“They change lives. They bring about vocations. They’re highly successful.”

From July 28 to 30, California State University East Bay in Hayward will host Steubenville NorCal, a conference for high school students

The Steubenville San Diego Conference filled USD’s Jenny Craig Pavilion to capacity with 5,400 young people in attendance. (image from USDadmissions)

Steubenville Life Teen conferences bring out the superlatives in youth ministers’ conversations.

“They’re phenomenal,” said Patti Collyer, coordinator of faith formation for children and youth for the Diocese of Oakland, who has been to some of the conferences. “They change lives. They bring about vocations. They’re highly successful. They’re everything we’d want them to be.”

And, this year, one is coming to the Diocese of Oakland.

From July 28 to 30, California State University East Bay in Hayward will host Steubenville NorCal, a conference for high school students. Two thousand students can be accommodated at the conference. On-campus housing is available for some of them; there are options for hotels.

This will be the 25th conference put on by the organization, Collyer said, and one she has hoped to bring to the diocese since her arrival in diocesan ministry seven years ago.

Each summer, Life Teen hosts six different Steubenville Youth Conferences — East, West, NYC, Atlanta, Lone Star and NorCal — with the mission to inspire teens.

Bishop Michael Barber will celebrate the first Mass of the event, at 9:15 a.m. July 29.

Central to the Steubenville conferences, Collyer said, is Jesus. Eucharistic adoration both Friday and Saturday night provide the up close time with the Blessed Sacrament.

Collyer is inviting priests of the diocese to attend, and to hear confessions throughout the weekend, another key element of the event.

Shannon Rogers, who leads youth ministry at St. Raymond Parish in Dublin, worked on conferences on the campus of Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, during her college years.

“It was awesome to see your college campus transformed by high school students,” she said.

In her first ministry on the East Coast, after her college graduation, she took groups to two different conferences. Since coming to Dublin, she has taken groups to San Diego.

“I was so excited to have the event closer to home,” she said. “We used to spend thousands on buses to get to San Diego.”

Her goal is to bring 40 high school students to the Hayward event. The St. Raymond group will stay in on-campus housing. “They should stay in the experience,” she said.

The conference can have a lasting effect on the teens. “They’re the kids that want to stay involved after they’re confirmed,” Rogers said. Many will take on leadership roles.

“I have seen huge changes in a lot of the kids,” she said.

Priscilla Stutzman, youth minister at St. Michael Parish in Livermore, has seen some of those changes, too.

“I have two teens that will start this fall at Franciscan University,” said Stutzman, who, like Rogers, is a Franciscan graduate. “One plans to study theology and catechetics.

“Two young gentlemen are discerning the priesthood,” she said.

Full story at The Catholic Voice.

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Comments

  1. Faithful and True says:

    Fr. Michael Scanlan TOR guided the Franciscan University into a place where students may experience dynamic Orthodoxy. Daily Mass, weekly Confession services, Monthly “Festivals of Praise and Worship” where students pray with each other as intercessors – real healing takes place there. In addition to an excellent education and global experience through education abroad opportunities, pilgrimages and Mission Trips during spring break. We encourage everyone to attend a summer conference at least once. Truly a transforming faith filled experience. Send your kids and hire the grads!

  2. They’re phenomenal ? They act like Protestants at these sort of events. What Catholic parent would want there kids acting like this, not me.

    • Since when is having fun and being joyful about being a Christian not Catholic?

      I’d take a joyful event like a Stubenville youth rally over a dour TLM liturgy any day. Maybe those homeschooled kids that are dragged to TLM masses and are made to wear Little House on the Prarie clothes could have their eyes opened to the possibilities of joy and fun and enthusiasm and spirited expressions of Catholic faith if they were allowed to go to one of those rallies.

      • Ann Malley says:

        Ouch, Sherry. I’m sorry you feel the need to polarize. There’s nothing dour about the TLM liturgy. Solemnity has its place much like enthusiasm. The “Little House on the Prarie” reference smacks of sour grapes as does the “dragged” to TLM mass.

        I was raised in the Novus Ordo and found the expansive, extrovert mentality that was pressed upon the faithful be forced and saccharine. A real turn off. Especially the peppy youth groups that reeked of desperation.

        Guess it’s how you look at it.

    • Steve Seitz says:

      Jon,
      As long as they’re faithfully Catholic, it doesn’t matter to me whether they have a Catholic vibe or a Protestant one. What matters is that they’re on fire for the faith.

  3. Bob One says:

    So, “They act like Protestants …? What does that mean? They hear lessons from the Bible – can’t have that. They sing praises to God – cant have that. They hear great homilies – can’t have that. They are happy going to church services – can’t have that. For the love of God, Joe, explain what a Catholic gathering would be like. Should we all carry whips to flagellate ourselves to show how unhappy we are? Should be morose all the time? This is another case of no good thing goes unpunished. We are in the business of bringing people into the church, not driving them away!

