Developing Youth Liturgical Leadership

Eucharistic Minister

For over 25 years, Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology has offered its One Bread, One Cup liturgical leadership conferences for high school youth, and 2022 summer conferences now are in full swing. Not just an opportunity for a community-building spiritual “high,” One Bread, One Cup offers young people the opportunity to build real skills for liturgical leadership. Students have a lot of goofy fun, but they also learn to be lectors, sacristans, servers, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, cantors, liturgical artists, intrumental musicians, preachers, hospitality ministers, and composers of intercessions. 


Building on the core Eucharistic themes of gathering, Word, sacrament, and mission, the five day conferences give young people a deeper grounding in why we do what we do at liturgy, and how. Teens are introduced to the Liturgy of the Hours and the basics of chant, and also participate in a Reconciliation service, a Holy Hour, and various devotions.


Paid college interns work with trained catechists to run three conferences each summer, forming their own tight community and acting as the backbone of the program. During off-weeks between conferences, interns receive their own theological formation, which can count toward credits in Saint Meinrad’s Graduate Theology Program.

Youth attend with high school and parish groups, with adult leaders receiving formation during the conferences as well. While youth ministers are not burdened with heavy supervisory responsibility during One Bread, One Cup, their role becomes more important when the young people return home. It is important that adults advocate for youth so that their gifts may be put to use in the parish and at school.

liturgical art
One Bread, One Cup participants attend the Liturgical Arts Liturgical Formation Session on the third day of the first One Bread, One Cup Conference. The group painted candles for the Day 5 Mass.

Over the years I have been involved with One Bread, One Cup in various capacities, including teaching chant and liturgical art. It is a fine program that cultivates a greater sense of belonging among young people, giving them the skills they need to be part of Church life today. I highly recommend it for any parish or Catholic high school group looking for a way to cultivate leadership among their youth.





Opening Mass in the St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel during Day 1 of the One Bread, One Cup conference.
Server/Sacristan Liturgical Formation Session on Day 2 of the first One Bread, One Cup Conference.
Youth from the Liturgical Arts Formation Track carry their candles to Mass in the St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel on the fifth day of the first One Bread, One Cup Conference.
Cantors lead singing at Mass in the St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel on the third day of the first One Bread, One Cup Conference.


2 responses to “Developing Youth Liturgical Leadership”

  1. SR. Agnes Eugene, ond Avatar
    SR. Agnes Eugene, ond

    Congratulations. This is the way forward to inspire, empower and allow youths to feel how worthy and important they are in this time of their lives. That they are the voice of todays youth. They are the evangelizers of their community and friends. That they have more to give then just receiving. May God bless you all.
    Being newly assigned as youth animator of our archdiocese. I hope to hear and see more from this web. So to empower and inspire our lovely young PEOPLE.
    Thank you.

  2. Dr.Cajetan Coelho Avatar
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho

    Empowering the young and the enthusiastic is the way forward. They have the potential to re-vitalize and re-energize the young at heart.

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