Awakening a Generation

We text. We tweet. We post. We talk. We don’t often encounter.

Encounter connotes something deeper, something more than a fleeting moment on social media or a chance interaction.

Today’s world encourages us to meet our neighbors, friends , co-workers, families and total strangers online- through social media or on our phones. Brief, fleeting moments which ultimately leave us even more aware of how empty and lonely we sometimes are.

The answers the world often gives us – that money, sex and ambition will satisfy our deepest desires – consistently fall short. We are left thirsting for genuine and authentic community, connection and communication.

We need to Encounter Christ.

He longs for us – for you. The personal encounter with Christ will lead us to encounter Him in others. To encounter others with dignity, respect and love, we must first encounter God in prayer, sacraments and community. Join us as we aim to encounter the one true God – the God of love, hope and mercy.

At the Encounter Conference 2015, young adults from across the nation will join to raise our eyes above all earthly distractions to encounter God and one another – face to face.

Come, Encounter. Read More...

Speaking
Team

Paul George

Paul George is a husband, father, and follower of Jesus. A passionate believer and communicator of the Gospel, Paul has traveled the world proclaiming God’s love and freedom as a parish youth minister, diocesan director, author, and full-time evangelist. He holds a master’s degree in theological studies from the University of Dallas. Paul lives in Lafayette, Louisiana, where he directs the campus ministry program at University of Louisiana/Our Lady of Wisdom Parish and serves as a professor of theology at the Aquinas Institute on campus. Paul also co-founded and directs Adore Ministries, a non-profit Catholic organization whose mission is to call all people to worship God with their entire lives. He and his wife have four children.

Jeremy Rivera

Jeremy Rivera is a traveler on a journey who speaks about the tragedy and ecstasy of our human struggle to trust God. Sharing from his own experience with rejection, shame and temptation, he has become a voice that connects with people in their longing to find lasting love and healing. An award-winning speaker and writer, Jeremy is the National Marketing Director for FOCUS and currently leads a team of missionaries in their pursuit of proclaiming the gospel through various forms of new media. Prior to reverting to the Catholic Church in 2006, he was a young adult pastor at New Hope Christian Fellowship in Hawaii, Menlo Park Presbyterian in California, and Pathways Church in Denver. He resides in Denver with his wife, Leslie, and his two children Isabella and Evan.

Fr. Chris Martin

Father Martin is a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Ordained in 2006, Father Martin now serves as the vocations director for the Archdiocese. He lives in and runs a house of discernment for men and frequently travels giving talks and retreats to young people, helping them discover the vocation to which God is calling them.

Ennie Hickman

With a heart for the marginalized and the forgotten, missionary Ennie Hickman has traveled the United States and abroad for 14 years, sharing Jesus Christ with both the churched and the unchurched. As a host of the Summer Steubenville Conferences and missionary with Adore Ministries, Ennie has aided God in transforming thousands of lives. Currently, Ennie is working to expand his apostolate to the under-served families and young adults in Houston, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Cana, and their six children.

Sr. Miriam Heidland

Sister Miriam James Heidland is a member of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT). She graduated from the University of Nevada on a volleyball scholarship and in a moment of radical conversion, heard Jesus call her to be his bride. She speaks often to young adults on the Theology of the Body, healing in Jesus, pop culture, beauty, and the transforming power of authentic love. Employing media, personal stories, and the beauty of Church teaching, Sister Miriam strives to bring the power of God's love to life in the hearts of those to whom she speaks.

Ike Ndolo

Ike Ndolo was born in Missouri to Nigerian parents and grew up in a home that rang with hymns sung by his mother. Since then, his love of music and talent as a musician and worship leaders has been encouraged by his mentors, Tom Booth and Matt Maher. Ike leads worship every Sunday at his church in Tempe Arizona, and travels the country leading others to Christ. He also has a great zeal for missionary work and so far his travels have taken him from Mexico all the way to China. Ike feels called to be a servant to those around him through his art, through his music and through his life. Ike’s sophomore album “Rivers” was released in 2012. You can sample his music at Ike Ndolo.

Paul George

George_headshot Paul George is a husband, father, and follower of Jesus. A passionate believer and communicator of the Gospel, Paul has traveled the world proclaiming God’s love and freedom as a parish youth minister, diocesan director, author, and full-time evangelist. He holds a master’s degree in theological studies from the University of Dallas. Paul lives in Lafayette, Louisiana, where he directs the campus ministry program at University of Louisiana/Our Lady of Wisdom Parish and serves as a professor of theology at the Aquinas Institute on campus. Paul also co-founded and directs Adore Ministries, a non-profit Catholic organization whose mission is to call all people to worship God with their entire lives. He and his wife have four children.