    • Bohemond says:

      “, explain what a Catholic gathering would be like”…Answer= The Traditional Latin Mass…something you despise you want to bring people into the Church do not cater to them, preach the hard truths, some will accept them others will not, it is people like you who have helped eradicate Catholic identity in name of “acceptance” and tolerance”….neither of which are part of Catholicism .

      • Bob One says:

        Bohemond, the Traditional Latin Mass in NOT “something you despise.” But, I don’t think that a TLM would be the best way to get an arena with thousands of teenagers to get excited about their religion. Most of them don’t know what it is, to begin with, have never been to one and don’t have parents who could explain it to them. There is nothing wrong with the TLM, but it hasn’t been the norm for over fifty years. I have kids in their 50’s who can’t imagine it. The NO had been the norm for 30 years before my grand kids were born. Were talking generations. Were talking different music, etc. Isn’t Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament pretty Catholic? Come to the water!

        • Bohemond says:

          ” But, I don’t think that a TLM would be the best way to get an arena with thousands of teenagers to get excited about their religion” Again Bob One you just don’t get it, Catholicism is not about getting excited, (again emotion based, feelings) it is about commitment to the Truth and the preaching there of. I will ask you this do you honestly believe these protestant type feelings gatherings will inspire to possibly be martyred for the Faith if came to such a thing. I highly doubt it. This emotion based nonsense will not last, I am willing to bet in less than 5 years time this too will pass. The Exposition of the Sacrament in this rock music style display is affront to it, no reverence or solace at all. This nonsense only shows…

          • Bob One says:

            Bohemond, yes I do believe that these programs can help people develop a closer, personal relationship with God. It doesn’t matter what the setting, if it helps build that relationship. If the music and the preaching can bring some people to a closer encounter with Christ, it is a good thing. Our faith is a happy faith because we know God, we know he died to wipe away our sins and that we will be with Him one day. Those are happy thoughts, no morose thoughts. Its ok to be happy on our journey to heaven. I just can’t figure out why you hate the Church so much.

          • Bohemond says:

            Bob One your accusation of me hating the Church is typical of liberal. Obey the liberal line or be accused of intolerance and hatred.. I don’t hate the Church liberals like you do, by your over 50 years of destruction of Catholic identity. Oh yes Bob One, you want the Happy Clappy Catholicism that will not stand the test of time and will not save souls. You want Easter Sunday but will not tolerate Good Friday. You are unable to comprehend that emotionalism does not last nor does it lay the foundation of a strong Faith.

  4. Bohemond says:

    “joy and fun and enthusiasm” none of these last nor lead souls to heaven, we have tried it the liberal way for the past 60 years and results are in …total failure.. church and school closings, collapse in vocations, priest sex scandals.. what more will take for liberals to admit failure..

    • Bob One says:

      Bohemond, go to the web site: http://www.allforgod.com/steubenville-san-diego/ . If that isn’t a Catholic program I don’t know what would be.

      • Bohemond says:

        “If that isn’t a Catholic program I don’t know what would be.” no it isn’t and never will be and it will not stand the test of time as it is based on emotionalism and feelings. The TLM will be around long after this nonsense has crumbled into dust.

        • Steve Seitz says:

          Bohemond,
          If we all went from new Christian to mystic in a twinkling, you would be correct that emotionalism and mere feeling are not proper means to the end, spiritual perfection. But no one does.

          God works with us where we are and, if we love him enough, he leads us into the Dark Night. This issue isn’t Steubenville versus the Extraordinary Form.

          • Anonymous says:

            Stuebenville has a TLM every week.

          • Steve Seitz says:

            Anonymous,
            Thank you for the information. Interestingly, I once knew a woman who went to Steubenville. But she left because she couldn’t handle the charismatic vibe of the place. Her own form of worship was evidently much more meditative.

  5. Oh come on Joe and Bohemond, get with the program! Put on that J.C Superstar t-shirt and put away that pesky faithful reverence! Haven’t you heard?! It’s shoutin’ time in heaven! So, get on your feet , put your hands together and come on down to the Table-O-Plenty! Now that’s what we call Active Participation!

    • One could ask along with Pope Francis why you are so rigid and retrograde in your approach to the faith that you prefer to be locked into the past? What is it in your background that explains why you have such a fear of openness to the surprises of the Spirit in our times?

    • Steve Seitz says:

      Gravey,
      From what I can tell, this Steubenville event is not incongruent with the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. Also, keep in mind that these are youth: they are not mature Christians but are newbies.

    • Bohemond says:

      Gravey: When Hell freezes over….

  6. Anne T. says:

    My chief concern about all this is the safety of the youth. With ISIS claiming to be responsible for the massacre in Manchester and the bombing of a Cathedral in the Philippines, I am leery of such huge crowds. ISIS seems not to care whom they kill — good, bad or in between.

    By the way, the traditionalists have their own retreats, picnics and fun times for their youth, so innocent fun in on their agenda, too.

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