Youth Ministry

The primary and distinct mission of the Office of Youth Ministry is to serve the formation needs of adult youth ministers and youth leaders. These needs are identified and met through programs and services offered in six key areas of leadership: Advocacy, Training, Consultation, Resourcing, Coordination/Networking, and Direct Services. By enabling the adults and youth to be more effective in their roles as leaders, the Office of Youth Ministry seeks to facilitate the building of comprehensive youth ministry programs, built on the principles outlined in Renewing the Vision.

River of Life – Teens Encounter Christ (TEC)

TEC Poster2017

Are you a Sophomore, Junior or Senior in high school? Are you in need of some time away from the madness of the everyday world?  Do you need time to grow closer to God and experience him in the most incredible way? Well, look no further. TEC (Teens Encounter Christ) will be in Lebanon, MO, August 5-7, 2017 – three days away from the outside world learning more about our God. A weekend packed with surprises, new friends, old friends and great food! For more information on how to sign up for this life- changing weekend, please contact one of us and we will give you all the details you need, or download the application below and submit it by the deadline.

Kirk Verhoff –  or 417-489-1089
Deacon Tom Schumer – or 573-335-3899
The Office of Youth Ministry 417-866-0841

Download the TEC 160 Application
– August 5-7, 2017 at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Lebanon

Youth from across the diocese are invited to attend TEC.

Note to parents and youth ministers: The TEC team supplies the necessary trained and background-checked chaperones for each TEC, so you don’t have to come as a group.  Teens can come on their own!  Youth Ministers are invited to observe a weekend, as space is available.

Click the image above for a pdf version of the poster.  Please help us spread the word!

River of Life TEC’s Mission:
Believing that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the core message of our Christian faith, TEC offers to youth and young adults the opportunity to encounter and integrate this Paschal Mystery of Jesus at a time of passage into young adulthood.  Through evangelization and catechesis, this intergenerational movement facilitates spiritual growth of youth and young adults with a community of adult mentors. Much like Jesus did Himself, TEC calls forth one’s natural goodness for service in the Church and discipleship.

Located in Southern Missouri, River of Life TEC is part of the Office of Youth Ministry of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau.

Diocesan Youth Conference

Speakers 2018

Sneak Peek of our TWO speakers for DYC 2018!  Keep watching – the theme will be announced soon!


The Office of Youth Ministry invited ALL high school students to the DYC 2017 which was held March 24-26, 2017in West Plains, Missouri!

The conference theme was “Through the Narrow Gate.”  The keynote speaker was Jesse Manibusen.  The Youth Ministry team from Our Lady of the Lake planned an amazing event!

Bishop Rice joined us for the entire weekend, along with at least 6 priests, 3 deacons and our beloved seminarians. We also had representatives from several religious communities!

Read more about the weekend in the March 31st issue of The Mirror.

Download the full registration packet here:  DYC 2017 Packet

Dates for upcoming Diocesan Youth Conferences are below. Get these on your calendar now!
2018 ::  March 23-25 (Easter is April 1) – This will be Palm Sunday weekend
2019 ::  March 29-31 (Easter is April 21)
2020 ::  March 27-29 (Easter is April 12)

Adult Leader Formation

Catechetical and Youth Ministry Leaders Retreat

“Your Spiritual Backpack: Essentials for the Disciples Journey”

All youth leaders and volunteers are invited to join us!

Sacred Heart Parish in Willow Springs
Friday, August 4th (6:30 PM) and
Saturday August 5th (8:00 AM – 3:00 PM)
While the catechetical mission relies on the transmission of truth, effective methodologies, and clarity in doctrine, we cannot succeed without proclaiming joy (not to be confused with happiness)! Julianne Stanz will explore key necessities for sustaining our own joy, the keys to being joyful leaders and authentically spreading this joy to others. Just as hikers need essential resources in their backpacks in order to fully enjoy their pilgrim path, we must be sure that our backpacks are filled with the spiritual necessities needed to proclaim a joy that lengthens and widens the pilgrim path for all those we serve. Enrich your faith and strengthen your soul in this engaging presentation for ministry leaders. A practical, humorous and energetic presentation designed to uplift and strengthen you in faith!
Our speaker, Julianne Stanz is sponsored by Loyola Press.

