Youth Ministry

Video found HERE
Video found HERE

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.

Bishop announces Diocesan Youth Endowment Fund Read more…


Totus Tuus Logo

What is Totus Tuus (Totally Yours)?

Totus Tuus is a summer Catholic youth program dedicated to sharing the Gospel and promoting the Catholic Faith through evangelization, catechesis, Christian witness and Eucharistic worship. Our week-long Parish Summer Catechetical Program assists parents and parishes in the evangelizing and catechizing of their youth by supplementing the work they are currently doing.

The methodology, structure, content, and enthusiasm of Totus Tuus is concerned not only with teaching the Faith, but also igniting the hearts of the team members and the young people they encounter. The result has been the formation of young adults who continue to dedicate themselves to the Church’s mission of evangelization along with many vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

The Office of Evangelization, Catechesis and Youth Formation will be bringing Totus Tuus to the following parishes in the summer of 2018.  If you would like to bring this program to your parish in the summer of 2019, please contact us.

June 3-8 :: Sacred Heart Parish, Dexter
June 10-15 :: St. Mary Parish, West Plains
June 17-22 :: St. Eustachius Parish, Portageville
June 24-29 :: St. Francis de Sales Parish, Lebanon
July 8-13 :: St. Ann Parish, Carthage
July 15-20 :: Holy Trinity Parish, Aurora

Many neighboring parishes will be participating in each of the week-long events. Contact your parish for more information and registration material.  Registration is required.

How does the program work?

Totus Tuus calls upon college students and seminarians from across the United States to carry this mission to every young person they encounter. These young men and women are hired for their energy, enthusiasm, love of the Faith, commitment to spiritual growth, ability to work with a team and a desire to work with youth.

Teams of four young adults (two men and two women) travel to a different parish each week, hosting a five day catechetical program for grades 1-12, similar to ‘vacation Bible school.” The week is filled with faith, fun and friendship. There are messy games and crazy skits as well as catechetical learning joined with prayer and sacrament. Our college-age missionaries provide an authentic witness to the students.

We are now accepting applications for Summer Missionaries for the summer of 2018!

As a missionary you would be committing to the following:

•    Missionary training May 27 through June 1, 2018
One day of training will be held at the Catholic Center in Springfield, Missouri on May 27. The team will then join other Totus Tuus missionary teams in Wichita, Kansas, May 28-June 1 for training. (The Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau will be responsible for paying the training registration fees which include your food and lodging during the week of training, as well as reimbursement for mileage for travel by car to Wichita.)

•    Six Parish Assignments
During the summer, you will be traveling to 6 different parishes throughout the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau. At each location, you will serve in a week long daytime and evening youth program.  Each parish program begins with set-up at the parish on Sunday afternoon/evening and finishes with clean up on Friday afternoon. The Totus Tuus program is offered daily Monday through Friday to children, Kindergarten through sixth grade, from 9:00am to 3:00pm. A special evening program is offered for seventh through twelfth grade on Monday through Thursday from 7:30pm to 9:30pm. As a missionary, you will be present at all sessions, giving witness, teaching, leading activities, etc.

The weeks of Totus Tuus are as follows:
June 3 through June 8    June 24 through June 29    *Break June 30 – July 7
June 10 through June 15    July 8 through July 13
June 17 through June 22    July 15 through July 20

•  Compensation
You will receive a stipend for 6 weeks of missionary work. Your meals and housing are provided by host families within each parish throughout the summer. Mileage for travel between parishes will be reimbursed.

Download the Missionary Brochure Here
Download the Application Packet Here


Diocesan Youth Conference

Speakers 2018

DYC 2018 Theme:  What Is Your Passion?


DYC 2018 Poster

The Office of Youth Ministry invites ALL high school students to the DYC 2019 which will be held March 29-31, 2019 in West Plains, Missouri! Put it on your calendars now!

The 2018 conference theme was “What Is your Passion?” The keynote speakers were Sean Forrest and Sister Karolyn, with special musical guest Tony Melendez!  The Youth Ministry team from St. Ann in Carthage planned an amazing event!

Bishop Rice plans was present with us for the entire weekend, along with at least several priests, deacons and our beloved seminarians. Several religious communities will be joining us as well!  Bishop Rice even participated in an epic Lip Sinc battle with Sister Karolyn!

Read about DYC 2017 in the March 31st issue of The Mirror.  Watch for information on DYC 2018 in an upcoming issue of The Mirror.

