Invitation to Abbey Youth Fest


Greetings from St. Joseph Seminary College in St. Benedict, LA! My name is John Parker; I am a seminarian from our diocese and I wanted to share with you a bit about my formation to the priesthood and extend to you an invitation to Abbey Youth Fest, a youth rally coordinated by the seminary and scheduled for this spring!

I am currently in my Junior year of undergraduate formation at St. Joseph’s, or St. Ben’s as we lovingly know it, and the time I have spent here has been truly life-changing. Since committing myself to this life two years ago, I really feel that I have grown in my discernment of the priesthood, and I am more excited than ever to serve the Diocese of Shreveport! I am in school with over 115 other seminarians studying for dioceses spreading from Texas to Georgia, and we get to enjoy the beautiful piney woods of Southeast Louisiana every day. The kindness and example of the Benedictine monks that run the seminary and the Abbey have contributed greatly to my experience, and on behalf of all the faculty, staff and the monastic community at St. Ben’s, I invite you, the youth of our diocese, to spend a day with us worshipping the Lord, discerning your vocation, all while having a lot of fun!

On March 22, St. Joseph Abbey will host its 14th Abbey Youth Fest, which is a full day of contemporary Catholic music, inspiring keynote speakers and beautiful liturgy. We’ll have Mass late in the afternoon, then as the sun sets, we will chant Vespers as the monks do, and the night will end with candlelit Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on the Abbey Youth Fest field. Throughout the festival, you will have the opportunity for personal prayer in an outdoor chapel, confession, a tour of St. Joseph Abbey and exposure to several religious orders and various ministries who set up information booths to share their message with the thousands of Catholic youths in attendance.

For more information and pictures from previous festivals, plus funny promotional videos, check out our website at and find us on Facebook.

by John Parker, Seminarian

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