This summer, over 160 high school youth from the Diocese of Tyler attended Steubenville Lone Star, a youth conference hosted by Life Teen in Irving, TX.

Cathia, a high school student from Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Texarkana, said this about the conference:

“My first thought before going to Steubenville was that it’s going to be boring, we’re just going to sit and talk mostly, but it was the total opposite. When we first got there I was so excited to be with kids my age and experience God’s presence. We were all there for the same reason, to get to know God better. We had daily Mass and it was the most beautiful thing. The one thing that impacted me from the conference was the girl’s talk. One of the female speakers stayed and talked to just the girls and during that we got to pray for each other and talk about things that we couldn’t talk about with our parents but they encouraged us to be more involved in our religion and to ask our parents questions about anything. Yes, it was a conference about God but that’s not all that we learned about and that’s what I loved most about it. When they would do the live music everyone would just jump and feel the music. Overall the entire thing was an incredible experience. I will definitely try and go again next year.” 

The conference was held June 25th-27th, beginning on Friday evening and ended with Mass on Sunday morning. The youth heard talks from Catholic speakers such as Jackie Francois Angel and DJ Bernal, participated in small group discussions with their youth ministers and had the opportunity to pray for each other. The youth heard about God’s great love for them, his desire to know them, and explored practical ways they can follow him more closely. 

Students and youth ministers from St. John the Evangelist in Emory participating in small group discussion.

Joanna, a recent high school graduate from Sacred Heart in Nacogdoches, described her experience over the weekend:

“I am sad that this was the first and last Steubenville Lonestar Conference I will ever attend, but I 100% recommended every teen to go, who is ready to let God into their lives and have a closer relationship with him. I will have to admit that I went into this conference thinking it was going to be boring, but I promise you it’s not! It’s fun, exciting, and the speeches are very inspirational (and will not put you to sleep). Steubenville Lonestar has impacted my life in so many ways. One way this conference has impacted my life the most is my relationship with God. I feel like my relationship with God is now closer, stronger, and better before I go off to college this fall.”

Students from St. Edward’s in Athens pray over each other after one of the keynote talks.

There were over 160 youth, over 30 chaperones, three priests and two seminarians from the Diocese of Tyler at the conference. Twelve different parishes from the diocese were represented at the conference:

  • St. Edward’s in Athens
  • St. Charles Borromeo in Frankston
  • Holy Family in Lindale
  • St. John the Evangelist in Emory
  • Our Lady of Guadelupe in Tyler
  • Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Tyler
  • Christ the King in Kilgore
  • Sacred Heart in Texarkana
  • Sacred Heart in Nacogdoches
  • St. Mary’s in Longview
  • St. Matthew’s in Longview
  • Our Lady of Victory in Paris

Students from St. Mary’s Catholic School in Longview and Bishop T.K. Gorman High School in Tyler were also in attendance. 

The conference was even impactful for the chaperones in attendance. Stacy, a chaperone and mother of one of the youth in attendance shared her thoughts on the weekend:

“I prayed the Steubenville Lone Star conference would change my daughter’s life, and it has in tangible ways. She is more confident because she knows she’s a daughter of Christ. I saw the same in all the young ladies who went with us. It was like for the first time even as teenagers, they really understood how much God loves and cherishes them.”

Group photo of all the youth and chaperones from the Diocese of Tyler.

This conference was a life changing experience for students and chaperones alike. Keep the youth of the Diocese of Tyler in your prayers as they continue to grow in their relationship with our Lord.