Youth Ministry Leader’s Conference


The Office of Youth Ministry sponsored a Youth Ministry Leaders’ Conference on January 27-29, 2017 at The Landing in Van Buren.  Several Youth Ministers and adults involved in the Youth Ministry or high school PSR teams attended!

Download the 2017 Flier Here.  For info on Everett Fritz, our 2017 speaker, click here.


Youth Ministry Facebook Page

Adults involved in youth ministry within our diocese are invited to join our Youth Ministry Facebook page.
The Youth Ministry Facebook page is for Youth Ministers and Adults who are actively involved in our diocesan youth ministry.  It is a private permission based page.  If you would like to join, email Katie at


Camp Re-NEW-All

For over 40 years, Catholic children and young people have attended Camp Re-NEW-All, learning about God, themselves, and what it means to be Catholic.
Our philosophy is that campers deepen their relationship with God while interacting with other campers and staff members, surrounded by the beauty and nature of southern Missouri. Read more


Catholic Scouting

The Catholic Committee on Scouting, run by volunteers, organizes Catholic Scouting events in the Springfield area such as retreats, camp-outs, religious emblem award ceremonies, and service projects for Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, American Heritage Girls and Trail Life USA Trailmen.  For more information on this committee, contact Mr. Pat Sweeney, 417-447-1377

American Heritage Girls

AHG logo 2

American Heritage Girls is the premier national character development organization for girls ages 5-18 that embraces Christian values and encourages family involvement.

A regional Catholic American Heritage Girls troop is active in Springfield. All activities with this troop are in line with the teachings of the Catholic Church.  New members are welcome to join now!  The troop meets twice a month at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton for the 2016-2017 school year. The meetings are the same time and place as the Trail Life USA Troop (which means a consolidated schedule for your family).

AHG Troop MO1118 is planning the following activities for the 2016-2017 school year:
Camping Trips, a trip to the Shooting Range, Horseback Riding, Cooking, Arts and much more!  For more information, contact Cindy 417-521-9461.  Download a brochure here.

There is also a Catholic AHG Troop which meets at St. Vincent de Paul school in Cape Girardeau.  Contact the Office of Youth Ministry at 417-866-0841 for more information.

Trail Life USA

Trail Life USA is a Christian Outdoor Adventure, Character,

TLUSA logo2

and Leadership Program for boys and young men.

A new regional Catholic Trail Life USA troop has formed in Springfield! All activities with this troop are in line with the teachings of the Catholic Church.  The meetings are at the same time and place as the American Heritage Girls, so families can all come together!  Meetings are on Monday evenings at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Springfield.  In this new and exciting format, both TLUSA and AHG will meet together for joint flag ceremony, opening prayer and announcements.  Then the groups will separate according to gender and age to work on their own programs.

TLUSA Troop MO6:33 is planning the following activities for the 2016-2017 school year:
Camping Trips, a trip to the Shooting Range, Paintball Competitions, and much more!

For more information, or to get involved, contact Vince: or 586-745-0606 (call or text). Check out Troop MO 6:33’s Facebook page:     Download a brochure here.

For information in starting a Trail Life USA troop for boys in your parish, contact the Katie Newton in the Office of Youth Ministry (, 417-866-0841) or Jeff Swoboda, Trail Life USA Executive, at 636-875-4089.

Boy Scouts / Girl Scouts

Please contact your parish or others nearby to obtain information about specific scout groups.

Annual Lenten Lock-In for Catholic Scouts

The Lenten Lock-In Retreat for all Catholic scouts (ages 5-11) was  held Saturday/Sunday, March 4/5, 2017 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish. Cub Scouts, Brownies, Girl Scouts, American Heritage Girls and Trail Life USA boys participated in this annual event!

For more information, or to help with the retreat, contact Christine O’Dell (417) 773-4445 or Shelly Pichler (417) 838-2730.  You may download the 2017 flier here.


Religious Emblem Awards

Several religious recognition medals are available to young men and women wishing to complete the necessary information and study. Catholic Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, American Heritage Girls and Trail Life USA Trailmen are awarded their religious emblem awards at diocesan celebrations held in Springfield and Cape Girardeau in early May.  Completed paperwork should be turned in to the Scouting Chaplain, Fr. Patrick Nwokoye (for the Cape Girardeau celebration) or the Associate Chaplain, Mr. Ben Francka (for the Springfield celebration) by the middle of March.

Fr. Patrick Nwokoye
Catholic Campus Ministry
512 N Pacific
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

Mr. Ben Francka, III

Catholic Scouting Awards for Boys:
Catholic Trail Life USA Awards:
Catholic Scouting Awards for Girls:

Catholic Scout Retreat


All Catholic Scouts 4th grade and older (Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, American Heritage Girls, Trail Life USA) were invited to the 12th annual Catholic Committee for Scouting Retreat October 7-9 at Camp Arrowhead in Marshfield, MO. The retreat included Mass, Liturgy of the Hours, Low Cope, Repelling, Climbing Tower, Mountain Biking, Tomahawk Throwing, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.  The 2017 Retreat will be held September 29-October 1st.

Catholic Scout Spring Service Project

The Catholic Committee for Scouting hosts an annual Spring Service Project.  We have worked at the Kitchen garden, Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri Offices, and the grounds at the Mary Queen of Peace Solitude.

The next service day will be in Spring 2017.  Watch for details.


National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC)

The National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) is an exciting, biannual four-day experience of prayer, community, and empowerment for Catholic teenagers and their adult chaperones. The schedule includes general and concurrent sessions addressing a wide variety of topics including forgiveness, Catholic spirituality and prayer, global issues, sexuality, and leadership. There are also opportunities for liturgy and special activities such as concerts, exhibits, and a thematic activity village. The 2017 NCYC will be held in Lucas Oil Stadium and the Indianapolis Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana on November 16-18, 2017. Read more

Youth Events

Our Lady Celebrates Youth 2016

The Youth Ministry at Our Lady of the Lake parish in Branson hosted youth (grades 7-12) from across the dioceses at their annual “Our Lady Celebrates Youth” conference on Saturday & Sunday, September 10 & 11, 2016.  The next conference will be in September 2018.

For more information, please contact Ms. Pat Hutcheson at
Download the flier here.

Steubenville Youth Conference

Each year, the Office of Youth Ministry of the Archdiocese of St. Louis bring the Steubenville Youth Conference to the grounds of Missouri State University in Springfield. Registration is usually in early February and the weekend events usually sell out quickly.  Youth Ministers should contact the Youth Ministry Office in St. Louis to be sure you are on their mailing list,  2017 dates are July 14-16 and July 21-23.  If you’d like to attend, contact the youth minister at your parish or the Office of Youth Ministry, 417-866-0841 and we can help you find a group.

Check out this video about the Steubenville Youth Conference. It includes members from our diocese!

Young Adult Ministry
of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau

Please watch for exciting announcements regarding our Young Adult Ministry in the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau.  We have different groups throughout the various regions of the diocese and we encourage all young adults to get involved!

World Youth Day – January 2019

WYD 2019

Saint John Paul II started World Youth Day so that young people from all over the world can come together and celebrate their Catholic faith. It is very powerful to see millions of people who are on the same journey you are!  The next WYD will be January 18-28, 2019.

What is World Youth Day?
Started by Pope John Paul II, it is a gathering of Catholic youth from all over the
world to be encouraged and strengthened in their faith. It is a powerful experience
of culture, faith, and the Universal Church. We will do a little bit of touring around
the city, have mini retreats each day with other English speaking pilgrims, go to
festivals, welcome the Pope to Panama, pray a walking stations of the cross, and
end our trip with an overnight vigil and celebration of Mass with the Pope!

The Office of Youth Ministry is aware of at least one group who are planning to attend World Youth Day in Panama.   They have opened their group to others from across the diocese.  Attendees must be 16 years old by January 1, 2019. Those under 18 by January 1, 2019 must travel with a parent or chaperone.  The first deposit to hold your space is due July 1, 2017.  Total cost for the pilgrimage, including flights out of Springfield, is $3,000 per person (youth or adult).  For more information, download the brochure here.

If you are aware of other groups from our diocese, please contact the Office of Youth Ministry so we can, hopefully, coordinate some of the efforts.


Lynn Melendez
Office of Evangelization, Catechesis and Youth Formation, 417-866-0841

Administrative Assistants
Katie Newton
Youth Ministry & Camp Re-NEW-All,  417-866-0841


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