Download the 2018 registration packet here

Download the Parish Registration Spreadsheet here.  Parish Group Leaders, please complete this form and EMAIL it to Katie –, and include it in your packet with the registration forms.

Dates for upcoming Diocesan Youth Conferences are below. Get these on your calendar now!
2019 ::  March 29-31 (Easter is April 21)
2020 ::  March 27-29 (Easter is April 12)



Youth Ministry Leader’s Conference

YMLC 2018

The Office of Youth Ministry will hold the annual Youth Ministry Leaders’ Conference on February 23-25, 2018 (this is the updated date) at The Landing in Van Buren. Youth Ministers and all adults involved in the Youth Ministry or high school PSR teams attended!  The theme this year will be, “Living as Missionary Disciples.”

2018 Youth Leaders Conference Flyer.


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


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? Keep watching for the next TEC (Teens Encounter Christ) – three days away from the outside world learning more about our God. A weekend packed with surprises, new friends, old friends and great food! As soon as the next TEC is scheudled, we will post it here.  If you need more information in the meantime, please contact one of us:

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

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.


Catholic Youth Adventure Programs

Includes American Heritage Girls, Trail Life USA, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Little Flower, Columbian Squires, and other similar groups that serve Catholic youth.

Annual Lenten Lock-In for Catholics in Youth Adventure Programs

The Lenten Lock-In Retreat for all Catholic scouts (ages 5-11) will be held Saturday/Sunday, March 3-4, 2018 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish. Cub Scouts, Brownies, Girl Scouts, American Heritage Girls and Trail Life USA boys or those involved in similar programs are invited to participate 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 2018 flier and registration form here.


Catholic Youth Adventure Programs Retreat

All Catholics youth (4th-12th grade) involved in scouting type groups (Boy Scouts, American Heritage Girls, Trail Life USA, Girl Scouts, etc.) were invited to the 13th annual Catholic Scouting Retreat September 30-October 1, 2017 at Camp Arrowhead in Marshfield, MO. The high-energy retreat included Mass, Liturgy of the Hours, Low Cope, Repelling, Climbing Tower, Mountain Biking, Tomahawk Throwing, Catholic Trivia, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.  For more information or to register, contact Christine O’Dell at (417) 773-4445 or Shelly Pichler at (417) 838-2730.
All attending adults must be in compliance with Diocesan Safe Environment policies.

Downloads:  2017 Retreat Flyer and Schedule
Youth Registration and Waiver
Adult Registration and Waiver


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 2017-2018 school year. The meetings are the same time and place as the Trail Life USA Troop (which means a consolidated schedule for your family).

For the 2017-2018 school year, AHG Troop MO1118 will earn three badges as a troop – “Dawn of Our Country”, “Money Management”, and a Science and Technology Badge that the girls get to pick. We are also planning a variety of outdoor activities and camping trips, a service project at Newborns in Need, 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 regional Catholic Trail Life USA troop is active 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 2017-2018 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.

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. John Newton (for the Springfield celebration) by the middle of March.

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

Mr. John Newton
The Catholic Center
601 S Jefferson Ave.
Springfield, MO 65806

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


Catholic Youth Adventure Program Spring Service Project

The Diocesan Youth Adventure Program Committee 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 2018.  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 2019 NCYC will be held in Lucas Oil Stadium and the Indianapolis Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana on November 20-24, 2019. Read more


Youth Events

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,  2018 dates are in July 13-15 and July 20-22.  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!


Grant Opportunities

Diocesan Youth Endowment Fund
Grants through the Youth Endowment Fund will provide financial assistance to parishes with high school youth and adult youth ministry leaders in need of assistance for attending diocesan youth activities such as DYC, Camp Re-NEW-All, Steubenville StL Mid-America Youth Conferences, and TEC. In addition, parishes with limited youth program funding may apply for one time grant assistance in establishing a new parish youth program, training activity, or special event that would benefit the youth within a parish.
~ Explanation of New Youth Endowment Fund
~ Grant Application

Lay Endowment Grant Fund
The Endowment Fund for Lay Leadership is a fund to promote continuing Catholic education among the adult laity of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau. Catholic education refers to formal training in the many disciplines which affect the Church in Southern Missouri, including but not limited to: theology, music, liturgy, religious education, evangelization, family life, and youth ministry.
~ Grant Guidelines
~ Grant Application
~ Grant Evaluation





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

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


Share This: