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Diocesan Youth Conference Set for This Weekend

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The 41st annual Diocesan Youth Convention will be held May 13-15, 2011, at the Greenville Convention Center, with approximately 500 high school age students from throughout the Diocese taking part. This year’s theme is I Believe, taken from Mark 9:3, “Everything is possible for him who believes.”

The keynoters for this year’s convention are Jackie Francois and Popple, a two-man musical group. Ms. Francois is a full-time speaker, singer/songwriter and worship leader from California.  She has been involved in youth ministry since graduating high school and travels the world speaking to young people about God’s love. Daniel Harms and Kyle Heimann make up the group Popple, performing more than 150 dates per year. Combining a love for music and their faith, the duo has led retreats and performed in front of groups from five to 5,000.

The convention begins Friday evening with a performance by Popple, followed by Night Prayer. In addition to the keynotes, students will attend three workshop sessions. Topics include “Believing in God in an ‘I Want it Now’ Culture”; “My Body, My Choice”; “The Big Bang from God’s Point of View”; and “Apologetics: The Tools of the Catholic Jedi Ninja.”

Diocesan Youth Ministry Coordinator Patrick Diener said he is excited about this year’s event. “We have great speakers and a great turnout. A lot of energy was put into this year’s conference by our youth board. I look forward to the teens returning to their parishes with their re-energized faith,” Diener said.

The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge will preside at the Closing Mass, at which time he will also commission the members of the Youth Board for the coming year.