Skip to main content

Franciscan University Announces Summer 2014 Youth Conferences in Toronto, Canada and Steubenville

10/9/2013 - 6:51 AM PST

Catholic PRWire

STEUBENVILLE, OH (October 9, 2013) - Franciscan University of Steubenville will offer two new Summer Youth Conferences in 2014, one in Toronto, Canada, and one at Franciscan University in Ohio, bringing the total schedule to 20 conferences in 11 states and 2 Canadian provinces. In summer 2013, over 42,000 teens attended these Catholic youth weekends, which seek to ignite the minds and hearts of participants with love for God and love for the Catholic Church.

The Toronto youth conference will be held July 4-6 at the historic and recently refurbished Maple Leaf Gardens. It will be the second youth conference in Canada and joins the one held for the last seven years in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, which annually draws 600-1,000 teens.

John Beaulieu, director of Partnerships and Engagement for the Christian Outreach Office at Franciscan University, says that in the past, while some Canadian teens were able to acquire passports and cross the border to attend conferences, it proved difficult for others.

"This puts the youth conference right in their own diocese," says Beaulieu, who expects the conference in Toronto to draw upwards of 2,500 teens. He has been working with Father Frank Portelli, the director of the Office of Catholic Youth for the Archdiocese of Toronto, for nearly a year to plan the conference.

Father Portelli said he has received much positive feedback about the Toronto conference.

"We want a high-energy, intensely, unabashedly Catholic celebration that focuses on young people in high school," Father Portelli said. "It's the beginning of what I hope will be a growth opportunity for Steubenville in Toronto."

Beaulieu said that in addition to the surrounding area, the Toronto conference hopes to draw from across the region, including Hamlin, Ottawa, and Northern Ontario.

The new youth conference in Ohio will be the fifth one offered on Franciscan University's main campus each summer. The new conference will make it easier for youth within a 300-mile radius to attend, says Beaulieu. It will also give more options to youth groups that embark on 20-hour bus rides from as far away as Texas and Louisiana.

Beaulieu expects that as word spreads, the campus conferences will reach total capacity of over 11,000 youth in the next five years.

"They want to come to Franciscan University, the home site that sparked the youth conference phenomenon," says Beaulieu."The first youth conference was held on the campus of Franciscan University in 1976. They know there is a strong presence of the Franciscan friars here, they appreciate praying in our Portiuncula Chapel, and spending a weekend in prayer and fellowship on this very Catholic campus."

The conferences are an outreach of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, and are co-sponsored by local bishops, youth organizations, and diocesan offices to create a one-of-a-kind weekend immersion into the Catholic faith for teens. Renowned youth speakers give talks on chastity and living the Catholic faith at home and at school, and equip teens with the tools they need to live out their faith daily. In addition to the talks, teens have the opportunity for the sacrament of confession, and take part in praise and worship, Mass, and eucharistic adoration.

For more information on all Franciscan University Youth Conferences, visit the recently expanded website, Registration for all on-campus youth conferences and Steubenville Toronto begins on January 13.


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


Franciscan University of Steubenville, conferences, youth


Catholic Schools & Religious Education

Rate This Article

Very Helpful Somewhat Helpful Not Helpful at All

Yes, I am Interested No, I am not Interested

Rate Article

1 - 2 of 2 Comments

  1. Bunny Edward
    1 year ago

    Hello Michelle, I need information regarding the conference. Thanks.

  2. Michelle Francis
    1 year ago


    My name is Michelle Francis. I am interested in helping out with the conference that will be taking place here in Toronto in July 2014. Please let me know if there is anything that I can help out with. How much is it to register to go to the conference.


Leave a Comment

Comments submitted must be civil, remain on-topic and not violate any laws including copyright. We reserve the right to delete any comments which are abusive, inappropriate or not constructive to the discussion.

Though we invite robust discussion, we reserve the right to not publish any comment which denigrates the human person, undermines marriage and the family, or advocates for positions which openly oppose the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This is a supervised forum and the Editors of Catholic Online retain the right to direct it.

We also reserve the right to block any commenter for repeated violations. Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.

We ask that you NOT post your comment more than once. Catholic Online is growing and our ability to review all comments sometimes results in a delay in their publication.

Send me important information from Catholic Online and it's partners. See Sample

Post Comment

Newsletter Sign Up

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jonah 4:1-11
This made Jonah very indignant; he fell into a rage. He prayed ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 86:3-4, 5-6, 9-10
take pity on me, Lord, for to you I cry all the day. Fill your ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:1-4
Now it happened that he was in a certain place praying, and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

October 7 Saint of the Day

St. Artaldus
October 7: Artaldus (also called Arthaud) was born in the castle of ... Read More