Bishop Robert Barron to deliver keynote at Notre Dame conference on young people, faith and vocation

By Meg Mirshak

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A conference sponsored by the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame called “Cultures of Formation: Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment” will be held March 5-7, 2018. 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.

Most Rev. Robert Barron, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, will deliver the conference keynote address. 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.

The Vatican announced that the upcoming Synod of Bishops will address “the process by which a person makes fundamental choices in dialogue with the Lord and listening to the voice of the Spirit (Preparatory Document II.2).”

"Education, family, technology, parish life and other related matters are critical to forming young people, ” said John Cavadini, McGrath-Cavadini Director of the McGrath Institute for Church Life. “We must examine these prevalent cultural influences shaping our youth if the Church is to renew its mission of forming young people for vocational discernment.”

Filmmaker Joe Campo, Pulitzer Prize nominee Nicholas Carr 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.

For additional details on the call for proposals and conference, visit Registration will open in the fall.

Contact: Brett Robinson, director of communications, McGrath Institute for Church Life, 574-631-6109,

The McGrath Institute for Church Life at Notre Dame partners with Catholic dioceses, parishes and schools to address pastoral challenges with theological depth and rigor. By connecting the Catholic intellectual life at Notre Dame to the life of the Church, the McGrath Institute for Church Life forms faithful Catholic leaders for service to the Church and the world. Visit