Press Release

Office of Youth Ministry Gets Ready for World Youth Day 2005 in Cologne Germany

ST. LOUIS, MO - The Office of Youth Ministry is now registering youth from the Archdiocese of St. Louis to participate in the 2005 World Youth Day to be held in Cologne Germany. St. Louis teens will depart for Germany August 10th and return August 22, 2005. Cost for the event is $2075.00. Groups and individuals can register online by visiting You may request a brochure from the Office of Youth Ministry with complete details.

World Youth Day was first begun by Pope John Paul II in 1985 to promote catechesis, fellowship, worship, and renewal amongst youth. Millions have participated since that time.

As in the past, the Office of Youth Ministry is planning to bring youth and young adults from the Archdiocese of St. Louis to Cologne in 2005. Teens will live with host families prior to the World Youth Day celebrations and have opportunities to visit Germany's holy sites.

The theme for the 2005 World Youth Day is, "We have come to worship Him" taken from Matthew's Gospel. During the World Youth Day celebrations, teens will hear from Bishops around the world as they reflect on the catechesis of the Church. Time for reconciliation, a re-enactment of the stations of the cross through the city streets of Cologne, concerts and youth festivals will also mark the week. The highlight for most teens comes at the Saturday evening Vigil with the Holy Father himself. This outdoor overnight experience includes music, prayer, worship and fun followed by the Sunday liturgy with the Pope the next morning!

The Office of Youth Ministry assists parishes to provide youth and young adult ministry at the parish level, as well as offering faith events and programs to thousands of young people annually. People can donate online at []( or they can send their donations in the mail to 8300 Morganford Rd, St. Louis, MO 63123. Individuals can contact the Office of Youth Ministry at 314-633-2500 for more information.


Groups from Around the Midwest Plan to Participate in Steubenville St. Louis

ST. LOUIS, MO - Registration is now open for the Steubenville St. Louis High School Youth Conference. Since registration opened a month ago over 1100 have already signed up. Fr. Bob Smoot noted, "The conference so effectively communicates the Gospel to young people that we sell out every year. Franciscan University of Steubenville keeps adding more conference sites around the country to meet the demand. Until the St. Louis conference finds a larger venue to hold the conference, we have to close registration at 2000 participants. I wish everyone could experience the level of faith expressed by the young people who attend our conference – it really is extraordinary and uplifting." Held on the campus of Southwestern Missouri State University in Springfield, MO, the Office of Youth Ministry will offer the conference July 9-11, 2004. The conference fee of $145 covers the full cost of the conference, along with all meals and housing. See []( for complete details about registration and the conference or call 314-633-2500.

This year's conference theme is "Rise Up: A Catholic Revolution." The 2004 Steubenville St. Louis Conference Team includes: Brad and Gene of Apex, Mr. Adam Bitter, Ms. Heather Gallagher, Mr. Paul George, Fr. Dave Pivonka, Mr. Ralph Poyo, Ms. Karen Reynolds, and Fr. Bob Smoot. Over 20,000 teens across the U.S. participate in Steubenville High School Youth Conferences in cities from coast to coast. Young people leave the conference knowing they are loved by God and the Church and challenged to live authentic lives of faith. Some leave renewed in faith and some leave truly believing for the first time. Steubenville St. Louis Youth Conferences are moments of grace that truly bless our young people.


100s of Teens from St. Louis Area to March in Washington, D.C.

ST. LOUIS, MO - The Office of Youth Ministry in collaboration with 44 parish groups and Catholic schools will bring nearly 1100 teens and their chaperones to Washington, D.C. for Life Matters - a pro-life youth program that educates high school teens on life issues and legislative advocacy and culminates in the annual March for Life. The youth of the Archdiocese will join tens of thousands of pro-life citizens in the March for Life to protest the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in the U.S.

Life Matters participation has increased each of its four years, up from 860 last year. A recent Gallup Poll taken this past August indicates that most teens (ages 13 to 17) do not consider abortion a morally acceptable choice. More than 7 in 10 teens said that abortion is morally wrong.

Life Matters begins with a "send off" program and Mass held at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center at UM St. Louis. A special collection of baby items will be taken and donated to area pro-life charities. The night's program will include presentations by Office of Youth Ministry REAP Team staff Paul Masek and Heather Gallagher. Jill Stanek, a former nurse at a hospital where partial birth abortions were performed, will be the keynote speaker. Stanek speaks often about the abortion issue, has testified before Congress and has been quoted in the national media on television, on radio, in print, and by local and national legislators. Programming includes education on fetal development as they are taken through an actual live ultrasound. Throughout the evening teens will sign large posters thanking pro-life Senators Kit Bond and Jim Talent, as well as U.S. Representatives Todd Akin, Kenny Hulshof, and Jo Ann Emerson for their pro-life stance on the abortion issue. Bishop Joseph Naumann, Archdiocesan Administrator and recently announced Coadjutor Archbishop of Kansas City in Kansas, will celebrate Mass at the end of the evening. Bishop Naumann is nationally known for his pro-life leadership.

