The Fourth Annual Diocesan Youth Conference (DYC) is Friday, Feb. 22-24 at Camp Kulaqua in High Springs. The theme is “Made for More.” Hundreds of high school students are invited to energize and revitalize their faith with music, games, skits, prayer, sports, small groups and more. The keynote speaker is Joe Melendrez, a Los Angeles-based professional retreat leader, religion teacher, and Catholic, hip-hop artist.

Joe Melendrez has forged a unique path to becoming one of America’s most exciting Catholic performers. At age fifteen, Joe was featured on MTV and developed a love for performing. Later that year, on a Teen ACTS Retreat, Joe encountered the awesome love of God. It was then that he decided to dedicate his life to sharing the Good News.

Photo by St. Augustine Catholic/Woody Huband

With a B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Dayton, Joe has become a professional retreat leader and religion teacher at a Catholic High School in Los Angeles, CA. In addition to his work in Catholic education, Joe’s electric ministry of music and evangelization has taken him to Europe, Africa, Australia, South America and all across the USA.

The conference will begin Friday night at 6:30 p.m. Throughout the weekend, there will be keynote talks, praise and worship, workshops, small groups, low ropes and hiking trails, Mass, Adoration, Reconciliation and more. The weekend will end on Sunday with a teen witness and closing remarks around 11 a.m.

Cost is $125, and scholarships are available. To register contact your parish youth minister. If your parish is not attending, please contact the diocesan office to be connected with a parish that is participating or for help putting a group together. To learn more, email Robin Shipley at rshipley@dosafl.com or call (904) 262-3200, ext. 189.