Why Youth Ministry

Christ-centered community and authentic experiences of faith are crucial in the life of a teen who is trying to figure out God's will in their life. The Diocesan Office of Youth Ministry partners with parishes and families to foster these communities and experiences as our Diocesan youth traverse the difficult world of being a teen. 

Youth Ministry Events & Activities

There are a variety of ways for teens to get involved in youth ministry, both at the parish & diocese levels. Most youth ministry takes place within the parishes, but there are larger events (like NCYC, retreats, & camp) that are available to everyone regardless of parish or school affiliation.

For more information about youth ministry in the Diocese, contact Jessica Pancho, Director of Youth Ministry.

Confirmation Retreats

Below is the list of confirmation retreats planned across the Diocese. If you have a student who needs to attend a different parish retreat, please reach out to the contact for that retreat to make arrangements.

 Parish(es) Location Date Contact
Our Lady's Immaculate Heart, Ankeny Our Lady's Immaculate Heart, Ankeny, IA Sunday, September 24th, 2023
1 PM - 6 PM
Randy Henderson 
St. Boniface, Waukee St. Boniface, Waukee, IA

Saturday, October 7th, 2023
9:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Julie Schell
SS Peter & Paul, Atlantic  Creighton Retreat Center, Griswold, IA 

Sunday, October 8th, 2023
10 AM - 4 PM

Julie Williamson
St. Mary's (Avoca) & St. Patrick's (Walnut)  Creighton Retreat Center, Griswold, IA Saturday, October 14th, 2023 Kathy Denning
St. Francis of Assisi, WDM St. Francis of Assisi, West Des Moines, IA  Saturday, October 21st, 2023 Claire Sevenich
Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, Glenwood  Glenwood, IA Saturday, November 4th, 2023
10 AM - 3 PM
Carie Finnegan
St. Patrick's (Neola) & St. Columbanus (Underwood)
Cost is $15
St. Patrick's, Neola, IA Sunday, November 5th, 2023
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Shannon Nye 
All Saints, Stuart
Retreat 1 of 3: The Catholic Mass 
All Saints, Stuart, IA Sunday, November 12th, 2023
10 AM - 3 PM 
Jill Gerling
 St. Mary's, Hamburg St. Mary's, Hamburg, IA  Sunday, January 14th, 2023  Beth Phillips
Corpus Christi, Council Bluffs Corpus Christi, Council Bluffs, IA Saturday, January 21st, 2024
10AM - 5PM 
Kendall McGrath
Shelby County parishes
Freshmen retreat
TBD  Saturday, February 10th, 2024 Rhonda Buck
St. John the Apostle (Norwalk) with St. Anne's (Logan) & St. Patrick's (Missouri Valley) Conception Abbey, Conception, MO Saturday/Sunday March 2-3, 2024 Jessica Pudenz
All Saints, Stuart
Retreat 2 of 3: Prayer, Saints, & Service
All Saints, Stuart, IA  Saturday, March 23rd, 2024
10:30 AM - 2 PM 
Jill Gerling
 St. Elizabeth Seton, Carlisle Conception Abbey, Conception, MO TBD, Spring 2024 Sarah Clayton 
Assumption, Granger  Assumption Church, Granger, IA Saturday, April 6th, 2024
9 AM - 6 PM
Cathy Davidson
Shelby county parishes
Sophomore retreat
St. Mary's, Portsmouth, IA  Saturday, April 6th, 2024 Rhonda Buck
St. Ambrose Cathedral, Des Moines St. Ambrose Cathedral, Des Moines, IA Sunday, April 21, 2024 Theresa Lewis
Our Lady of the Americas, Des Moines St. Thomas More Center, Panora, IA Saturday/Sunday April 27-28, 2024 Erika Mendez
 SS John & Paul, Altoona SS John & Paul, Altoona, IA Sunday, April 28th, 2024
12 PM - 5 PM
Maria Haas
Corpus Christi, Council Bluffs   Corpus Christi, Council Bluffs, IA Sunday, April 28th, 2024
2 PM - 5 PM
Kendall McGrath
All Saints, Stuart
Retreat 3 of 3: Confirmation 
All Saints, Stuart, IA  Sunday, June 2nd, 2024
6 PM - 9 PM 
Jill Gerling

National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC)

NCYC Indianapolis is the largest gathering of Catholic youth in the country. It is a three-day experience of prayer, community, and empowerment for Catholic teenagers and their adult chaperones. Teens and their group leaders enjoy speakers, workshops, live music, opportunities for adoration & reconciliation, and a beautiful closing liturgy.

Radix Retreat for High School Seniors

Radix is a three-day weekend retreat for high school seniors to step out of the hectic nature of their last semester for a relaxing and prayerful experience that prepares them to be more fully rooted in Christ as they go forth from their high school years.

Catholic Youth Camp (CYC)

Catholic Youth Camp, located at the St. Thomas More center in Panora, IA, is an oasis for young people to leave behind the difficulties of life to discover adventure, community and experience God's profound love. We combine dynamic Catholic spirituality with the fun and activities of camp.