Steubenville East



I have a 14 year old son, I am planning to send him to Steubenville East this Summer. If your children have attended, what did they think of it? My Son is going only because I want him to attend.

Wendy Ann:)


If you're talking about anything run by the Franciscan University of Steubenville ( then I'd say he's in for a very special and very Catholic experience. :thumbsup: I attended a summer youth conference there when I was in high school in it was wonderful. :D


I went as a chaperone for a youth conference there about 20 years ago and it was wonderful! Even some of the girls who really wanted (at first) to be somewhere else had a great week. I love the Franciscans, they are so special and the university is very special as well!


I had no idea what I was getting into in 1976, my first experience going to Steubenville as a teen. It was paid for by my aunt’s boyfriend. we packed up like sardines on a school bus and drove from Lafayette, Louisiana to Steubenville. It was the best experience of my life. The following year I did it again and felt a calling to the priesthood. I did it 4 times and loved it. That was the experience that gave me the sense of a deep conversion that conformed with my Chrisitan upbringing and the “feeling” of accepting Jesus into my heart, mind, body, soul, etc. I fell deeply in love with God. I went to the seminary and saw things I really shouldn’t have experienced for many of the young men not being truly transformed and almost trying to be overly sophisticated. Things happened and I left…etc.

Jump up 2 summers ago and we went down to Lafouche Parish to visit a good friend of mine from the seminary that I haven’t seen since 1980, when he graduated. He is now a very holy priest. Everybody knows him so I wont say his name. But he exposed us to the Steubenville on the Bayou, similar to the Steubenville experience. Bishop Jacobs is wonderful and an old friend of my family. He is truly a holy Bishop that I’d love to serve as a deacon now that I’m married. But getting down there would be difficult. In fact our DRE recently told me he met him once and really fell in love with him. And he’s not the kind of guy that gets excited over people like that. We’ve passed emails back and forth a few times so its special to me.

Your son, whehter he realizes it or not, may find an experience he’ll cherish for the rest of his life. I’ll bet he’ll love it so much he may want to to it again. That’s my gut feeling. Don’t be surprised if he comes back with a girlfriend or a crush. I did both. The last year I went as a chaperon and want to start up a group to travel up there again. Just need the time to do it, which is partly why I’ve quit a good job to go teach. He’ll make lifelong friends there.


Our parish priests are from up there and are Franciscan Friars too, which is partly what helped my wife convert to the Catholic Church from a stiff necked fundamentalist evangelical ecclessial community. Franciscan's are wonderful when they are good and most of them are pretty good.


My daughter was 14 when she went last summer. I made her go, too. She is still thanking me. :)


Differing opinion here:

I went twice to the University's Youth conference and helped out at Stuebenville South when it was in Alexandria.

Looking back on it, I now look at it as helping to brainwash me in the ways of all things charismatic and you couldn't get me within 10 miles of one of these conferences. Even though I've left the Church and Christianity, we're raising our daughter Catholic and I would probably forbid her from these propaganda exercises.... I mean youth rallys.


btw, I sent a friend with my daughter. So, probably if you send a friend with your son, he'll enjoy it more.


My daughter (18) will be going on her 3rd this summer along with her brother (16) who will be on his 2nd and hopefully my youngest (13) will be on her first. They have been wonderful, holy experiences.

If it helps, your son can look at the Stubenville websites because I believe they have video/info on past retreats.We never forced the kids to go, however we did encourage them and the fact they went with friends from the parish youth group helped. If your son has a friend who is going it may be easier.

Keep in mind also, that while many 14 year old boys like to see themselves as tough, he may be hiding some trepidation about being away and on his own.


I attended last year for the first time. It was honestly an incredible experience and something that I look forward to attending this summer as well. It was hands down THE BEST retreat I have ever attended in my life. Very true to the Catholic teachings and very straight forward when it comes to the teachings of the Church, if that makes sense? The team at Steubenville is absolutely incredible and the retreat runs very smooth in general, though the bunking assignments left us CRAMPED for space. There were some rooms with 6 girls to a room that was supposed to only house 2, and these are COLLEGE dorm rooms! And we all know how big they are! But it was ok, we literally NEVER went into the dorms apart from sleeping hours because the retreat is so jet-packed with events.

I highly recommend having your son attend, though, maybe youtube some of the videos from past Steubenville events that really show the level of energy (and reverence!) that’s held at the retreat and have him watch some to get him excited? Though, I also recommend not having your son attend by himself. I don’t recall seeing anyone there that was not attending with a youth group or a group of some sorts.

Overall, Adoration and Confession were two of my favorite things there, along with the various talks.

If you’d like any more specific information or have any more really detailed questions, send me a PM. :slight_smile:


I went five was simply AMAZING!!!


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