Youth conference under way in LA archdiocese

More than 1,200 teenagers from 80 parishes expected at August 3-5 City of Saints Teen Conference, which offers opportunity to encounter Christ through fellowship, praise and worship

Youth from last year’s City of Saints conference “pose” with the faces of Archbishop Gomez and Pope Francis. (image from Angelus News)

Archbishop José H. Gomez and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Office of Religious Education is hosting the fourth annual City of Saints Teen Conference on August 3-5 at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to offer teens an encounter with Christ through fellowship, praise and worship as they participate in workshops presented by renowned speakers, including youth leaders. 

More than 1,200 teenagers are attending from 80 parishes and schools throughout the tri-county Archdiocese (Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Ventura).

The event is emceed by the author and speaker Katie Prejean McGrady, who represented the U.S. at the Pre-Synod of Youth held in the Vatican in October 2017. Additional speakers include Fr. Agustino Miguel Torres, director of Evangelization for the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, Bob Perron, director of the Office of Youth & Young Adult Ministry at the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, Brian Greenfield, director of Campus Ministry at Jesuit High school in Tampa, Florida, and participating for the second consecutive year is Chika Anyanwu, from the Diocese of San Bernardino.

The three-day conference will feature music by nationally-known recording artist Ike Ndolo, worship and prayer, evening liturgies, and facilitated group time. Participants will receive the sacrament of reconciliation at the evening liturgies and worship and prayers. 

Full story at Angelus News.

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  1. These things feature all the same guest speakers everywhere they are held around the country. We’ve had thirty years of youth ministry in the American church, millions spent, and the result is that Gen x and millennials are the least practicing demographic in history. These youth conferences and rallies and programs give the illusion of hope, the illusion of formation, the illusion of substantial faith development. Years later it bears no fruit. But the kids make funny giant pope and archbishop face puppets, as in the picture, and they hold up “free hugs” signs, so as long as you don’t look too deeply and analyze trends you can be fooled that this is a meaningful event.

  2. I was in youth group in the 2000s. I’m barely hanging on as catholic and every other kid who was in the youth group left the church as an adult. I agree with the above comment whether the church is doing good work with youth. It’s really just babysitting or a club and pretending that young people have a solid foundation in faith or a prayer life. So much is fake. So much is emotional and driven to get teens to cry and cheer and have fun and get excited but not so much to really understand faith. When life gets hard and kids graduate out of youth group, the party’s over and real parish life and real church is nothing like youth group was. Youth group and youth ministry is in my opinion a failure because its fake fun church.

  3. It is great progress that UCLA hosts this meeting. Look at the positive side.

  4. Clinton R. says:

    “Participants will receive the sacrament of reconciliation at the evening liturgies and worship and prayers.”

    What happened to the Sacrament of Penance and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Confession as
    “Reconciliation” and referring to Mass as the “liturgy” are Modernist terns to be sure

  5. Danijela Brekalo says:

    I wonder how much time will these young Catholics spend in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, in praying Rosary, in learning the value of the Holy Mass and how to properly prepare for it and participate in it, with reverence, appropriately modest in appearance and demeanor? I wonder how much time they will spend studying the Cathechism of the Catholic Church, the lives of Saints, the innumerable riches of the deposit of faith? That would be a conference worth attending. All else is waste of time or worse, deluding ourselves that we are teaching them faith.

    • Anonymous says:

      Adoration isn’t what you think it is at these events: it has rock music and is more focused on the musicians than the monstrance/Eucharist. The music manipulates kids into having an emotional experience, which the leaders claim is the Holy Spirit. Look up videos of XLT (eXaLT) adoration, created by LifeTeen, and you’ll see what I’m talking about. It’s a concert under the guise of adoration.

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