Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tony Melendez to headline Cast Your Nets

October 13, 2011

Tony Melendez, an international recording artist and inspirational speaker, will be the featured speaker at this year’s high school Cast Your Nets event at St. Luke in Beavercreek on Sunday, October 23, from 5 to 9 p.m.

Due to a medicine his mother took to ease morning sickness during her pregnancy, Melendez was born in 1962 with no arms. At a young age, however, he told his father that he wanted to learn to play the guitar and began practicing using only his toes. At 16, Melendez remembers, he first started “hearing actual music” coming from the guitar he was playing. He has been playing ever since.

In 1987 he had the rare opportunity to play for Pope John Paul II during the pope’s visit to Los Angeles. At the end of the performance, the pope got down from his stage, walked through a small crowd to the stage on which Melendez was playing, embraced him, and kissed him on his right cheek. The Holy Father then returned to stand in front of his seat, where he announced, “Tony, you are a courageous young man. You are giving hope to all of us. My wish to you is to continue sharing this hope with all the people.” Since that day, Melendez has done exactly that. He will be coming to St. Luke to give a witness to that hope and living a life totally dedicated to doing the will of Christ.

“This is a rare and exciting opportunity for the teens of the Archdiocese,” said Wayne Topp, Cast Your Nets event coordinator. “A man with a life story such as this and with such great experience in inspiring teens to live their lives for Christ is a rare gem and one we are very proud to share with the Archdiocese.”

In addition to Melendez, the event will also feature Mass celebrated by the new auxiliary bishop of Cincinnati, Bishop Joseph Binzer.

“Bishop Binzer is a great example for the people of this Archdiocese in living with joy the life of faith,” said Cincinnati Vocation Director, Fr. Kyle Schnippel. “And his presence at this event is a real blessing to us as event sponsors and to the teens who will have the opportunity to meet him and learn from him for the first time as bishop.”

Cast Your Nets is co-sponsored by the Vocation Office and the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, who have worked along side the youth ministers in the Dayton region to put on this great event. The cost of the event, which also includes a live band, pizza dinner, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, is $5 per person. T-shirts will be sold at the event for $10.

To register, visit: or call Jeanne Fairbanks at 937-229-5916. Deadline for online registration is October 21, but walk-in registrations are also welcomed and encouraged.

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