Emily Wilson is a speaker, author, and musician who travels the world sharing her faith through witness and worship.
Emily was encouraged by her third grade teacher to get up and sing in front of the whole church at the age of 7. With continued support from her high school choir teacher, she started leading music regularly. While attending Arizona State University, Emily began leading worship at church with Ike Ndolo. She planned to become a sports broadcaster and earned a degree in broadcast journalism, but felt called to use her education in speaking and presenting to spread the Gospel.
After working for two years as as a full-time high school campus minister, Emily made the transition to full-time traveling ministry beginning in 2013. She has spoken and played music at dozens of national and international youth and young adult events in two dozen states and numerous countries, including diocesan, parish, and school events, as well as Life Teen and Steubenville conferences.
In the summer of 2016, Emily published her first book through Life Teen International titled I Choose the Sky. It is a scriptural devotion with reflections on seventeen women in the Bible and what we can learn from their lives, decisions, and encounters with Christ.
Emily has always been a California girl and enjoys living in Southern California as a newlywed with her Dutch husband Daniël.
Emily will be emceeing the event as well as giving the women's breakout session.
Luke, a joyful seminarian from the Diocese of Lafayette, is a Sophomore studying at St. Joseph Seminary College. While some consider him to be an "old soul," Luke brings a passion and a cheerfulness to everything he does. Whether you find him sending out emails as Secretary of the SGA or deep in a book, he is always happy to spend his time in deep conversation with his seminarian brothers and friends. You may find him jogging in the woods, singing in the seminary choir, or perhaps watching the Lord of the Rings for the tenth time.
Luke will be co-emceeing with Emily.
Fr. Bryce Sibley is a priest of the Diocese of Lafayette. He was ordained in the year 2000, and in 2001 received his Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome. He is currently serving as pastor and chaplain of Our Lady of Wisdom Church and Catholic Student Center on the Campus of the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. He has authored several articles and travels extensively speaking on issues regarding faith, marriage, and sexual ethics.
Fr. Sibley is giving the final keynote of AYF.
Fr. Brad is a priest of the Diocese of Baton Rouge in South Louisiana. He is a graduate of St. Joseph Seminary College in Covington LA and Notre Dame Graduate Seminary in New Orleans LA. He loves the deep and rich Catholic culture of his home state and strives to show that a "good time" is not distant from God, but is an encounter of grace. He currently serves the three Catholic Churches amidst the sugarcane fields of St. James Parish on the West Bank of the Mississippi.
Fr. Brad is giving the opening keynote.
Fr. Colm Cahill, who is originally from Great Britain is a priest for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. He entered St. John's Seminary College in 2011 approximately one hour south of London England. Completing his studies at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans he graduated in May 2017 with a Master's Degree in Divinity. He is currently assigned at St. Peter's Parish in Covington, LA.
Fr. Colm will be the homilist at AYF 2018.
Austin Ashcraft is currently finishing his Master's Degree in Theological Studies at Notre Dame in New Orleans and also serves as the Director of Youth Ministry at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Mandeville. He loves the outdoors, Bob Dylan, and all things funky. Austin is youth minister to AYF's 2018 teen presenters Margaret Baglow and Cameron Vidal.
Austin will be giving the men's session talk "Why It's Better to Be a Virtuous Man Than a Jerk" along with long-time friend Joe Bass. Another life-long friend and fellow merry maker Fr. Brad Doyle will be emceeing the men's session. Dudes, don't miss it.
Chris Baglow is a Professor of Theology at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans with theology degrees from Franciscan University of Steubenville, the University of Dallas and Duquesne University. He is fascinated by the scientific study of human origins and the relationship between the Catholic Faith and modern science. His ministry involves traveling the country to speak to young and old about the harmony between the mysteries of faith and scientific discoveries, combating the false rumor that science and religion are inherently in conflict. He loves to quote St. John Paul II, who said that science and faith can draw each other into a "wider world, where both may flourish." His creative work includes Faith, Science, Reason: Theology on the Cutting Edge (Midwest Theological Forum, 2010), a high-school religion textbook on the relationship between the Catholic faith and modern science, and the seminary course Emergence of the Image: Human Evolution from Scientific, Philosophical and Theological Perspectives. He lives in Covington, LA with his wife Christine, his daughter Margaret and his sons John, Peter George and William.
Dr. Baglow is the founder of AYF. He will be giving a breakout session at AYF 2018. (Don't be surprised if Austin Ashcraft and Margaret Baglow crash the party.)
