Big Infinite, coming to St. Edward the Confessor on Friday, Nov. 18, is seen here preforming at the Life Matters Suicide Prevention Conference at an unknown date. (Provided photos)
Big Infinite, coming to St. Edward the Confessor on Friday, Nov. 18, is seen here preforming at the Life Matters Suicide Prevention Conference at an unknown date. (Provided photos)
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Many adolescents battle with depression and anxiety, but finding ways to talk openly about it can be just as hard.

St. Edward the Confessor Church in Clifton Park is hoping to buoy that conversation at their upcoming Youth Mental Health Event on Friday, Nov. 18, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Southern Saratoga County Network of Catholic Parishes (SSCN), which includes All Saints on the Hudson in Mechanicville, Corpus Christi in Round Lake, St. Edward’s and St. Mary’s Church, Crescent in Waterford. The event is open to everyone but specifically targeted for youth in grades 6-12.

“This looks like a real godsend to help our kids to process things in a day when it takes months to get in with any health-care professional,” said Stephanie Hughes, parish life coordinator at St. Mary’s.

The main event includes a performance and presentation from the Big Infinite, a Maryland-based music group whose work focuses on raising mental-health awareness and suicide prevention. The band will be showcasing its latest project the “Power of Expression,” an unplugged-style music documentary and a five-song EP that discusses the band’s music and bandmates’ healing journeys through their own depression and anxiety. Jordan Lally, singer of Big Infinite, also raises awareness through The Ed Lally Foundation, a non-profit organization he co-founded and named in memory of his father whom he lost to suicide.

In an interview with The Evangelist, Lally added that part of his excitement includes seeing Father George Fleming, pastor of Corpus Christi and All Saints, who is an old family friend. Lally knew Father Fleming when he was a deacon serving at his family’s parish in Baltimore and Lally nicknamed him the “Deaconator.”

“It is really exciting to go back up there and visit Father George, and to just be in the (Saratoga) area,” Lally said. “We haven’t taken the show out of the Maryland area and this is our first show on the road.”

In 2020, Hughes got the idea to organize a mental-health event for the parish but tabled it when the pandemic unfolded. Hughes started to rekindle the idea earlier this year, around the same time Father Fleming noticed Big Infinite’s tour and thought of bringing them to the parish, which made for a perfect match.

In 2014, Lally and Big Infinite’s two other band members, DJ Fritzges and Dre Toney, were performing in the band Fiction 20 Down. The band had joined national tours and things were going great until Lally got a phone call during a show in Florida. After years of battling depression, Lally’s father committed suicide. After the call, the band went on hiatus. On the day of his dad’s funeral, Father Fleming came down to Baltimore and stood along Lally for support while he delivered his dad’s eulogy.

When the band eventually reconvened, they discovered a new purpose: to be vulnerable and authentic in their music and openly discuss their own mental-health struggles. Fiction 20 Down became Big Infinite and started on tours at schools, conferences, concerts and community events. The Ed Lally Foundation has since been endorsed by the Baltimore Diocese for the work Big Infinite and Lally’s crew have done. 

Lally said that first and foremost, the main message of this event is simple: to let kids know that if they are struggling, they are not alone.

“It’s time to address (mental health) from the church and try to clear the stigma,” Hughes added. “To give (kids) a way to understand they’re not alone in all of this.”

To register for the Youth Mental Health event, visit https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904054bafa92aa4fb6-youth or go to St. Edward the Confessor’s Facebook page and sign-up through their event.