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.

POPE'S MESSAGE | Pope tells young Paraguayans: Stir things up, then help fix things

Pope Francis greeted a young woman as he led a meeting with young people July 12 along the waterfront in Asuncion, Paraguay.

ASUNCION, Paraguay -- "Stir things up, but then help organize what you have stirred up," Pope Francis told about 220,000 young people gathered on this city's waterfront on July 12.

In his last major event before ending a weeklong trip to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay, the pope spoke about service, solidarity, hope and freedom of heart.

Abandoning his prepared text, he based his remarks on the testimonials of two young people who asked him questions.

Seeking justice requires getting out of our comfort zone

A great character believes in his own agency to change the world, has a vision that is larger and more engaging than his own personal accomplishments and has absurd hope, said Stacy Cretors, who spoke to more than 220 young adults July 7 at the monthly Theology on Tap at Kirkwood Station Brewing Company. Cretors is the director of the Life Teen Mission at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta in Ferguson.

Stacy Cretors believes we should have a certain thirst -- specifically, something big that brings us out of our comfort zone. After all, we should be disturbed and uncomfortable with the needs of the world that surround us.

Nexus Regional Pro-Life Conference


Nexus means core. The center.

On the issue of abortion, high school and college students are at the core. The message wasn't a surprise to those who attended the first Nexus Regional Pro-Life Conference, sponsored by Coalition for Life St. Louis and Students for Life of America.

Approximately 75 percent of the abortion business in the United States is from high school and college students, according to Brian Westbrook, executive director of Coalition for Life St. Louis. "They're also the solution to abortion," he said.

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