It’s pretty clear that the students who attended last year’s Steubenville Youth Conference must have told at least one friend how much they loved the conference. Last year, Family Ministry and Youth Coordinator Alondra Griffith brought 16 teens — this year, that number more than doubled, with 37 youth in attendance. In late June, this group made the trip to Irving, Texas, for the conference, joining nearly 4,000 teens also in attendance.
“Even as a chaperone, I love Steubenville,” Alondra says. “It’s super well-done, high energy, and joyful. You get a good sneak peek of the universal church.”
Eucharistic Adoration is an important part of the retreat, but there were also speakers, music, Reconciliation, and time for fun. Alondra most enjoyed the altar call at the end of the retreat — when attendees prayed for those considering the priesthood or religious life. She also enjoyed seeing all the non-Catholics who felt the pull to become Catholic. Attendees also prayed for all of those teens.
“This conference is something that all teens should experience,” Alondra says. “It shows them so much goodness of the Catholic Church. You are with other teens from across the country.”
Monica Massell attended Steubenville for the first time. The most impactful part of the retreat was returning to the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
“I also learned to be more active in my faith and take a fraction of the time God has given me and give it to Him,” Monica says.
In turn, Monica encourages others to attend future Steubenville Conferences and share in the wonderful and profound experience. She knows you won’t be disappointed.
“Any opportunity to learn more about your faith is great,” Monica says. “But the way the Steubenville Conferences teach you about your faith has appeared to be life-changing. The way the conferences have affected so many lives for the better is just so clearly a work of God.”
Joshua Hilger also attended the Steubenville Conference in June. This was his second time attending the event. He especially enjoyed the other teens and leaders this time around. In particular, Eucharistic Adoration was the most powerful part of the event for Joshua.
“It’s just so breathtaking, and you feel so many emotions,” he says. “Yet, it is peaceful to be able to just be there with the Lord and know He is in control of everything.”
Joshua knows the conference impacted his faith — while he knows that he will have tough times, God is always there with him through it all. And so Joshua has the same advice as Monica — give the conference a try. You won’t regret it!
“It’s so cool to be able to look around the conference and know almost everyone around you is Catholic,” he says. “There’s an instant connection you feel to everyone around you, and it is so easy to fit in and feel right at home.”
Madeline Schmitz attended the Steubenville Conference for the first time. She loved the speakers and their relatability. She also loved meeting so many other teens who are truly living their faith. Madeline recommends anyone attend a Steubenville event so they can grow in faith just as she has.
“It is a great opportunity to experience and connect to your faith in a new way,” Madeline says.