Over 2,600 to Celebrate Faith at Archdiocesan Youth Conference, July 28-30

July 27, 2017

HOUSTON – The Archdiocesan Youth Conference (AYC) will take place July 28-30 and gather more than 2,600 participants – both youth and adults – from all over Galveston-Houston.

AYC provides youth with a unique opportunity to interact with Daniel Cardinal DiNardo and celebrate the sacraments, pray and reflect on the role of the young Church of Galveston-Houston.

Portions of the conference will be streamed live online at www.archgh.org/live

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Through this event, incoming ninth graders through outgoing high school seniors are challenged to live out their faith and make new friendships.

“AYC challenges youth to live out their faith by giving them the tools they need to defend the faith in all aspects of life,” said Libby Diamond, the Archdiocesan Youth Council Chair. Diamond is a parishioner at St. Martha Church in Kingwood and will be a senior at Incarnate Word Academy this fall. “By learning about what the Church teaches and making new friends who share those values, young people are inspired to be witnesses to the faith in their own communities.”

The primary focus for this year’s AYC, themed “Holiness,” is to rejuvenate the faith life of the local youth and challenge them by some of the best speakers in the country.

The speaker team this year include: Kris Frank with Dirty Vagabond Ministries of Steubenville, Ohio; Paul J. Kim, beatboxer and youth speaker; Joe Melendrez, rapper and speaker; Oscar Rivera, a hip hop artist; Katie Prejean, a “theological comedian” and speaker; Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director, turned pro-life speaker; and music by Ike Ndolo of Tempe, Arizona.

Cardinal DiNardo will celebrate Sunday's closing Mass at 9:45 a.m.

“I hope that this year's AYC participants take away a renewed sense of the word ‘holiness,’” Diamond said. “So often we think of holiness as something unattainable, something reserved for a certain group of people, when in reality God calls each and every one of us to strive for holiness and to strive to be like Him.”

At AYC, teens will experience the diversity of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and embrace the opportunity to share and deepen their faith through daily Mass, confession and other prayer experiences.

“Living as a disciple of Christ is never the ‘popular’ thing to do, no matter where you live or what school you attend,” Diamond said. “At AYC, young people have the opportunity to realize that they are not alone in pursuing Christ. My prayer for the youth attending AYC this weekend is that they realize seeking God's will is a daily vocation for each and every person, including themselves.”

The conference helps give young people the courage to stand up for their beliefs in a world that is constantly challenging them, according to James Carrasco, Director of Youth Ministry at St. Helen Catholic Church in Pearland.

“AYC helps the teens see that they are part of a large and wonderful Church that will support them and sustain them throughout their lives,” he said. “It also provides an environment for the teens to build new friendships that are rooted in Christ and His Church. The end result is a wonderful community of young believers that will grow together in holiness.”

The Archdiocesan Youth Conference is Cardinal DiNardo’s “official gathering” of the young Church of Galveston-Houston. The three-day conference for high school youth features diverse cultures and faith expressions along with praise and worship music. Participants will have the opportunity to sing, pray and worship with their peers throughout the weekend.