steubenville st. louis mid-america

An ‘unforgettable experience’ | Steubenville STL Mid-America has rock-concert feel mixed with silence

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Steubenville STL Mid-America conference had the look and feel of a rock concert on this day; in fact, JQH Arena on the Missouri State University campus was set up as such — with a stage, three big video screens and a roof-to-floor curtain in front of seats in the west section.

At that evening session July 16, teens counted down — five, four, three, two, one — for the gates to open, then rushed through the concourse so quickly that their wake blew phamplets off a vocations table.

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Steubenville serves as conduit for planting seeds for religious vocations

Jose Lopez, second from left, of Sacred Heart Parish in Columbia, Mo., joined other young men who responded to the call for those considering vocations in ministry during Mass at the 2013 Steubenville St. Louis Mid-America conference.

Drew Burkemper was hoping he would get through the entire weekend of Steubenville without a mention of vocations. Several years ago, as he attended the conference with his youth group from St. Joseph Parish in Manchester, Burkemper already had an idea that God might have been calling him to the priesthood. But he certainly wasn't ready to let the world know that.

Steubenville first-timers experience a progression in faith

Heidi Barahona almost didn't attend Steubenville.

Barahona's mom signed her up for the youth conference through their parish, Our Lady of Guadalupe in Ferguson, after another youth dropped from the group at the last minute.

"I told her, 'I don't think I'll experience anything or get anything from it,'" recalled the junior at Ritenour High School.

But after a day and a half of her first experience at Steubenville, Barahona realized "I was at the right place at the right time."

Longtime Steubenville fixture is saying goodbye

Rosanne Twellman, second from left, retiring event coordinator with the archdiocesan Office of Youth Ministry, was presented with a quilt July 21 noting her contributions to the Steubenville St. Louis Mid-America youth conference. Pictured with her were, from left, Tom Lancia, director of the Youth Ministry Office, and Amy Eschelbach and Patrick Russell, also with the office.

To many, she's nicknamed "Ro-Ro." But to the archdiocesan Office of Youth Ministry, Rosanne Twellman has been a driving force behind the annual Steubenville St. Louis Mid-America youth conferences.

This fall, Twellman is retiring after 15 years as coordinator of events for the Youth Ministry Office. And she will be leaving with many memories of teens, staff and volunteers who have deepened their love for Christ as a result of attending Steubenville.

Military youths create special bond with new friends at Steubenville

Students from the youth group at Immaculate Conception Parish in Dardenne Prairie sport customized T-shirts during the 2013 Steubenville St. Louis Mid-America conference on the campus of Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo., July 20.

While teens from Immaculate Conception Parish in Dardenne Prairie are deepening their relationship with Christ at Steubenville, they're also sharing that experience with a special set of friends. 

This is the second year that Immaculate Conception has attended Steubenville with teens from Sacred Heart Parish near Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. Immaculate Conception youth minister Kristina Radley, who spent much of her childhood at the military base, helped connect the two groups. Radley also has facilitated retreats for Sacred Heart teens.

Teens discover how they are "chosen" at annual Steubenville conference

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