Office of Youth Ministry

Role of the Office


The primary and distinct mission of the Office of Youth Formation 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 Formation seeks to facilitate the building of comprehensive youth ministry programs, built on the principles outlined in Renewing the Vision.

Diocesan Youth Conference (DYC)

The 29th annual conferences for 7th-12th grade youth will be held on various dates and locations across the diocese instead of one large weekend event to allow for a safer experience.

Diocesan Youth Conference (DYC)

Saturday, March 26 at the CRM Retreat Center in Carthage
Featuring: Fr. Agustino Torres (priest who leads street/gang ministry in the Bronx, NY) and musician, Josh Blakesley (Steubenville worship leader)

April 2 at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Cape Girardeau
Featuring: Sister Josephine Garret (former Baptist, turned Catholic and then religious sister – NCYC and Steubenville speaker) and Mary Kate Westrich and band (worship band for Steubenville).

The 29th annual conferences for 7th-12 grade youth will be held on various dates and locations across the diocese instead of one large weekend event to allow for a better experience. There will be different activities for middle and high schoolers.

You may attend whichever event which is most convenient! And, YES, you can attend both!
You may attend with a group from your parish, or with your parent(s), however, all youth must be chaperoned.

Poster (11×17) for all 3 days
Full Information Packet
Flyer for the Carthage Date
Flyer for the Cape Girardeau Date

Click here to register if you are attending as a group, or as a family.


Join 4,000 other Catholic teens and chaperones in a high-energy weekend at Missouri State University in Springfield to renew and rejuvenate your faith! For more information, contact your parish youth leader or visit


The National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) is an exciting, bi-annual 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.

National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC)

NCYC 2023: Indianapolis, November 16-19

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 National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM) sponsors NCYC.

In a distinctly Catholic setting the National Catholic Youth Conference invites participants to:

  • Encounter Christ.
  • Experience church.
  • Be empowered for discipleship.

The 2023 NCYC will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium and the Indianapolis Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana on November 16-19, 2023.  Over 22,000 people from across the nation attended in 2019, including about 150 from our diocese!

Some parishes will begin working on fundraising for the 2023 pilgrimage very soon. If you are interested in attending, contact your youth minister and get involved. For more information, read the information on each of the links below.  Because of the pandemic, NCYC will be structuring their registration processed differently – and we don’t have all those details yet. Most of the information below is correct, but is subject to change. You can also check out the official NCYC page with great videos and more information.

Contact the Office of Youth Formation for specific questions.

Transportation, Meals & Lodging


Organizing Parish Groups

Chaperones as Faith Mentors


World Youth Day 2023 is a unique international gathering of Catholic youth and young adults (ages 16-35) with Pope Francis. The next World Youth Day will be held July 31- Aug. 6, 2023 in Lisbon, Portugal.

World Youth Day 2023

World Youth Day 2023 is a unique international gathering of Catholic youth and young adults (ages 16-35) with Pope Francis. The next World Youth Day will be held July 31- Aug. 6, 2023 in Lisbon, Portugal. A diocesan pilgrimage has been designed.

Download this BROCHURE with full itinerary and costs.
Print and hang this POSTER at your parish or school.

To reserve your spot on the pilgrimage, complete this WYD Registration Form.

Visit the official World Youth Day website for more details.

For more information, contact Lynn Melendez at or (417)866-0841.


Camp Re-NEW-All is a week-long summer camp held on both sides of our diocese. Campers in 4th-9th grade and Staffers in 10th grade-adult are excited to renew friendships and experience God in nature.


Beginning with the 2023 Camp Season, Camp Re-NEW-All for the west side of the diocese (formally Cassville) will be moving to the Osage Branch Retreat Center in Conway, Missouri. Click here for more details.

For almost 50 years, Catholic children and young people have attended Camp Re-NEW-All, learning about God, themselves, and what it means to be Catholic. Our belief 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. Campers can grow in their Catholic faith, aided by the Sacraments and age-appropriate religious formation. Other fun activities include sports, swimming, crafts and music. Camp is for children going into the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th grade following the camp season. There are 3 sessions held at Camp St. Vincent in Fredericktown (Map) and 3 sessions at Osage Branch Retreat Center in Conway (Map). Adult staff (age 18 and above as of the first day of the camp session), and high school staff (entering grades 10-12 in fall) serve along with priests and seminarians as counselors, activities directors and support staff.

