youth

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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Gymnasts learn skills to have a well-balanced life

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Four-year-old Vivi Miller listened to her gymnastics teacher's instruction to start her moves with her arms up.

"Now good, keep those feet together," Abby Arbas said to her student, assisting her with a handstand and a bridge. "Wow," Arbas responded in encouragement, "Good, now hop here, and jump."

It was a busy Monday at Barron Gymnastics in south St. Louis County, filled with youngsters from 14 months on up who are super-charged, having followed the Olympic trials for the U.S. gymnastics team. The gym instructs about 1,400 gymnasts a week.

U.S. pilgrims to World Youth Day reflect new Church demographics

People watch on large screens as Pope Francis celebrates Mass in Philadelphia Sept. 26. World Youth Day organizers say the changing demographics of the church in the United States will be reflected in the pilgrims to World Youth Day in Krakow.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — As the Church in the U.S. has shown an increasing presence of Spanish-speaking Catholics, so will the tens of thousands of young people traveling to 2016 edition of World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland.

"There are more groups coming from heavily Hispanic/Latino dioceses, and in a particular way from apostolic movements like Charismatic Renewal, Focolare, and others," said Paul Jarzembowski, World Youth Day USA national coordinator for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

SteubySTL will draw teens closer to Christ

Jacob Pappas, middle left, and his youth group from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, enjoyed the rock out session that was led by worship leader Adam Bitter. Bitter played covers from the band Walk the Moon and solo artist George Ezra at the Stuebenville St. Louis Mid-America held at JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo.,in 2015.

Seventeen years ago, the Steubenville youth conference was humbly born in a gymnasium at Marquette High School in west St. Louis County. The first conference, which drew 987 participants, was less than six months after Pope John Paul II's pastoral visit to St. Louis.

The teens quickly outgrew the space. The following year, it moved to St. Louis University High School — but interest was spreading across the Midwest. In 2002, the conference found its home at Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo., where it's been held every summer ever since.

Anticipated snow storm in D.C. prompts cancellation of Generation Life pilgrimage

Teens with the group from Immaculate Conception Parish in Union.

Sometimes being pro-life means making difficult decisions.Because of a predicted snow storm in Washington, D.C., the archdiocesan Catholic Youth Apostolate cancelled its Generation Life pilgrimage to the March for Life. About 2,200 teens, adult chaperones, volunteers and staff were expected to participate in the 43rd annual march Friday, Jan. 22.

Pope urges Cuba's youths, consecrated people to love and hope

Pope Francis blessed a boy with a disability at the Father Felix Varela cultural center in Havana Sept. 20.

HAVANA -- In a hot and steamy cathedral after listening to a Daughter of Charity talk about her work with people with severe disabilities, Pope Francis set aside his prepared homily and spoke about serving those the world considers "useless."

"Serving 'the useless' makes Jesus shine," the pope said at an evening prayer service Sept. 20 with religious, priests and seminarians gathered in Havana's cathedral.

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