virtual event for 6-7-8th graders is about gathering as the young diocesan church to celebrate being Catholic. Our time together will include music, prayer, talks, parish discussion groups, games, prize giveaways and a lot of fun. Our connection is through the very real presence of Christ in each of our lives. Christ is absolutely among us.

Registration is available through parishes, with a cost of $50 per participating parish/pastor.

Parish leaders can register at

Questions about the rally can be directed to Kent Schmitz at or by calling (320) 251-0111 x4.

Our emcee and primary keynote speaker this year will be Joe Melendrez. Joe has a hip-hop energetic style with a warmth that reaches young people where they are at in their lives. Our second speaker is Hannah Schaefer. She is able share her calling and dedication to serve the Lord through music. (Biographies of each can be found by clicking on the “About the Speakers” tab below).

The proposed schedule for the day is available here (PDF)

Expectations for participating parishes can be found here (PDF)

Joe Melendrez has forged a unique path to becoming one of America’s most exciting Catholic performers. Joe is dedicated to sharing the Gospel in dynamic and relevant ways around the world. He does this through his development of a faith-based clothing line (God Swagg Apparel), his release of four 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 degree 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.



Hannah Schaefer is a rising female role model and compelling contemporary christian artist in the Catholic Church. She is a passionate speaker & a multi international award-winning singer/songwriter. 

“I’ve always had a close connection with the Lord” Schaefer says. “Even as a child I always BELIEVED. It wasn’t until I was a Freshman in high school when I struggled with bullies, depression and insecurity that I fully encountered the love of Jesus. It was after falling head over heels in love with my Savior that I knew I had to sing for Him and devote my life to sharing the Gospel with the world!





Below you will find links to download the poster in PDF and JPG formats.  

2021 Christ Among Us Poster (PDF)

2021 Christ Among Us Poster (JPG)