Steubenville South: 20 years in Alexandria - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Steubenville South: 20 years in Alexandria

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) -  It's the 20th Annual Steubenville South youth conference. 

 About 3,000 Catholic youth are making their way to the Alexandria Riverfront Center for a weekend of prayer and powerful messages.

"All the work that is going to be done will be able to give them the opportunity to have an encounter with truth," said Father Jose Robles-Sanchez, "with Christ."

The annual conference has continued to grow over the past two decades.

"e had a group that brought three people the first time, and now they're bringing 200," Father Robles-Sanchez said. "We had a group bring 10, now it's 100!"

And this year, the celebration is expanding to three new venues. 

"What happened here is the best," said Father Robles-Sanchez. "We created like a campus of a university."

"With the riverfront center, St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, and the Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center, it gets them out into the fresh air," said Kelli West of the Alexandria Pineville Convention and Visitors Bureau. "They do Bible studies and group meetings on the river."

The conference bookstore will be a hotspot for the faithful looking to stock up on t-shirts and prayer booklets.

And our local businesses are also feeling the love.

"We're talking about 3,100 people being in town for three days, and that's a huge economic impact, especially for a summer month," said West. "Hotels are full, they'll be eating at restaurants: probably looking at about over a half a million in economic impact."

There's no doubt that Steubenville South enriches the lives of the participants, but the young volunteers also come away with something very special.

"It just feels so amazing," said a member of the service crew. "It's a totally different feeling instead of being there to experience Christ., you're there to help make the experience."

Steubenville South activities begin Friday afternoon and wrap up on Sunday afternoon.

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