Applications for the 2023 Camp Season will be available mid-February.


Download the Camp Brochure 2023!

All camp registrations are made through an online registration platform. If you need assistance with the online registration process, please call Linda Glendenning at (417)866-0841.

What to Pack, What to Leave Home

Tips for a Successful Week at Camp

Dress Code


Each summer, a team of college-aged missionaries travel to parishes across the diocese to present a week-long fun-filled and educational Catholic program for all youth in 1st – 12th grade.

Totus Tuus Summer Youth Program

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.

How does the program work?

Totus Tuus calls upon college-age young adults 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.

Download the Parish Info Guide Here

Interested in becoming a Missionary?

Would you like to be a young adult Missionary this summer and travel throughout the diocese presenting the Totus Tuus program?

Watch this video to find out more or check out our missionary brochure.

To become a Missionary, please Apply Here.


A diocesan committee, comprised of leaders from various Adventure programs such as American Heritage Girls and Scouts, coordinates collaborative Catholic events for members of the various groups.

Youth Adventure Programs

Youth Adventure Programs Fall Retreat

All Catholics youth (6th-12th grade) involved in scouting type groups (Boy Scouts, American Heritage Girls, Trail Life USA, Girl Scouts, etc.) were invited to the 15th annual Youth Adventure Program Retreat and Camp-Out September 27-29, 2019 at Camp Arrowhead in Marshfield, MO. The high-energy retreat included Mass, Liturgy of the Hours, Repelling, Climbing Tower, Escape Camp, Tomahawk Throwing, Catholic Trivia, and outstanding food!

Due to CoVid-19 restrictions and risk factors, we will not have a Fall camping retreat this year.

The 2021 YAP Retreat and Camp-Out will be held in September 2021.  If you’d like to help plan the event, or if you have any other questions about the retreat, contact Ronnie Bell,, 417-350-6748,  or Lynn Melendez in the Diocesan Office of Youth Ministry, 417-866-0841.

Lenten Lock-In

The 2022 Lenten Lock-In Retreat for all Catholics (ages 5-11) involved in a scouting type program will be held at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish on Saturday/Sunday, March 26-27, 2022.  Watch for details.

Cub Scouts, Brownies, Girl Scouts, American Heritage Girls and Trail Life USA boys, Little Flower Girls, or those involved in similar programs are invited to participate in this annual event!

Download the flier here. Register online here.

For more information, or to help with the next retreat, contact Nick Meinhardt 417-224-2421, or the Diocesan Office of Youth Formation 417-866-0841.

YAP 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 Mrs. Maryanne Hennecke (for the Cape Girardeau celebration) or Mr. John Newton (for the Springfield celebration) by the middle of March.

Mrs. Maryanne Hennecke
Catholic Campus Ministry
512 N Pacific
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

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

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

YAP Spring Service Project

The Diocesan Youth Adventure Program Committee hosts a Spring Service Project each year. We have worked at the Kitchen garden, Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri Offices, the grounds at the Mary Queen of Peace Solitude, and Bishop Rice’s garden.

The next service day will be in Spring 2021 Watch for details.

American Heritage Girls

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 2020-2021 school year.

For the 2020-2021 school year, AHG Troop MO1118 will work on three badges as a troop. Activities will include camping, a variety of service projects, and lots more fun! For more information, contact April Mika, the Troop Coordinator. 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, and Leadership Program for boys and young men.

Due to several families moving or being deployed, the regional Catholic Trail Life USA Troop will not meet in the 2020-21 school year. We are looking for Catholic men to step up into leadership to continue for the 2021-22 school year. If you are interested, please contact Katie Newton in the Office of Youth Ministry (, 417-866-0841). Trail Life will meet in Springfield on Monday evenings at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Springfield. The meetings will be the same time and place as the American Heritage Girls troop (which means a consolidated schedule for your family).


All adults who minister to middle school and high school aged youth are treated to a weekend away with other youth leaders in our diocese in March of 2022 in Van Buren, MO . You don’t want to miss this event!

Youth Ministry Leaders Conference — The Gathering

The Gathering  Youth Ministry Leaders’ Conference

The Office of Youth Ministry will hold the annual Youth Ministry Leaders’ Conference, “The Gathering,” March 5-6, 2021 at The Landing in Van Buren. Youth Ministers and all adults involved in the Youth Ministry or high school PSR teams are invited!  Online registrations will be accepted until February 22nd (we won’t have paper registrations this year).  You may pay online or choose to mail in a check (personal or parish), or indicate that you’ll apply for a Lay Endowment grant when you register.  A parish leader can even register multiple people from his or her parish.  DREs and CREs, especially in those parishes that don’t have a separate youth ministry, are encouraged to attend.

Registration will be limited to allow for all appropriate accommodations for a safe and healthy event. See the back of the flyer for more details.

Download the Flyer Here Register here.


Do you need help funding your parish or school events? Do you want to attend an event, but need financial help? Would you like to take some classes or attend a conference to improve your knowledge of Catholic teachings or skills in ministry?

Grant Opportunities

The Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau has special funds available:
Diocesan Youth Endowment Fund Grant
* For parishes and schools, to support ministries or for individuals to attend camps or conferences
Diocesan Lay Endowment Fund Grant
* For adults to use for lay ministry training

Diocesan Youth Endowment Fund

The main objective of the Diocesan Youth Endowment Fund is to support those activities which: create opportunities for youth and families to encounter Christ, provide more effective ways of accompanying youth and families in their faith formation, and prepare them as intentional missionary disciples. The Diocesan Youth Endowment Committee will continue to pray, seek input from parish leaders, and discern carefully the priorities for ministering to youth and their families. May our good and gracious God continue to bless all of the generous donors and guide the endeavors of parishes, schools, and the diocese in ministering to youth and their families.

Parishes and Schools

Parishes and schools may use this form for:
* New Faith Formation/Evangelization initiatives in Catholic High School
* Guest speaker presentations or retreats in Catholic grade schools
* Guest speaker presentations or retreats in parishes
* Youth Adventure Program Retreats/Lock-ins
* Funding for Youth Ministry program subscriptions (ie. Lifeteen, YDisciple)
* Resources/Supplies for faith formation and youth ministry programs – books, online resources, computer/smart tv, etc.
~ Application for GROUP/PARISH/SCHOOL Grant Assistance


Individual Youth

Individuals may use this form for assistance with:
* National Conferences, Institutes (ie. NCYC, Notre Dame Institute, etc.)
* Camps (ie. Life Teen Camp)
* Steubenville Conference
* Camp Re-NEW-All
* Camp Barnabas
* March for Life Pilgrimage
Check the application for deadlines.
~Application for INDIVIDUAL Grant Assistance 

Lay Endowment Grant Fund for Adults

The Endowment Fund for Lay Leadership is a fund to promote continuing Catholic education and formation among the laity of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau. Read more.


Helpful links to important Youth Ministry forms, resources, and safe environment information.

Forms & Resources

As you plan meetings and activities for Youth Ministry, the following resources may be helpful.

NEW Guidelines and Resources for Catechetical Leaders and Youth Ministers
Renewing the Vision: The USCCB’s blueprint for the continued development of effective ministry with young and older adolescents
Resources for Youth Ministry, including post-Confirmation classes
Health and Safety Guidelines
Retreat Facilities
Retreat Leaders for Youth and Young Adults
Volunteer Driver Form
Parental/Guardian Consent and Media Release Form  English Spanish
Policy and Guidelines for the Use of Technology, Email,
and Social Media English Spanish
Event Registration and Waiver Adult  English  Spanish
Event Registration and Waiver Youth  English Spanish

Child and Youth Protection Forms:
All adults, age 18 and older, must be compliant with Diocesan Safe Environment Policies and should have completed the following three items:
1. Submit a background check before beginning ministry with minors
2. Read and sign the Diocesan Code of Conduct annually
3. Complete a Virtus training workshop either online or in person.
Please read through the complete Diocesan Policy and Procedures for adults who are employed or volunteering in ministry with minor age children.

–  Mandated Reporter Summary
–  Code of Conduct for Adults   English  Spanish
–  Code of Conduct for Minors   English  Spanish

Diocesan Resource Library

Adults involved in youth ministry within our diocese are invited to join our Youth Ministry Facebook page. It is a private permission based page.  If you would like to join, email Lynn Melendez at


Lynn Melendez

Lynn Melendez

Director |

Shasta Beckers

Shasta Beckers

Administrative Assistant. |