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Survey Points to Growing Impact of Franciscan University Youth Conferences on Priestly Vocations


The 20 conferences this summer are expected to reach 45,000 youth.

Posted:  2014-05-30  

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Fr. Rick Martignetti, OFM, former director of the Priestly Discernment Program here at Franciscan University of Steubenville, along with concelebrating priests, pray over and bless the young men who stood when invited to indicate that they feel God may be calling them to the priesthood at the end of the final Mass of the first on-campus Steubenville Youth Conference of 2014 here on campus in Finnegan Fieldhouse.

The theme for the 2014 Youth Conferences is "God Is," from Isaiah 12:2. Visit the Youth Conference pages.

See more photos from Main Campus 1: Facebook | Flickr 

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STEUBENVILLE, OH — A new report from the Center for Applied Research on the Apostolate (CARA) offers information that highlights Franciscan University of Steubenville's positive influence on priestly vocations in the United States.

The CARA Report, "The Class of 2014: Survey of Ordinands to the Priesthood," notes that 14 percent of those ordained this year had attended at least one Franciscan University Summer Youth Conference before entering seminary.

That figure has risen steadily with each CARA survey, and is a noticeable increase from the 2010 report, when 8 percent of ordinands reported they once attended a Franciscan University Summer Youth Conference. The figure includes men entering the priesthood within a diocese or a religious order.

"We are grateful that our Youth Conferences motivate so many young men to consider the priesthood," said Father Sean O. Sheridan, TOR, president of Franciscan University of Steubenville. "The conferences powerfully speak the truth of God's love and show forth the beauty of the Church, sparking a generous and courageous response to the Lord's call."

A 2013 study released by CARA in January of this year revealed that 7 percent of women who professed perpetual vows in religious life in the U.S. had also attended a youth conference in the past.

This summer, Franciscan University will sponsor 20 youth conferences in 11 states and two Canadian provinces and are expected to reach 45,000 youth. Each conference features dynamic Catholic speakers, daily Mass, confession, and eucharistic adoration.

A vocations call at the end of the weekend invites young men and women who are open to discerning priesthood or religious life to come forward for a special blessing. Franciscan University estimates that more than 4,000 teens respond to the vocations call each year.

The survey, prepared for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops by CARA, based at Georgetown University, included responses from 365 ordinands.

The survey also asked ordinands about their religious background, education, previous ministry and work experience, encouragement and discouragement to consider the priesthood, and other influences on their vocational decision. The Franciscan University Youth Conferences were cited in the section on participation in Church-sponsored youth ministry programs.

Learn more about Franciscan University Summer Youth Conferences.  

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