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Going Bananas for Jesus - 2019

Spring 2019
Grand Island, NE

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Join friends and other youth from across the Diocese of Grand Island for the Nineteenth Going Bananas for Jesus™ Youth Rally. This Rally is being brought to you by the North Platte Deanery and the Diocese of Grand Island, Office of Youth & Young Adult Ministry.

Going Bananas for Jesus brings you the opportunity to meet others from around the Diocese of Grand Island and beyond. This event promises to be fun while growing stronger together in faith through learning and prayer.

The weekend begins on Friday night with fun and prayer. Saturday is a day full of activities. We are excited to introduce you to our Keynote Speakers Jesse Manibusan and ValLimar Jensen. There will also be many concurrent small group sessions that are fun, teach about life and most importantly help us connect with God.

After a full day of fun, you’ll have some time to get to know your host family at dinner. The evening then continues with with the most powerful prayer we know… Mass with Bishop Hanefeldt followed by dancing and fellowship!

The weekend concludes with a special commissioning and sending forth! Don’t Miss Out!!!



As is the tradition of Going Bananas for Jesus , lodging is provided by host families. Participants can either make their own arrangements or stay with a host family. Host families are only available to the youth. If youth have made their own arrangements, it is the responsibility of the sponsor(s) to monitor their safety and whereabouts. Adults are asked to make their own arrangements.

Youth participants using a host family will stay with a volunteer family in the GBFJ host site area. All host families are safe-environment-screened through background checks and references. They are also trained in providing a safe environment for youth. Staying with a host family gives participants the opportunity to meet other youth their own age while being part of a new family community. Sorry, special host family requests will not be accommodated.

Host families will provide needed meals and transportation. All meals are provided during the event. Please bring a sleeping bag and pillow along with any personal hygiene items needed.


The following hotels are offering reduced rates. Reservations made after the blocking date are not eligible for reduced rates.

Fairfield Inn & Suites

319 W South River Road

$89 per night (+ tax), standard queen room
must reserve by Friday, March 3

call 1-800-228-2800 and ask for Going Bananas rate
-OR-visit www.marriott.com/lbffi
and enter code BANANA for QNQN room

Quality Inn & Suites

2102 S Jeffers

$80 per night (+ tax), 2 double or 1 queen room
$120 per night (+ tax), suite
must reserve by Friday, February 24

call 308-532-9090 and ask for Going Bananas rate

Hampton Inn

200 Platte Oasis Parkway

$99 per night (+ tax), standard queen room
must reserve by Friday, March 3

call 308-534-6000 and ask for Going Bananas rate

Super 8 Motel

220 Eugene Ave

$65 per night (+ tax), 2 double or 1 queen room
must reserve by Tuesday, February 28

call 308-532-4224 and ask for Going Bananas rate

La Quinta Inn & Suites

2600 Eagle Wings Place

$93 per night (+ tax), 2 full or 1 queen room
must reserve by Thursday, March 2

call 308-534-0700 and ask for Going Bananas rate




Keynote Speakers

Jesse Manibusan

Jesse Manibusan is a composer, singer/songwriter, storyteller, humorist, catechist, evangelizer and encourager. Working with any and every age group, Jesse has that knack to build instant rapport, connect to his audience, and create life-giving memories that help deepen faith and cultivate the joy that inspires service, sacrifice and the celebration of life.

Jesse earned an MA in Multicultural Ministries from the Franciscan School of Theology, Berkeley, CA, and gives concerts, workshops, parish missions, and retreats. Jesse’s music is published by Oregon Catholic Press and Spirit & Song (a division of OCP). In 2014, Jesse received the National Catholic Youth Award, for Presenter/Artist Category by the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministries, INC.


ValLimar Jansen

ValLimar Jansen is a highly regarded singer, composer and recording artist. She is educated and experienced as a university/college professor, a leader of worship and prayer and a workshop presenter at conferences across the United States and abroad. ValLimar Jansen has a long history of singing sacred music. She received most of her training in music and performance at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and she holds professional degrees in the Arts from California State University and The University of California.

Today, ValLimar tours regionally, nationally and internationally as an inspirational speaker, a storyteller, a psalmist, a song leader, a principal vocalist, and/or an emcee. She and her husband, Frank, are winners of two 2008 UNITY Awards for Best Gospel Album and Best Gospel Song.