Cultures of Formation:

Young People, Faith and
Vocational Discernment

March 5-7, 2018 University of Notre Dame

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.

The conference is co-sponsored by the USCCB Committee on Doctrine.

Call for Proposals


  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.


All sessions will take place at the Notre Dame Conference Center (unless otherwise indicated)
Times subject to change

Monday March 5, 2018

1:00 p.m.         Conference opening


1:30 p.m          Panel Presentations

2:45pm            Break


3:15 p.m          Panel Presentations  


4:30 p.m.         Break for evening   

7:30 p.m.         Keynote Address 
                        Most Reverend Robert Barron                              Leighton Concert Hall, DPAC                      

Tuesday March 6, 2018                     

All sessions on Tuesday to be presented by the McGrath Institute for Church Life faculty and staff
Continental breakfast available


8:00 am           Cultivating Presence and Intimacy    


9:30 a.m.         Break


9:45 a.m.        Cultivating Remembering and Creativity   


11:30 a.m.       Mass in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart


12:30 p.m.       Lunch (for all paid registrants)                                        NDCC, Lower Level


2:00 p.m.         Cultivating Commitment and Sacrifice                                                         


3:15 p.m.         Break


3:30p.m.          Cultivating Freedom and Leisure   


4:45 p.m.         Break for day


7:30 p.m.         Lecture
                        Nicholas Carr                                                                                     


Wednesday March 7, 2017


8:00 am           Morning Prayer  


8:30 a.m.         Continental breakfast   


9:00 a.m.         Katherine Angulo   


10:00 a.m.       Break


10:15 a.m.       Joe Campo      


12:00 p.m.       Lunch (for all paid registrants)                                        NDCC, Lower Level


1:30 p.m          Panel Presentations        


2:45 p.m.         Break


3:15 p.m.         Panel Presentations     


4:30 p.m.         Conference concludes


5:15 p.m          Mass at Basilica of the Sacred Heart (Optional)


Paid registrants are guaranteed admission to the lectures on Monday evening (Bishop Robert Barron) and Tuesday evening (Nicholas Carr). Remaining seats will then be offered to non-paying, registered faculty, staff and students, followed by the general public.

Registration and Housing

• $125 per person including a $50 non-refundable administration fee.


• Fee includes all conference materials, lunch on March 6 and 7, and refreshments.


• Cancellations must be received by Feb. 19, 2018 by emailing​ or calling 574.631.9195; registration fees less the non-refundable administration fee will be returned.



Participants are responsible for securing their own accommodations.

• A block of rooms has been reserved at the Morris Inn on the Notre Dame campus for a rate of $149+ tax. Rate does not include breakfast or parking.

• Book by phone: call 800.280.7256 and reference the conference name “Cultures of Formation: Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment”. For online reservations, please visit HERE​.

Are you traveling to South Bend? Additional information about flying or driving to South Bend can be found here.

Register now