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.


Lynn Melendez

Lynn Melendez


Simon Elfrink

Simon Elfrink

Associate Director of Youth Ministry

Linda Glendenning

Linda Glendenning

Diocesan Ministry Program Coordinator

Upcoming Events

Stay tuned for upcoming Youth events!

Youth Conferences

Diocesan Youth Conference (DYC)

The annual conferences for 7th-12th grade youth offer the opportunity for teens across the diocese to gather together for a time of faith formation, fellowship, & fun!

Steubenville Youth Conference

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

National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC)

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.

Summer Youth Programs

Camp Re-NEW-All

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 and 3 sessions at Osage Branch Retreat Center in Conway. 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.

Camp Registration is open from  December 13, 2023 – April 19, 2024


Download the Camp Brochure 2024!

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.


Totus Tuus Summer Youth Program

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.

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.

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.

Youth Adventure Programs

Scouting Programs

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.

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 Mrs. Maryanne Hennecke (for the Cape Girardeau celebration) or Nick Meinhardt (for the Springfield celebration) by the middle of March.

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

Nick Meinhardt
4525 S. Glenn Ave.
Springfield, MO 65810

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.

Check back here for details on future service projects.

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!

For more information, contact April Mika, the Troop Coordinator at (210)278-8729, [email protected].

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.


Youth Ministry Leaders Conference

Every March, all ministry leaders and catechists who work with teens in 7th-12th grade are treated to a weekend away to learn, pray, and collaborate with other ministers in this diocese. You don’t want to miss this event!

Grant Opportunities

Need help funding your parish or school events? Want to attend an event, but need financial help? Interested in taking some classes or attending a conference to improve your knowledge of Catholic teachings or skills in ministry?

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 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 Schools
* 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.

Guidelines, Resources, & Forms

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

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

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 before participating in any activities with you:
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 ALL diocesan policies and complete all training and procedures through the Diocesan Child and Youth Protection Office.

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 [email protected].