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High Schoolers Experience 'Jesus in the Eucharist' at Youth Conferences 2012

6/29/2012 - 12:29 PM PST

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the possibility of a religious vocation to stand and come to the front of the sanctuary. A large number of young women and men stood and walked forward.

"You guys need to pray. Your vocation is really in the hands of God," said Father Pivonka to the men.

Sister Beussink told the girls, "It takes a lot of courage to come up here, I know," but that, "to be God's spouse is a beautiful vocation."

They asked the rest of the attendees to pray for these teens, telling the teens to pray, talk to a priest, and be open to visiting religious communities and going on discernment retreats.

The teenagers were not the only ones who enjoyed the weekend.

Brother Joseph Anthony Kress, OP, '10, who chaperoned a youth group from his parish in Cincinnati, Ohio, referred to the conference as "getting back to the basics" of Catholicism, and a "booster shot or a launch pad; for many, it helped strengthen their faith."

This was the third conference for Jessica Langton, a junior from Monroe, Michigan, and every year has taught her something different.

"Our youth ministers say that what you put into it is what you get out of it," she said, explaining that especially this weekend, she felt a strong calling to "think about what God's calling me to do" with the rest of her life.

Springfield, Illinois, junior Ryan Kehoe hopes to carry his conference experience into the real world by "trying to bring joy and peace to others and to increase my prayer life."

"When people ask me why I'm so joyful, I'll tell them 'I just love God,'" he said. "What's not to be happy about?"

Olivia Kukanich, a sophomore from Norfolk, Virginia, said this conference changed her entire outlook on life.

"I fell in love with Jesus," she said. "The talks hit me a lot stronger and went to the core of what I'm going through."

Upcoming Franciscan University summer conferences for adults include the St. John Bosco Conference for Catholic educators (July 18-22), the Applied Biblical Studies Conference for anyone seeking a deeper knowledge and understanding of Scripture (July 25-27), and the Defending the Faith Conference, which focuses on Catholic apologetics (July 29-31).

For more information on conferences for adults and youth, go to


Franciscan University of Steubenville  OH, 43952 US
Tom Sofio - Associate Director of Public Relations, 


High school youth, teenagers, Catholic conference, Franciscan University, Steubenville



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