Conference calls local teens to be ‘extra’

Record File Photo by Marnie Mcallister
High schoolers shared a laugh as they took part in a session during the first Archdiocese of Louisville Youth Conference last January at the Flaget Center, 1935 Lewiston Drive. This year’s conference will take place Feb. 29, leap day, at Flaget.

On leap day, Feb. 29, high schoolers from throughout the Archdiocese of Louisville are invited to “Be Extra” intentional in their faith journey by taking part in the second Archdiocese of Louisville Catholic Youth Conference.

The day-long event will take place from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Flaget Center, 1935 Lewiston Drive. It is designed for students in their freshman through senior year. The theme this year is “Be Extra,” a take on leap year, which presents us with an extra day.

“Be extra in prayer, faith, your relationship with Jesus Christ, involvement in the church, family, social relationship, in service and in life in general,” said Karl Dolson, director of the Office of Youth and Young Adults. “It’s what our Catholic faith calls us to.”

The event is intended to be one of “faith and fun,” said Dolson during a recent interview. It’s an opportunity too for the young people to gather with their peers outside of school and church.

It’s also an opportunity for teens to hear from local and national speakers who are “in touch with pertinent youth culture issues,” said Dolson.

Brian Greenfield and Charlie Hardesty will give the keynote addresses. Green is a high school theology teacher and national speaker from Tampa, Fla., who has been named the master of ceremonies for the National Catholic Youth Conference 2021. Hardesty is a youth and young adult minister in the Diocese of Owensboro.

The day will include Benediction, an opportunity for reconciliation and eucharistic adoration led by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz. The archbishop will also celebrate Mass and lead a listening session, said Dolson.

The conference will offer breakout sessions on a variety of topics, including vocations, relationships, anxiety and depression, happiness and joy and seeing God in pop culture.

Parents will be invited to attend a session on “Leading Teens to their Identity and Call in Christ.”

The young participants will also have the opportunity to take part in a service project to fill 400 backpacks with personal hygiene items for teens in foster care, said Dolson. His office is collecting backpacks and items through the parishes and schools. Those interested in donating should check with their parish or school.

The cost of the conference is $40 per person, including lunch and dinner, if registered by Feb. 24. The cost is $45 if registered after that date. Teens are encouraged to sign up through their parish or campus minister, said Dolson. Participants who are not part of a group will need an adult chaperone.

Group registration forms and payments should be sent to the Office of Youth and Young Adults. For more information or to download registration forms, visit https://www.archlou.org/youth/.

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