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A weekend of praise and worship awaits nearly 3,000 youth and volunteers set to take over the Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center June 26-28 for the 10th-annual Catholic outreach program, Steubenville on the Bayou.

Originating at Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio in 1975 as a faith platform for area youth, the event has evolved into a 21-location experience designed to meet the spiritual needs of today’s teens.

Brought to south Louisiana by Bishop Emeritus Sam Jacobs, the three-day event incorporates worship music, youth ministry speakers, group sessions and the sacraments to engage students in 8th-12th grades in the words of the Gospel.

This year, the conference is also adding an extension program, Encounter Conference, for those who graduated high school in 2014 through age 25 in an effort to include those still speaking the spiritual guidance provided in the youth conference, conference director Shawn Lapeyrouse said. Encounter sessions will be held at the nearby Courtyard Marriott Hotel and will include discussions on faith in the workplace, sin and addiction. Encounter participants will also be invited to join youth participants for Holy Mass and Adoration.

“What we found here and the reason we are doing it the same weekend is culturally, our young adults don’t always separate from their youth groups,” she explained. “They still go back to their churches looking for that place, that thing to belong to. That’s why we’re offering this. It’s a chance for them to

come with their group but at the same time hear talks and teaching on things that are relevant to where they are in life.” •

Steubenville on the BayouCOURTESY