OGDEN — The northern deanery of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City will hold a youth conference Sept. 8 at St. Joseph High School, 1790 Lake St., in Ogden.
Students in grades seven to 12 are encouraged to attend.
“Basically any youths who are interested are invited to attend,” said the Rev. Erik J. Richtsteig.
“It’s to get our youths from the northern area up here so they can meet other youths,” he said, noting that the northern deanery consists of the eight Roman Catholic parishes from Layton northward.
“Sometimes as a Catholic, you kind of feel a little lonely up here in Utah. It kind of helps to have other kids up here.”
Richtsteig said those who attend will have a good time. They will learn more about the faith and meet other kids.
The theme of the conference is “Faith, Love and Charity.”
“That is keeping faith in our Lord, no matter what the circumstances, loving each other for a better humanity,” states a news release about the conference. “Charity is being willing and able to help each other, whether it be family, neighbor, stranger or whomever needs help.”
According to the release, the event should be inspirational for teenagers and young adults of the Catholic faith “as they grow to not forget their faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The host of the youth conference is Saint James the Just Parish, where Richtsteig is the pastor.
Michael Wooden will be directing the choir.
The Most Rev. John Wester, Bishop of the Diocese of Salt Lake City, will celebrate the mass at 9:30 a.m. Readings will be conducted by two youths, one from St. James and the other from St. Joseph.
Activities will be conducted by Holy Family Catholic Church during the breaks between mass, lunch and speakers.
The two speakers at the event will be Pete Espil, campus minister from Idaho University, and Brother Gabriel Mosher, who are experts in campus ministry.
The Rev. Kenneth Vialpando, of St. Joseph Catholic Church, said Espil is a former campus minister from Judge High School, where he served for two or three years.
His involvement in campus ministry spans many years and he is now serving in Idaho.
Vialpando said Espil’s message of overcoming alcohol addiction is an inspiring one for all, especially for today’s youth.
“It’s a wonderful conversion story,” the priest said. “He recognizes where he got off track with God.”
Vialpando said Espil will discuss ways to keep one’s eyes focused on God.
Mosher is studying to be a Dominican priest at the Dominican School in Berkeley, Calif. His order of preachers is based in Albuquerque, N. M.
He is an intern at the Newman Center at the University of Utah and also served this past summer as an intern at St. Mark’s Hospital in Salt Lake City.
He will speak on having the faith as a young person.
“Living the faith, that is the heart of the whole thing,” Richtsteig said. “(Mosher) is an excellent speaker, a very engaging personality.”
Lunch will be provided by Javier Chavez and his Mexican restaurants.
Water and soft drinks will be provided by Gary “Cosmo” Young from St. James.
Snacks and fruit will be provided by Kent’s Market in Roy.
Dinnerware will be from Marlene Fowers from the St. Joseph High School Booster’s Club.
St. Joseph High School is providing the building for the event under the direction of Joanna Wheelton, president of Catholic Schools.
The parishes within the Northern Deanery include: St. Thomas Aquinas in Logan, St. Henry’s in Brigham City, St. Rose of Lima in Layton, St. Mary’s in West Haven, and Holy Family, St. James the Just and St. Joseph, all in Ogden.
Each parish committee for this event will send volunteers to help with kitchen duties, in the gym, with security and cleaning.
The fee for this event is $5 per student.
Call Saint James the Just Parish at 801-782-5393 for information about the conference.