Jeremy Rivera

Rivera_headshot Jeremy Rivera is a traveler on a journey who speaks about the tragedy and ecstasy of our human struggle to trust God. Sharing from his own experience with rejection, shame and temptation, he has become a voice that connects with people in their longing to find lasting love and healing. An award-winning speaker and writer, Jeremy is the National Marketing Director for FOCUS and currently leads a team of missionaries in their pursuit of proclaiming the gospel through various forms of new media. Prior to reverting to the Catholic Church in 2006, he was a young adult pastor at New Hope Christian Fellowship in Hawaii, Menlo Park Presbyterian in California, and Pathways Church in Denver. He resides in Denver with his wife, Leslie, and his two children Isabella and Evan.

Fr. Chris Martin

Martin_headshot Father Martin is a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Ordained in 2006, Father Martin now serves as the vocations director for the Archdiocese. He lives in and runs a house of discernment for men and frequently travels giving talks and retreats to young people, helping them discover the vocation to which God is calling them.

Ennie Hickman

Hickman_headshot With a heart for the marginalized and the forgotten, missionary Ennie Hickman has traveled the United States and abroad for 14 years, sharing Jesus Christ with both the churched and the unchurched. As a host of the Summer Steubenville Conferences and missionary with Adore Ministries, Ennie has aided God in transforming thousands of lives. Currently, Ennie is working to expand his apostolate to the under-served families and young adults in Houston, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Cana, and their six children.

Sr. Miriam Heidland

Heidland_headshot Sister Miriam James Heidland is a member of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT). She graduated from the University of Nevada on a volleyball scholarship and in a moment of radical conversion, heard Jesus call her to be his bride. She speaks often to young adults on the Theology of the Body, healing in Jesus, pop culture, beauty, and the transforming power of authentic love. Employing media, personal stories, and the beauty of Church teaching, Sister Miriam strives to bring the power of God's love to life in the hearts of those to whom she speaks.

Ike Ndolo

Ndolo_headshot Ike Ndolo was born in Missouri to Nigerian parents and grew up in a home that rang with hymns sung by his mother. Since then, his love of music and talent as a musician and worship leaders has been encouraged by his mentors, Tom Booth and Matt Maher. Ike leads worship every Sunday at his church in Tempe Arizona, and travels the country leading others to Christ. He also has a great zeal for missionary work and so far his travels have taken him from Mexico all the way to China. Ike feels called to be a servant to those around him through his art, through his music and through his life. Ike’s sophomore album “Rivers” was released in 2012. You can sample his music at Ike Ndolo.

Conference
Details

May 29 – May 31 at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, Missouri

Schedule

Friday

  • Opening Keynote
  • Impact Sessions
  • Late Night Entertainment

Saturday

  • Mass
  • Morning Keynote
  • Impact Sessions
  • Lunch (included)
  • Afternoon Keynote
  • Impact Sessions
  • Dinner (included)
  • Evening Session
  • Adoration
  • Late Night Entertainment

Sunday

  • Morning Keynote
  • Impact Sessions
  • Closing Mass

Registration

Cost

  • $235

    Standard Option

    Includes 2 nights in the Embassy Suites hotel (attached to Convention Center).

  • $115

    Commuter Option

    For those who live in St. Louis or who will be arranging their own lodging and will commute to the conference each day.

Contact Information

  • Office of Young Adult Ministry

    c/o Encounter 2015
    20 Archbishop May Dr.
    St. Louis, MO 63119
  • Phone & Email

