Mardi Gras for World Youth Day |

Mardi Gras for World Youth Day

by Caryn Haller
Special to The R-CWorld Youth Day participants from Reno and around the world preparing to greet Pope Benedict XVI in front of the Cathedral of Santa Maria de la Almudena in Madrid, Spain in 2011.

Several young adults from St. Gall Catholic Church are on a mission to get to Rio de Janeiro and meet Pope Benedict XVI during World Youth Day in July.

To help get them there, the church is hosting a Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras dinner dance 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the pastoral center.

“Every two to four years young adults from around the world gather and are inspired by concerts and worship and speeches,” said Marina Hedwall, director of youth formation. “While there, we participate in a Mass given by the pope. This year it’s Pope Benedict XVI.”

In 2011, Father Paul McCollum traveled to Spain with the Reno diocese to experience the event, and returned excited to send a group from St. Gall.

“We feel right now there’s so many things pulling youth away from positive youth experiences,” Hedwall said. “We want to make sure our youth who come back are willing and on fire to make changes in our community, and bring the light of Christ to others.”

It costs $38,000 for 10 teenagers to attend the event, and Hedwall is hoping to raise at least $5,000 of it at the Mardis Gras dinner dance.

“We’re still in need of $15,000 more after this event,” she said. “Carson Valley Golf Course has offered to give us an event in June.”

The dinner features a traditional Cajun gumbo of chicken, andouille sausage and vegetable in a spicy sauce served over a red bean dirty rice. Children’s plates of chicken strips and macaroni and cheese are available.

Traditional jazz and blues music will be provided by Catfish Carl and the Classics.

There will be a silent auction starting at $35 for a variety of gift baskets from wine to sports.

There will also be raffles for dinner gift certificates and UNR basketball tickets.

“I encourage people to come to support the young adults of the community who have and will continue to make a positive change in the community,” Hedwall said. “And to enjoy a good meal with great company.”

To sponsor a child, scholarship forms are available in the church office. Donors of $100 or more are invited to a dinner after the youth return where they will watch a slideshow of the trip and hear stories from the attendees.

Presale tickets for the Fat Tuesday Mardis Gras dinner are $30 per couple, $15 individual, $5 child’s plate. They are available in the St. Gall church office open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, or by calling Hedwall at 782-3784.


What: Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras dinner dance

When: 5:30 p.m. Feb. 12

Where: St. Gall Pastoral Center

Tickets: $30 per couple, $15 individual, $5 child’s plate

Info: 782-3784