Conference Encourages Youth to ‘Turn Your World Upside Down’

By Tim Bishop

WEST VIRGINIA—High school youth from throughout the Mountain State are set to gather at Bishop Hodges Pastoral Center in Huttonsville Sept. 28-29 for the annual High School Youth Conference, sponsored by the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston.

Bob Perron, executive director of the diocesan Department of Youth Ministry, said the theme for this year’s event is “Turn Your World Upside Down,” which is based on the scripture reading for that Sunday.

“We are excited to hold the conference at the Bishop Hodges Pastoral Center,” Perron said. “The center and the adjacent Camp Tygart has undergone a lot of construction, so we are really trying to make it the center for young Catholics in our state.”

The conference will include both keynote addresses by nationally renowned speaker Steve Angrisano, as well as Perron. “Steve has been doing this for decades,” Perron said. “He is an incredibly genuine story teller and musician. We are thrilled to have him join us for the conference.” There will also be several breakout sessions, concerts by the diocesan house-band and workshops that Perron said will be relevant for youth in today’s society. Youth will also have the opportunity to attend Mass on Sunday. There will also be time set aside for Reconciliation and adoration.

“This is a great opportunity,” he said, “for youth of the diocese to gather together. Many of these kids come from parishes where there are only a few kids. So this gives them the opportunity to experience a larger church in the context of the diocese.”

Perron said the conference is open to any high school student in the diocese. To register for the conference, contact your parish priest or director of religious education. Cost for the conference is $75 and will include lodging and meals.