Events organized by the Office of Youth Ministry in D.C. include times for praise and worship, the celebration of the Eucharist, a candle light vigil on the National Mall, a penance service held in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and presentations by Burke Balch of the National Right to Life Committee, well known youth presenter Steve Angrisano, and Tim Goelgein, Special Assistant to President George W. Bush. While in DC some youth will take part in a special service project preparing meals for those in need. The whole group will join a pro-life youth rally organized by the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., expected to draw several thousand youth. Life Matters culminates in joining the Missouri-Illinois Caravan to walk in the March for Life to the U.S. Supreme Court.


Young People Head to Houston!

St. Louis, MO - The Office of Youth Ministry is bringing teens to the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC)

St. Louis, MO, October 30, 2003 - The Office of Youth Ministry is heading south with a group of young people for the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC). NCYC is a bi-annual national event taking place in Houston, TX this year. Thousands of catholic youth will gather from around the nation from November 13-16, 2003. The theme for this year's conference is "River of Life." We will journey from "The River Wild" through the "Cleansing River," to be "Fishers of All" and to "Unite the Tributaries." The four-day experience will include prayer, music, workshops, recreation, and keynote speakers, such as Bud Welch and Craig Kielburger. Bud Welch's daughter was killed in the Okalahoma City bombing in 1995. He will share his story of conversion of how he came to oppose the death penalty. Craig Kielburger is a spokesperson for children's rights and founded the organization (Kids Can) Free the Children and co-founded Leaders Today.

Two young people from our group will participate in a special track called Youth Congress on Social Justice, where they will interact with U.S. bishops and lay Church leaders.

Shortly after its formation as an office, the Office of Youth Ministry hosted NCYC in St. Louis in 1999 for 20,000 young people. The OYM helped coordinate 1200 volunteers for the event. For more information about NCYC and this current year's theme, schedule, speakers, musicians, venues, etc., visit [](

Please contact Sister M. Consolata, FSGM at 314-633-2500,
Ron Reiter, youth minister, at 636-937-5008 ext.7, or Andrea Lupien, youth congress participant, at 636-937-6198.


Office of Youth Ministry forms Young Adult Council, Council seeks input and ideas

St. Louis, MO - On September 25, 2003 the Office of Youth Ministry's Young Adult Council held its first meeting. The members of this council are from the various deaneries of the Archdiocese of St. Louis and are of various ages. This group will meet to help realize the goals of young adult ministry within the Archdiocese of St. Louis. As described by the U.S. Bishops statement on Young Adult Ministry, Sons and Daughters of the Light the strategy of young adult ministry is to connect young adults with the following:

* Jesus Christ
* The Church, by inviting and welcoming their presence in the Christian community
* The mission of the Church in the world
* A peer community in which their faith is nurtured and strengthened.

The Young Adult Council, which meets quarterly, will develop a strategic plan to guide its activities. Committees within the Council will work together on specific projects, including the development of the web site for young adult ministry, an annual young adult event, and parish advocacy for young adult ministry.

The Young Adult Council welcomes input and ideas. Written comments and ideas can be sent to the Office of Youth Ministry through the mail or via email, to . Everyone is welcome to speak with any member of the Office of Youth Ministry staff with suggestions and ideas.


Office of Youth Ministry Begins Registration for Life Matters Pilgrimage

St. Louis, MO - The Office of Youth Ministry expects to take over 1000 youth and young adults to Washington D.C. for the March for Life with their Life Matters Pilgrimage from January 20-24, 2004. The theme for this year's pilgrimage is "Face the Facts: Life Matters." Participants will get the opportunity to do just that: face the facts that faith is important, they can make a difference, learn about the political system and life issues, and join thousands to testify to the fact that Life Matters!

The Office of Youth Ministry was formed in July of 1999. In the past 4 years the OYM has impacted the lives of tens of thousands of young people. The OYM offers several events and programs for youth, such as Steubenville St. Louis, Life Matters, World Youth Day, NCYC, and Project Life as well as many programs and services for parishes and schools. The OYM serves and supports ministry to young adults, junior high and high school aged youth.

We are inviting all people who support life to encourage young people to be a part of Life Matters. Sponsor a young person to take part in this experience. Volunteer your time in making Life Matters a rewarding spiritual experience for the youth. There are many ways that you can help.

To register for this Life Matters Pilgrimage contact your parish or high school. You can also visit our website at []( for more information or call us at the Office of Youth Ministry at 314-633-2500. The cost is $225 and includes the experience of the annual Pro-Life March, two nights in the DoubleTree, Crystal City hotel, bus trip to and from Washington DC, excellent programming, and the signature "Life Matters" scarf.

Please contact Sister M. Consolata, FSGM at 314-633-2500.