What is a Steubenville Youth Conference?
The Steubenville Youth Conferences, an outreach of Franciscan University of Steubenville, are a series of 25 conferences across North America that help teens encounter the love of Christ every summer. Our mission is to build the Church by evangelizing, equipping, and empowering God’s children to become radical and joyful disciples. For more information about the Steubenville Conferences, visit steubenvilleconferences.com.
Who decides on the speakers for each conference?
The COO staff evaluates each speaker for their proven ability to connect with teens. They are some of the most talented speakers serving in our Church today. A priest is always part of the Ministry Team and, like the other team members, is chosen specifically for his exceptional ability to share the love of Christ with teens.
Who decides on the weekend program?
The Christian Outreach Office (COO) staff at Franciscan University develops the weekend program. Through nearly a year of prayer and discernment, the staff at the COO decides on and develops a yearly theme giving direction and guidance to each speaker based on that year’s theme. The COO then ‘hands off’ the on-site conference preparation to the regional partner organizers who implement it at their various sites.
What is the connection with Partnership for Youth?
Partnership for Youth (PFY) was founded out of a desire to offer a Catholic youth conference in the Midwest that would awaken and strengthen young people in their faith. This desire led to a partnership with Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, who had been hosting these conferences on their campus and were expanding across North America. PFY hosted its first Steubenville Youth conference in 1999 at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN known as Steubenville St. Paul, expanded in 2007 to host Steubenville Rochester and in 2016 Steubenville On The Lake.
What does a conference weekend look like?
Participants arrive with their groups and check-in mid-afternoon Friday. After dinner, the conference starts with a welcome from the Conference Host, who is part of the Ministry Team, a short teaching about worship and the Keynote address. The evening concludes with simple Eucharistic Adoration followed by time for the participants to gather in their small groups and/or go to Confession.
Saturday begins with Mass and separate Men’s and Women’s sessions that typically focuses on how to live a chaste life in the world today. Lunch starts the afternoon and happening simultaneously is another opportunity for small group time and/or Confession followed by the Senior and Graduated Senior workshop, an option of two workshops for all others and the afternoon Keynote.
Dinner, small group time and an opportunity for Confession begin Saturday evening. This is followed by the Keynote and, what is often described by teens and adults alike as the absolute highlight of the weekend, Eucharistic Holy Hour with formal procession throughout the entire arena. Again, at the conclusion, groups gather for their small group time and/or Confession.
Sunday morning starts with the Keynote address, which generally focuses on how to bring the things they have heard throughout the weekend into a personal and practical reality for their everyday life. The conference wraps-up with the closing Mass usually celebrated by the local Bishop.