Text and photos by Gregory A. Shemitz

The Diocese of Rockville Centre was represented by more than 170 teenagers, youth ministers, priests, seminarians, chaperones and volunteers at the Steubenville NYC youth conference, held July 20-22 at St. John’s University in Jamaica, Queens.

The faith-focused event—which featured Mass, Eucharistic adoration, opportunities for reconciliation, praise and worship music, presentations and small-group discussions—drew 1,850 participants from seven states, including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maryland and Ohio.

Rockville Centre youth groups attending this year’s conference included: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Centereach; Our Lady of Peace, Lynbrook; St. John the Evangelist, Center Moriches; St. Joseph, Babylon; St. Joseph the Worker, East Patchogue; St. Martin of Tours, Bethpage; St. Patrick, Smithtown; St. Rose of Lima, Massapequa; St. William the Abbot, Seaford; and Holy Trinity Diocesan High School, Hicksville.

Auxiliary Bishop Robert Brennan, an alumnus of St. John’s, returned to his alma mater to preside at the Saturday morning Mass at Carnesecca Arena. Father Joseph Fitzgerald, diocesan vocations director, and Father Sean Magaldi of St. Patrick Church, Smithtown, joined nearly 40 other priests to concelebrate the liturgy. Seminarians Stephen Rooney and Chris Heller assisted at the service.

The conference, one of several held around the nation, was presented by Life Teen and sponsored by Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio.