Established in 2001, the Abbey Youth Festival is an apostolic outreach of the Saint Joseph Abbey and Seminary College. It is designed to provide young people with an opportunity to experience a day of prayer and faith formation with an exposure to the Benedictine tradition. Its focus is evangelization and vocational discernment by means of Liturgy, prayer, worship, music, and education appropriate for Catholic young people.
Teams of six to eight SJSC seminarians are selected annually to assume the tasks associated with planning the festival. Students led by the AYF Director discern the theme, speakers, presenters, logo, and direction of the event each year. Further, they work alongside the Director to complete all necessary logistical tasks. Valuable lessons of leadership, teamwork, youth ministry and collaboration are deepened through participation on the AYF team. By emphasizing the four pillars of formation throughout the planning process, seminarians are able to enter into this work as an authentic apostolic outreach.