St. Joseph Abbey and College Seminary sponsored its 15th annual Abbey Youth festival in Covington Louisiana on March 21st. The seminarians studying at St. Joseph Abbey are a large part of the organizational team for the event. There are currently 135 seminarians from 23 different dioceses studying there. All of the seminarians from the major seminary in New Orleans, Louisiana also came to help out.
Over 4,500 teens and young adults attended the event. Fr Robert DeCesare and Fr Jacob DuMont, members of the Legionary community in Mandeville, Louisiana, helped with confessions as well as dedicating some time at the Legionary of Christ and Regnum Christi booth. Br Joseph Ory and Br Ben Richard, two Legionary seminarians originally from Louisiana and both currently studying humanities in Cheshire, CT also came to help at the booth. Yvonne Nuxoll and Kate Bozsik came to represent the Consecrated Women.
Invited speakers included Paul Kim, a musician and international motivational youth speaker, Fr Mike Schmitz, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Duluth, and Jackie Francois Angel, a full-time traveling speaker, singer, and worship leader from Orange County, CA.
Archbishop Gregory Aymond presided the concluding Mass in the late afternoon. At the end of the Mass he invited the young men and women who have considered a possible call to the priesthood or religious life to come forward and receive a blessing, an invitation which a large number of them responded to.