    p. 314–792–7083
    e. encounterstl@archstl.org

Location

St. Charles Convention Center

One Convention Center Plaza,
St. Charles, MO 63303

Get Directions Convention Center Website Hotel Website

Frequently Asked
Questions

What is the Encounter Conference?
The Encounter Conference is the first of its kind Catholic young adult experience. It is hosted by the Archdiocese of St. Louis Young Adult Ministry and Franciscan University of Steubenville. The weekend will offer insights into young adult faith life and prayer experiences led by a talented team of young adult speakers. For more info on the weekend, click here.
What is the cost of the Conference?
i. The Standard registration for the conference is $235 with Hotel (Triple Occupancy). A weekend long commuter pass is $125. Hotel options are available until 4/23, commuter passes are available, pending space, until 5/29.
What is included in the cost?
A standard registration includes all programming, Hotel, Breakfast (Sat. and Sun.) Lunch and Dinner on Saturday. A commuter registration includes all programming, as well as Lunch and Dinner on Saturday.
When does the conference start and end?
Registration will begin at 3pm on Friday, May 29th, and the programming for the conference will begin at 7pm. We will be done on Sunday, May 30th , at about 1pm.
Who is speaking?
Check out the speaking team here.
What kind of lodging is available?
If you purchase a standard registration for $235, a hotel room (triple occupancy) is included at the Embassy Suites. The Embassy Suites offers 2 beds and a pull-out couch (triple occupancy) as standard for each room. We also offer a quad occupancy, which will cost $225. Single and double occupancy is available for an added fee. You can also purchase a commuter pass for $115 and provide your own accommodations.
Are the scholarships available?
Scholarships are not available at this time.
I already registered for the Encounter Conference, but now I cannot attend. Can I receive a refund?
We will not be honoring refunds for the Encounter Conference at this time; please contact us at the Office of Young Adult Ministry if you have any questions or concerns.
Can I fundraise to help cover costs?
Fundraising is a great way to help cover the costs- We recommend writing letters to family and friends to ask for sponsorships. You can download an example letter here (Click File->Download As...).
Can I register a group for the Encounter Conference?
Yes, you can register as a group for the Encounter Conference. There will be a $50 non-refundable deposit required per individual, payable by credit card or check. If paying by check, the deposit is due within a week of registration. The remaining amount will need to be paid, by credit card or check, by no later than April 16, 2015 – Click here to register a group(link coming soon).
How are roommates assigned?
A roommate survey will be sent via email 60 days prior to the conference. If all parties indicate a mutual interest in being roommates we will be able to accommodate this. If you are registering as part of a group, your group leader will receive a roommate spreadsheet.
What meals are provided?
A standard registration provides breakfast on Saturday and Sunday as well as lunch and dinner on Saturday.
How can I become a volunteer for the Encounter Conference?
Learn more about volunteering with us & sign up here!
Is this conference for me?
This conference is geared towards young adults, but there is no restriction on age other than being at least 9 months removed from High School graduation.
How do I get to St. Louis for the Conference?
You are responsible for your own travel to St. Louis for the conference.  The preferred airport to fly into is Lambert St. Louis International Airport.
Is there a shuttle to/from the airport?
Shuttle passes will be available for purchase at a discounted rate. Click here for more info.

Don’t see the answer to your question here? Let us know at encounterstl@archstl.org

Encounter 2015 is the first of its kind Catholic Young Adult conference – a collaboration between the Franciscan University of Steubenville Christian Outreach Office and the Archdiocese of St. Louis Office of Young Adult Ministry.

Whether you have or have not attended a Franciscan youth conference in the past, have no fear, Encounter will be an experience unique unto itself- designed specifically to help awaken the millennial generation to not only their own spiritual needs, but also the physical and spiritual needs of their neighbors.

Encounter will feature a team of dynamic keynote speakers, interactive breakouts (Impact Sessions), concerts & late night entertainment, and of course, opportunities to come together as a community of prayer.

The Christian Outreach Office at Franciscan University has an overall vision of “Teens to Eternity.” Their goal is to create conferences that will engage and assist Catholics in every phase of their spiritual journey. The Encounter Young Adult Conference is the next step in fulfilling that goal.

Over the past 38 years, hundreds of thousands of teens have attended a Steubenville Youth Conference. Many have asked, “What’s next after high school?” Sadly, many of these young adults fall away from practicing the faith with many never returning. The Encounter Young Adult Conference will create a place for those who are on fire for the Lord to find the fellowship and fuel to deepen their faith. It will also provide a door back into the faith for those who are struggling or simply seeking a deeper understanding of who God is and what it means to be a Catholic young adult.

With a dynamic team of young adult ministers leading the weekend, this engaging and interactive experience will meet young adults where they are.

Conferences Website
University Website

The Office of Young Adult Ministry strives to support and create a vibrant and visible community of Catholic young adults. We seek to challenge young adults to live out the Gospel call of Jesus to “make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28), while continuing to grow in their relationship with Christ and the Church. This ministry offers young adults the opportunity to grow in their spiritual life and form lasting relationships based on the call of Christ to holiness, community and service.

In addition to the Encounter Conference, we host a variety of programs under the active outreach of St. Louis Young Adults.

Office of Young Adult Ministry Website