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3000 expected for Life Teen anniversary

.- On Memorial Day weekend this year, nearly 3000 teens and supporters will gather in Anaheim, California to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the international youth ministry, Life Teen. The Arizona-based ministry announced that the star-studded weekend will include the Christian band, Third Day, Fr. Stan Fortuna, Matt Maher, Jesse Manibusen, and Dove music recipient Tom Booth.

Also present will be Life Teen spokesmen, Mike Sweeney of the Kansas City Royals, and

Matt Smith of MTV's Real World. Tom Wilson, who played Biff in the ‘Back to the Future’ movies, they added, will host opening Ceremonies.

Spokeswoman Jennifer Swanson said that the weekend will be “a time for members of the Life Teen family to gather, sing, pray, laugh, cry, and cherish some of the

life-changing moments from the past twenty years."

Now active in 19 countries, Life Teen says that their mission is to serve the Church and “leads teens closer to Christ by providing resources and training that encourage vibrant

Eucharist celebrations and opportunities for teens to grow in their faith.”

Since their founding in 1987 in Mesa, Arizona, more than 950 parishes worldwide have adopted the Life Teen model of ministry, with nearly 120,000 teens participating in weekly Life Teen Masses.

The group also boasts over 300 seminarians, who cite Life Teen as their main influence in pursuing the priesthood.

"Each former, current and future teen has a unique story,” Swanson added, “but one commonality is that they know of Jesus' love for them in the Catholic Church. We are honored to be a part of those stories."

More information on Life Teen can be found at www.lifeteen.com.

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