AYF is quickly approaching, and we want you to join us in prayer for the success of the event. Because this year's Abbey Youth Festival falls on the feast day of St. Patrick, we are asking for his intercession as we pray on the 17th of every month the St. Patrick's Breastplate Prayer. Let us join together praying for our spiritual preparedness and the spiritual preparation for AYF!
Established in 2001, the Abbey Youth Festival is an apostolic outreach of the Saint Joseph Abbey and Seminary College. It is designed to provide young people with an opportunity to experience a day of prayer and faith formation with an exposure to the Benedictine tradition. Its focus is evangelization and vocational discernment by means of Liturgy, prayer, worship, music, and education appropriate for Catholic young people.
Teams of six to eight SJSC seminarians are selected annually to assume the tasks associated with planning the festival. Students led by the AYF Director discern the theme, speakers, presenters, logo, and direction of the event each year. Further, they work alongside the Director to complete all necessary logistical tasks. Valuable lessons of leadership, teamwork, youth ministry, and collaboration are deepened through participation on the AYF team. By emphasizing the four pillars of formation throughout the planning process, seminarians are able to enter into this work as an authentic apostolic outreach.
Abbey Youth Fest began in 2001 under the leadership of Dr. Chris Baglow and a dedicated seminarian task force. The seminarians of Saint Joseph Seminary College continue to play a vital part in the production of AYF in conjunction with the seminary staff. It has, in 12 short years, turned into the largest event in the Archdiocese of New Orleans, drawing nearly 250 different groups from all across the south and surpassing 4500 participants per year for the last few years. AYF is an event you don't want to miss!