The event will offer an interactive stream to make the experience more authentic.
Due to the restrictions set by the world pandemic, Franciscan University has converted its annual summer conferences to a live-streamed virtual event. There will be two conferences offered during the weekend-long virtual gathering: the first, called “Steubenville Live,” is geared towards young-adult Catholics; while the second, titled “Night of Hope,” is aimed at adults.
The theme of “Steubenville Live” will be “Hope Alive,” a phrase drawn from Romans 5:5. Running on July 17 and 18, the event will stream live from the Steubenville Florida youth conference in Orlando, featuring talks by Brian Kissinger, Chris Padgett, Father Mike Schmitz, Josh Blakesley, Mary Bielski, Oscar Rivera, Jr., and Michael Gormley.
The youth event will include live music performances, Mass, a Q&A with some of the speakers, and even a backstage tour in the evening. They note that the in-person audience in attendance will be following health and safety guidelines. The entire schedule of “Steubenville Live” can be viewed on the website, where they wrote:
It pains us that we can’t personally support you and the tens of thousands of people who normally come to encounter the life-changing love of Christ at the Steubenville Conferences across North America. Still, that’s not going to stop us from being there for you during these difficult times.
In a press release, Mark Joseph, vice president of Outreach and Evangelization at Franciscan University, said of the live-streaming effort:
“Having had to cancel our 30 conferences this summer that serve close to 60,000 participants, we’re incredibly excited to serve our constituents virtually. Unlike most of the Catholic conferences put on during COVID-19, we’ll be livestreaming two actual events, with speakers, a band on stage, and an audience.”
Due to the cost of live music, the venue, and their new streaming system — which, they note on their website, will include interactive elements the whole family can enjoy — “Steubenville Live” will cost $40 per attendee, or per household. The following conference, “Night of Hope”, however, is free to register for, and attend.
“Night of Hope” will be held on July 19, live-streamed from Christ the King Chapel at Franciscan University of Steubenville. Geared towards adults, it will include: a time of prayer lead by Sr. Miriam James Heidland, SOLT and Bob Rice, a keynote presentation by Dr. Scott Hahn, and Eucharistic Adoration with Fr. Dave Pivonka, TOR.
In the press release, Joseph added:
“Both conferences will be very interactive, providing an experience that is as close to the real thing as possible. With so many in our country and world hurting right now, we look forward to sharing the love of Christ again this summer, just in a different way.”