Cultures of Formation: Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment

McKenna Hall

Most Rev. Robert Barron, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, will deliver the keynote address at a conference called “Cultures of Formation: Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.” Registration opened September 5, 2017 for the conference sponsored by the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame.

The goal of the conference is to examine the cultural influences that form young people today and equip the Church with a renewed missionary creativity. The conference anticipates the 15th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the topic of young people, the faith and vocational discernment in October 2018 in Rome.

"Education, family, technology, parish life are all schools of formation that are critical to shaping a sense of purpose and direction in young people,” said John Cavadini, McGrath-Cavadini Director of the McGrath Institute for Church Life. “We should carefully examine these cultural influences if the Church is to renew its mission of forming young people for vocational discernment.”

The conference will be held March 5-7, 2018. Registrants are guaranteed seating to Barron’s keynote address on Monday, March 5 and a lecture by Nicholas Carr on Tuesday, March 6. Carr is an expert on technology and culture and a 2011 Pulitzer Prize finalist.

Registration costs $125. Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s College and Holy Cross College faculty, staff, and students are invited to register at no cost. For more information on registration and admission to the lectures, visit

Filmmaker Joe Campo and Archdiocese of Atlanta Director of Youth Ministry Katherine Angulo will also speak at the conference. Bishops, pastors, lay leaders, and high school and college faculty and administration are invited to attend.

The McGrath Institute is accepting proposals for papers and presentations exploring the cultural influences on young people and ideas, strategies, or programs that foster vocational discernment. The deadline for proposals is Oct. 18.