The event, which
took place from April 27-30, was hosted by the Archdiocese of Denver
and organized by Ambassadors of the Word, a Catholic peer-group
ministry program headquartered in Montgomery, Ala. Archbishop Charles
Chaput officially welcomed the group to Denver on the Saturday,
reported the Denver Catholic Register.
kicked off with a concert at the Cathedral of the Immaculate
Conception. The conference offered prayer groups, a variety of
workshops on youth ministry, spirituality and black family history,
Bible study workshops, a spirit walk and Mass with gospel music.
Although the summit is traditionally youth-centered, families were invited this year.
the Word co-founder Fr. Chester Smith told the Denver Catholic Register
that the organization’s primary role is to help instill values, healthy
self-esteem and positive behavior patterns in young people.
workshop on Scripture study entitled, “Fever for the Flavor of the
Word,” Gail Jackson, a youth minister from Washington DC told the group
that “It’s hard for young people today with all the peer pressure
bombardment from the media, and negative messages…God is calling us to
be apart from the world, and to do that we have to arm ourselves with
15-year old Eugene Harper, came all the way from St. Louis. He said
that he came away from the conference “able to connect (with God) on a
deeper level…because I know the Lord loves me as much as I love him.”
than 200 youth from across the country attended the annual Sankofa
Family Summit IX, whose expressed goal is to respond to the
educational, psychological and spiritual needs of African American
youths and families.