Cultures of Formation:

Young People, Faith and
Vocational Discernment

March 5-7, 2018 University of Notre Dame

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Conference Speakers

Bishop Robert Barron

Archdiocese of Los Angeles; founder of Word on Fire

Nicholas Carr

Author on technology and culture; 2011 Pulitzer Prize nominee

Katherine Angulo

Director of Youth Ministry, Archdiocese of Atlanta

Joe Campo

Founder of Grassroots Films and director/producer of The Human Experience

How do we create cultures in which it is easier for young people to be Catholic?

What to Expect

Cultures of Formation is an academic and pastoral conference to be held at the University of Notre Dame in anticipation of the 2018 General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in Rome. The synod 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).”

In preparation for the synod, Bishops, pastors, lay leaders, high school/college administration and faculty are invited to assess the following:

  • the pervasive cultural influences that form young people today
  • the end to which the Church’s evangelization and formation efforts are ordered
  • the possibilities for renewing the Church’s mission in forming young people for vocational discernment.

Call for Proposals

We are accepting proposals for papers and presentations in two areas:

  1. Cultural analysis: How are young people being formed today and to what end? Presentations may focus specifically on educational trends, familial issues, technology, or matters relating to the life of the parish, among others.
  2. Missionary creativity: What innovative ideas, strategies or programs will build a culture conducive to faithful discernment for young people? Proposals may focus on the renewal of theological education, catechetical enrichment, campus ministry, young adult or youth ministry in parish settings, new ecclesial movements, and others forms of dynamic pastoral engagement that foster vocational discernment.

Download the Call for Proposals for detailed information on proposal topics, word limits, format, and submission details.

Submit proposals or questions to no later than October 18, 2017. Notifications will be sent no later than November 29.


Participants will arrive midday Monday, March 5. Sessions conclude the afternoon of Wednesday, March 7. Detailed agenda coming soon!

Registration and Housing

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