Published Thursday, June 23, 2011
Hundreds of youth from around the Atlanta area will gather in the Gwinnett Center in Duluth for the Steubenville Atlanta Conference, to be held July 15-17.
Centered on Jesus present in the Eucharist, the weekend will immerse young people in the basics of their Catholic faith and offer them an opportunity to encounter God in a powerful, life-changing way. This three-day event is sponsored by Life Teen and Franciscan University of Steubenville.
The theme for the 2011 conference is “Rooted,” based on a passage from Colossians: 2 that reads, “As therefore you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so live in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”
“This year we focus on being ‘Rooted.’ We live in a culture that easily seeks identity in the things of this world, which are sending us messages of appealing false, half-truths and counterfeits that seem to promise joy in this life,” states the Steubenville Atlanta website about the 2011 theme. “To authentically live the abundant life that God calls us to, it is important to remain ‘rooted and built up in Him’ as a daily journey of receiving God’s Truth.”
The Steubenville Atlanta Conference will be hosted by Brian Kissinger, a youth minister from Fairfax, Va. Conference speakers will include Matt Smith, director of Internet Ministries for Life Teen and former star of MTV’s Real World and Road Rules Challenge, and Christopher Stefanick, director of Youth, Young Adult, and Campus Ministry for the Archdiocese of Denver and author of “Do I Have to Go?—101 Questions About the Mass, the Eucharist, and Your Spiritual Life.” A Saturday afternoon concert will feature the music of Jackie Francois, singer, songwriter and host of spiritandsong.com’s webcast, “The Commons.”
Each day, conference participants will attend Mass and experience Christ in Eucharistic adoration. Priests will be available for those who want to celebrate the sacrament of confession.
“When Pope Benedict XVI announced the theme for World Youth Day 2011 as ‘Planted and Built Up In Christ,’ our response was to see how we could make the Holy Father’s message come alive at this youth conference for those who could not go to Spain,’ said John Beaulieu, director of Franciscan University’s Youth Outreach Office.