Alaska Catholic Youth Conference (ACYC)

The Alaska Catholic Youth Conference 2018: Do Not Be Afraid

The Alaska Catholic Youth Conference (ACYC) is a gathering of Alaskan teens, young adults, parents, pastoral administrators, and parish staff members. It is an excellent opportunity for youth to gather and celebrate their Catholic faith.

The conference will feature both Alaskan and national Catholic musicians and speakers who will help teens live as missionary disciples in their communities, whether that be rural or urban. The week will include Eucharistic liturgies, reconciliation, workshops, a concert, and yes, fun!

Youth and adults that journey to ACYC will return to their home parishes with renewed faith and a strengthened desire to live as God’s disciples in their parishes and communities.

Sponsored by the Archdiocese of Anchorage: Office of Youth & Young Adult Ministry.

For more information, please contact Matthew Beck at 907-297-7734 or

ACYC 2018 Workshop Schedule:


Special Workshop Session: Saturday, June 2 at 8 p.m. at Lumen Christi High School Gym

Batman Unmasked with John Johnson.

Did you notice that the top three cops in Dark Knight Rises are named Peter Foley, Jim Gordon, and John Blake? Yep, Peter, James, and John. And did you notice that in each of Nolan’s Batman movies, Bruce Wayne’s side is pierced – and he’s resurrected. What if just like Bruce Wayne, hiding in plain sight as Gotham’s savior, Christopher Nolan was hiding in plain sight as a Catholic evangelist? It’s true. Join us for a mind-blowing viewing of the Dark Knight Rises that will reveal to you beyond the shadow of a doubt that Christopher Nolan is a masked Catholic theologian working to transform the culture.


Session 1 Monday, June 4 at 10:45 a.m.

Boys Will Be Boys, But Will They Be Men? With Craig Gould. (Boys Only): Our Culture says: A man either abuses power or gets none. Our God says: I gave you ‘a Spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline’. Let’s gather as brothers to believe God and live our lives worthy of this call- even if it is difficult.

Breaking The Mold with Katie Gould. (Girls Only): Calling all girls! Do you feel pressure to be the straight-A student, beautiful, thin, ambitious, athletic…and so much more? In the midst of this pressure, a girl can feel tired, depressed, and anxious. We’ll talk about who’s steering your ship and how to take hold of the woman God created you to be.

A Day with God: What you do daily matters with Doug Berry: This is a workshop that requires interaction as we walk through a day in the lives of young people We’ll consider what you watch on TV and at the Movies, what you listen to or read on your devices, the video games you play, and more. Then we’ll ask if Jesus would be invited to participate in your day?

In The Flesh: Discovering the Real Presence with John Johnson: Together we will break open St. John’s Gospel like never before to discover how Jesus Christ is truly present in the Holy Eucharist, ready to heal our wounds, make us whole, and draw us into His very life.

If God Is Nice, Then Why Does He Send People To Hell? with Fr. Patrick Brosamer: Come hear this explanation of Church teaching on how and why souls can be lost.

13 Reasons Why I Choose Joy with Stephen Haggard: The trials of loneliness and depression go to the center of one’s identity and faith. Hear how God has breathed life back into me after facing this struggle for a number of years in college. “But all the time I felt deep down in my heart a wondrous peace, because I knew that I was only seeking the Will of my Lord,” St. Therese of Lisieux.

Mary Is Who The Bible Says She Is! with Rita Saikali: We read about Mary in the Bible. Let’s get a deeper understanding of the importance of Mary in the Catholic Church through the Scriptures.

Paint & Pray: A Prayer In-Service Through Art with Anna Schulten: Spend a session in prayer and creativity as we paint an 8×10 canvas and explore themes of encountering God’s mercy and forgiveness through art. No experience is necessary; come with an open heart and let the Holy Spirit lead. Please note that this workshop is limited to 16 participants.

Dominion Over Beasts Of the Earth with Vince Marcantonio: Here in Alaska we consider fishing and hunting to be an important part of life.  Our mandate comes directly from Genesis 1:26 to have dominion over these animals and use them.  What exactly does this mean to us, though, as custodians of the earth?

If You Have A Purpose, You Have A Life. What Is Your Purpose? with Fr. Michael Shields: Why was I born? What am I supposed to do with my life? Come, and we’ll talk about the purpose of your life, my life, everyone’s life, and why we miss so much of real living by trying to live apart from our purpose.

TBH, Are we Really Friends? with Lisa Nguyen and Joseph Young: “There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship,” Aquinas once wrote. Having a friend and being a friend can be the most amazing gift. But what does it really mean to be a friend? And is friendship possible between men and women? We will explore qualities of authentic friendships and examine some practical advice on pursuing holy and intentional friendships.

Session 2 Monday, June 4 at 2:45 p.m.

Chaos vs. Order with Doug Berry: We will explore the saving “order” of the sacraments. This visual workshop reveals how without each sacrament, Satan will attempt to bring chaos into our lives, but with diligence and attention to the sacraments, God brings order

The “Do’s & Don’ts” Before the “I Do” with Craig and Katie Gould: God’s call for most of us is for marriage, which means it’s all the more reason we should ask what God wants for marriage? Why do we get married? How do you know if you should get married? Why should you care about marriage if you’re so young?

#europe #traveling #international: Traveling The World Through Social Media with Rita Saikali: St. Peter had to physically travel to preach the Gospel, but in our modern day, we can do that from the comfort of our own phones. A lot of times we are discouraged by the lack of resources that we have, but what if our phones can actually be our means of traveling the world and telling others about the love of Christ? God may not be gracing me with the ability to go all over the world, but He sure is giving me alternatives.

Saving Beauty with John Johnson: Discover how beauty can save the world. This workshop will be a “hands on” masterclass in the evangelical power of beauty. Warning: attendees of this workshop must be willing to eat chocolate.

Too Blessed To Stress with Liz Tkacik and Stephen Haggard: Managing stress has been paramount to our journey in the faith. Come find out how constant prayer sustains us through the pressures of school, relationship drama, family responsibilities, and alike, to find Christ in every moment. Even final exams!

You Are Not Alone: Healing From Abortion with Project Rachel: Professionals that serve with Project Rachel will be present to teach about abortion, its consequences, and how to help yourself and others choose life.

Mother Knows Best with Joseph Young and Steven Posato: Our Lady is powerful. Countless lives bear witness to this. She cares that we, her children, become saints. Steven and Joe will share Mary’s role in bringing about conversation in their own lives and some practical ways of drawing close to our mother. As St. Josemaria Escriva said, “Love our Lady. And she will obtain abundant grace to help you conquer in your daily struggle.”

Do Whatever He Tells You with Adrian Combe: We all know the story of the Wedding Feast at Cana and how Jesus turned the water into wine. Let’s explore how the narrative of John 2 illuminates the relationship between Mary, Jesus, the Eucharist, and the Church.

The Our Father with Vince Marcantonio: Come learn more about the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray.  We’ll examine what it teaches us about prayer, as well as what light the ancient languages shed on it!

Big World. Big Church. Big Faith! with Jesse Manibusan: In the ever-growing complexities of life, the call for a faith that is alive, that is to say, “deeper, bolder, and more in keeping with the mind of Christ and the mission of the Church,” is not just required, but essential. To be CHRIST in the world is no small and insignificant task. We must not just be anchored in BELIEF, but anchored in CHRIST.

Praying with Mary with the Dominican Sisters of Nashville: Mary unites us in prayer through the Rosary. Come journey in faith through the beauty of the mysteries of the Rosary and how we are drawn to Jesus through our prayer with Mary.


Session 3 Monday, June 4 at 4:00 p.m.

Be Not Afraid with John Burger: How can young people make the faith their own in today’s world? Come to this workshop to talk about practical ways that can be done.

Understanding Addictions & Helping Those Who Are Addicts with Fr. Frank Reitter: We have an addiction epidemic and teens aren’t immune from the realities of addiction. This workshop will help you understand the basics of addiction and how to respect the dignity of those who are addicted.

 Who Is the Second Most Important Person In The World? with Fr. Michael Shields: Our call to live a big life comes when we realize God is calling each of us to do something big with our lives. Mary shows us how to live this call with faith, hope, and love. Get ready to have a big life.

 Made for Greatness – Sainthood with Steven Posato, Maggie Giroux, and Lisa Nguyen: Ever had the dream about being a super hero? And ever feel like your life is just kind of mediocre or meh? Come hear about what it means to live life to the fullest and see some examples of how to reach that ultimate destination for which we all long: Eternal Life!

#goals with Stephen Haggard: A long walk on sunny afternoons, a picnic in the park, and a series of sonnets comparing you to Our Lady – is it possible that someone clearly sees your beauty? St. John Paul II states, “Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure.” Don’t believe it? Come listen to how beauty has the power to change the heart of man.

 You Are Not Alone: Healing From Abortion with Project Rachel: Professionals that serve with Project Rachel will be present to teach about abortion, its consequences, and how to help yourself and others choose life.

 Free to Be Me with the Dominican Sisters of Nashville: God calls out to each person amidst life’s circumstances. You’re a teenager, so let’s look at how to recognize God’s call and live out his invitation to know Him and follow Him according to who you are created to be.

Has Anyone Seen My Ark? With Adrian Combe: The Blessed Virgin Mary is the ark of the New Covenant. Let’s explore an understanding of the New Testament scripture passages about Mary in light of the Old Testament types.

 Catholic Political Theory with Vince Marcantonio: What is freedom?  What are our political obligations as Catholics? And how ought Catholics interface with modern politics in America?

 I Found A Rose with Rita Saikali: I Found a Rose is a project intended to promote the prayer of rosary by creating origami roses and leaving them in different parts of the city with a card attached to it that has a QR code that leads to instructions on how to pray the rosary and a request to take a picture, upload it to Instagram with the #ifoundarose.” The workshop will discuss the benefits of praying the rosary, the project itself, and how to make the origami flower.

Saving Beauty with John Johnson: Discover how beauty can save the world. This workshop will be a “hands on” masterclass in the evangelical power of beauty. Warning: attendees of this workshop must be willing to eat chocolate.


ACYC 2018 Flyer

ACYC 2018 Schedule at a Glance

ACYC 2018 Bios of Workshop Presentors & Musicians

ACYC 2018 Workshop Schedule

ACYC 2018 Alaska Catholic Youth Conference Permission and Release Forms

Speaker Resources:

ACYC 2018 Speaker Workshop Submission Form

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