His father is Eastern Orthodox and his mother is Roman Catholic.
He has lived around the country:
New Englander by birth
Marylander by University
Floridian by temperament
Iowan by grace
and New Orleanean by choice
Dr. Tom Neal studied meteorology in his undergrad years but later got hopelessly hooked on theology
He has a Masters in Systematic Theology from Mount St Mary's University and PhD in Religion from Florida State University with a focus on early modern reform movements in Spain, and a dissertation on St. John of the Cross
He has worked in adult faith formation for 25 years in parish and diocesan contexts, and presently is the director of lay formation programs and professor of theology at Notre Dame Seminary.
His hobbies include anything outdoors, carpentry, weather watching and biking.
His favorite thing to do is be with his wife, Patti, and his four teenage and adult children
And of course to geek out on theology
He is involved in parish ministry at St Clement of Rome in Metairie as a catechist, lector and pastoral council member
Dr. Tom Neal will be giving a breakout session for youth ministers.
Margaret Baglow is an 18 year old high school Senior at St. Scholastica Academy (SSA) in Covington, Louisiana. Margaret is an all honors and Advanced Placement student, an SSA student reporter, and a member of the Speech and Debate club.
Outside of school, Margaret is a youth group leader at Our Lady of the Lake (OLL) Catholic Church. She has participated in a number of missions including one which took her to Rome to work with the Sisters of Charity (Saint “Mother” Teresa’s order). Margaret has been singing and performing since she was a little girl. She’s an actress in the musicals and plays at St. Paul School and a member of the Teen Choir at St. Peter Parish.
Some of Margaret’s favorite things include hanging out with her friends, writing, hiking, listening to Broadway musicals, and jamming to indie and folk music. Margaret spends most of her time up in her room doing Algebra homework, but sometimes she feels an unstoppable urge to write for hours at a time. Her family really appreciate her absence during these crazy creative bouts.
Margaret's college plans include double majoring in Philosophy and English, but where has yet to be decided. For now she lives in a charming old house with her parents and three younger brothers. Next year? We’ll see.
Margaret blogs about her adventures traveling, her friends and family, the Mass, and stuff like Snapchat at: https://margaretluce.wordpress.com/
Cameron Vidal is Senior at St. Paul's School in Covington, Louisiana. SPS football has been a big part of Cam’s life, having played throughout his high school career as well as serving as an offensive captain this year. When football season ends he runs track. He’s fast. #GoWolves! Cameron will celebrate his 18th birthday on March 14th, National Pi Day, just a few days before AYF.
Cam is the eldest son in his family so he will inherit the family wealth, farm, cattle, etc. Lucky man. In case you are wondering…. if he had to bend one element it would be air because it concentrates on speed and evasion, forging a strong offense for a greater defense.
Cameron loves God and others and actively strives to share the Gospel with everyone he meets. His mind was blown when he came to realize that Jesus Christ wants to give abundant life to him, to everyone, and even dogs. Cameron is a leader in the Our Lady of the Lake youth group. He is sought out and admired by his peers because of his awesome spiritual insights, friendship, concern for others, and crazy deep prayer life.
Joe Bass is a real piece of work. With a heart of gold and a nose that could be mistaken for a shark fin, Joe is currently working for the Diocese of Baton Rouge’s Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry. His passion is to promote an encounter between God and man, because his encounter with Christ 10 years ago forever altered the course of his life. He loves the outdoors, fishing, playing music, and laughing so hard with family and friends that he frequently has to change his jean shorts. Joe spent four beautiful years in the seminary, during which the Lord revealed the depth of his love. He eventually discerned out, and went into full time ministry. He is currently discerning marriage with an insanely beautiful and holy Catholic woman, and still gets sweaty palms around her.
The Vigil Project is a Community of musical artists that was formed in January 2016. Featuring a collective of seasoned singer/songwriters and worship leaders (Andrea Thomas, John Finch, Shawn Williams, and Greg&Lizzy), TVP exists to invite the Church to a fresh encounter with God and to deep prayer through the experience of beautiful music. In less than two years, they’ve quickly garnered international acclaim through the release of two music video series’ (“Lent and Easter” and “Advent and Christmas”) that have helped set a new standard globally for quality in the Catholic music industry. TVP maintains a seasonal touring schedule between producing new music/film projects and finding creative ways to invite and unite the universal Church in prayer.
Check them out on their website and youtube series: