Event Information

Learn more about what Convention is, why you should get involved, and how to have the best experience possible!

FAQs and General Information

Rules and Dress Code 

Helpful Hints for Families 

FAQs and General Information

WHEN is Convention?
Convention will be held March 2-4, 2018

Click here to download the 2018 Convention Schedule 

WHERE is the Convention held?
The Convention is held at the Adam's Mark Hotel in downtown Buffalo, NY.

WHAT is the Diocesan Youth Convention?
Fun, faith and fellowship all in one amazing weekend!  The Convention is an exciting, three-day experience of prayer, learning, and community for teenagers and their adult chaperones. The schedule includes liturgies, prayer, general sessions, breakouts, socializing, and small group time.  The general sessions and smaller breakouts use diverse learning methods (i.e. interactive learning experiences, witness talks, small group sharing, and group process) to address a variety of topics.

What are the GOALS of the Convention?

1.    To provide teenagers with a healthy, positive experience of Christian community

2.    To help teens connect with God

3.    To help young people know and live their Catholic faith more fully

4.    To help teenagers grow in personal wholeness and holiness

5.    To provide opportunities for teens to evangelize (share faith with others) and be evangelized (hear the Good News of Jesus Christ)

6.    To help young people put their faith in action as disciples of Jesus Christ in our world today.

What is the THEME?

The theme for Convention 2018 is TRUE STORY. In our challenging world, full of questions, fake news, and alternative facts, is there really any such thing as a "true story?" The story Jesus' love for us remains just as true today as it did when He walked this earth. Convention 2018 will help us to explore this True Story and what it--and the Person it is about--mean for our world today!

WHO attends the Convention?
The conference is open to all high school students and their adult chaperones. We are expecting over 800 young people and adults to attend, and we want YOU to join us!

WHY attend the Convention?
Youth and adult participants attend the Convention because they can:

  • Gather as the young people of our diocese and meet hundreds of Catholic youth who share their values.
  • Learn more about themselves and their place in the Catholic Church.
  • Celebrate and deepen their Christian faith as they share beliefs and experiences
  • Remember (or realize for the first time) the importance of God and the Church in their lives.
  • Recognize their role in the larger Catholic Church.
  • Share their renewed energy and enthusiasm for youth ministry with their entire parish.
  • Apply their new ideas and insights to many ministries at their parishes and in their schools.
  • See and understand the power of God's love, the strength of the Catholic community and the gifts that young people bring to the world.

Are there any special opportunities for youth?
Youth are invited to share their gifts with the Convention in many different roles. See the Get Involved pages for more information on how teens can take part in Convention! 

How are parents involved?

  • Many parents experience the Diocesan Youth Convention weekend with their teenager by volunteering as a chaperone with their parish group. 
  • Parents are also invited to review these Helpful Hints for Families.

HOW MUCH does it cost to attend?

  • The cost for a complete package for the conference is $180 for each young person. This cost includes the conference registration fee, two nights accommodation at the hotel, two meals and two socials.
  • Partial packages are available. See the registration section to learn more.

Is any financial help available?

YES!  Many parishes sponsor fundraisers to assist youth and families with registration fees.  The registration fee for the Convention can also be reduced by taking advantage of the following diocesan offers:

  • New Group Incentive:  If your group is new to the Convention, or hasn't attended in 3 years or more, your group leader comes for free.  (Group must include minimum of 4 youth and 2 adults who are staying overnight for the full weekend.  Free registration for group leader is only offered up to the price of one adult sharing a room with one other person.) 
  • Convention Scholarship Fund:  Partial scholarships are available for those that demonstrate financial need. Download a scholarship application.
  • Confirmation Enhancement:  Financial assistance is available for parishes that are making an enhancement to their Confirmation or faith formation programs by including the Convention as an element of those programs.  Contact Kaitlin Garrity for more details. 

How can a group from my parish participate?
To participate in the Convention:

  • All youth and adults must register in advance.
  • See the Parish Preparation section for ideas and helpful hints to organize your group.

Who sponsors the Convention?
This is the 66th annual Convention sponsored by the Department of Youth & Young Adult Ministry of the Diocese of Buffalo, the office commissioned by the Bishop of Buffalo as the primary advocate for young people and youth ministry in the Diocese. Bishop Richard Malone will be present at the Convention on Friday and Sunday.

Rules and Dress Code


RESPECT OTHERS:  You represent the Catholic Church, your parish/school and your family, and are expected to show Christian consideration, kindness, sensitivity and respect for the people and property around you.

BEHAVE AND DRESS MODESTLY:  All participants are expected to behave in a manner appropriate for Catholic Christian young people throughout the weekend. This includes making appropriate and modest choices in clothing, words, and actions, and is expected at all time during the Convention—during sessions, during social times (including on the dance floor), and in hotel rooms. No physical abuse of self or others, no bullying, and no fighting of any kind will be permitted. The following dress code must be followed throughout the Convention:

  • No clothing containing words or symbols that are profane, suggestive or promote cigarettes, drugs, or alcohol.
  • Sweaters, shirts, and dresses must cover the stomach/midriff.
  • Extremely low-rise jeans or slacks (or clothing that is rolled down to reveal areas below the waist) are not appropriate.
  • Skirts, dresses, and shorts/skorts must be an appropriate length, no higher than the end of your fingertips when your arms are at your sides.
  • Dresses or skirts should be appropriate in length and style and should not be revealing.

DO NOT BRING OR USE BANNED SUBSTANCES AND ITEMS:  Illegal drugs (including prescription drugs being misused), alcohol, tobacco products and weapons of any kind are not to be brought to the Convention or used at any time during the Convention weekend. Violators will be sent home. Anyone who is present at the time of the violation is also subject to dismissal from the Convention.

WEAR CREDENTIALS:   All participants must wear their own name badge and wristband (if staying at the hotel for the weekend) at all times. Lost name badges or wristbands should be reported to your group leader immediately. A replacement fee of $5 will be charged for those missing credentials.

ATTEND AND BE ON TIME:   All participants must attend all Convention activities and are expected to be on time for all activities. Any illness or injury should be reported to your group leader, and then to a Department of Youth & Young Adult Ministry staff member of Security Team member. If you will be leaving the premises and missing any part of the Convention weekend, your group leader must check you in and out with Convention security.

PAY ATTENTION RESPECTFULLY:   All participants are expected to pay attention during gathered sessions, and to eliminate distractions, including cell phones and other electronic devices. Cell phones must be turned OFF during ALL gathered Convention activities, including prayer times, meals, general sessions, breakouts and liturgy. Phone conversations and texting are not allowed during these activities.

ADHERE TO CURFEW:  All participants MUST be in their own rooms by curfew (11:30 P.M. on Friday; 12:00 A.M. on Saturday). Adult chaperones will conduct a room check of all rooms beginning 15 minutes after curfew. After room check, participants may not leave their rooms until 6:30 A.M.

NO VISITING ROOMS:  There will be NO visiting in rooms of the opposite gender. It is also disruptive to other hotel guests to have long visits at an open door with same gender persons; please keep visits brief.

BE RESPECTFUL HOTEL GUESTS:  The customary rules of consideration and kindness when in a hotel are to be observed at all times. We are guests of the hotel and act as guests of a very gracious host.

  • We are not the only ones occupying the hotel; treat other outside guests respectfully at all times.
  • Read all of the directions regarding fire safety, and make sure you know the location of all emergency exits.
  • Be certain that your door is always locked when you leave the room and when retiring for the night.
  • There is no need to bring large amounts of money or valuable items (jewelry, electronics, etc.) with you. Remember, the hotel assumes no responsibility for lost or stolen articles.
  • Windows must be kept closed and drapes drawn at all times.
  • Stereos and radios have caused excessive noise and will not be allowed. They will be confiscated for the duration of the weekend.
  • The Department of Youth & Young Adult Ministry has made every effort to eliminate the possibility of any incidental charges to rooms (outside calling disabled, game systems disabled, room service prohibited, etc.). However, you are responsible to the hotel for all incidental charges incurred.

OBEY AND HELP CHAPERONES:  All youth participants are expected to respect, obey and cooperate with the directions of all chaperones (adults and junior advisors), volunteers, Security Team and diocesan staff.  You must also report any problems, suspicions, or observed infractions of the Convention rules to one of these adults immediately.

CONSEQUENCES:  Any serious infraction of the rules may result in a call to your parents and/or your parish priest, and your immediate dismissal from the hotel and from the remainder of the Convention activities. There will be no refunds for anyone dismissed from the Convention.