The Columbus Catholic Young Adult Conference is a Catholic conference in the Dioceses of Columbus that seeks to empower young adults to transform their communities through their identity in Christ.
Co-leader Maria Tarbell
One of the co-founders of the conference, Maria Tarbell, has attended many of the Columbus Women’s Conferences. Since 2015, she has attended these conferences with female students from Otterbein University in her role as their campus Catholic ministry advisor. During the adoration period at the 2018 conference, Maria sensed a message “what about the young people?” She felt further inspiration that perhaps since she was at a conference, the Lord wanted a conference for young adults who are similar to the students she works with at Otterbein University. At another signal from the Lord, while getting ready to leave the conference center, Maria went to turn around, and directly behind her was Michele Faehnle, one of the co-founders of the Columbus Women’s Conference. Speaking with Michele about whether there is a young adult conference in the Diocese, Michele stated there isn’t one. She then encouraged Maria to start such a conference. Michele and Maria met at a later date, and Michele provided advice and counsel on what it takes to start a conference.
Co-leader Kate Kriegel
Maria then contacted Kate Kriegel, the young adult director at Maria’s parish, Saint John Neumann, Sunbury, OH. Kate enthusiastically embraced the opportunity. So discussions and meetings began in earnest during the summer of 2018. The first planning committee meeting for the conference began in September 2018, comprised of young adults from Central Ohio parishes, both Ohio Wesleyan and Otterbein Universities, and Deacon Chris Yakkel from Saint John Neumann. This inaugural conference, set for October 12, 2019, is the fruit of that original inspiration from the Lord.