Diocesan Agreements

The Diocesan Agreement in Brownsville, Texas

The Rio Grande Valley of South Texas represents a challenging mission field. Bishop Daniel
Flores of the Diocese of Brownsville broke new ground when he sent a diocesan delegation to a Young Life Catholic Adult Guest Camp in 2014. He wanted his staff to see the ministry of Young Life firsthand and examine its suitability as a partner in evangelization. The group spent a week at Timber Wolf Lake and was inspired by the experience.

In April 2015, Bishop Flores signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Young Life, inaugurating the first official agreement between a diocese and Young Life. Since that time, the collaboration in Brownsville has grown, reaching more than 1,000 kids and training indigenous leaders to make real kingdom impact in their communities.

The Diocesan Agreement in Owensboro, Kentucky

Owensboro agreement.jpg

One year after the first diocesan agreement, Bishop William Medley of the Diocese of Owensboro followed suit. Inspired by years of work by Young Life Area Director Chris Dillbeck, the Owensboro Memorandum of Understanding was signed in April of 2016. 

Danny May, now the director of Family Life in the diocese said of Chris, "From our first conversation, I could see that he was building bridges with the Catholic community. Young Life has enabled us to reach students in the public schools that we would not have reached. That's why my wife and I support Young Life to this day." Dillbeck's unifying work continues to fuel this collaboration in Owensboro.

The Diocesan Agreement in Portland, Oregon

The call for an agreement between the Archdiocese of Portland​ and the Mt. Hood Region of
Young Life
began when a Catholic-friendly Young Life area director and a Young Life-friendly Catholic youth worker began going into the high schools together. They caught the vision that in order to reach unchurched and disconnected kids, they needed to work together.

Around the same time, some of the Protestant Young Life leaders in Portland found they didn’t know how to talk to the Catholic kids who were showing up at Young Life club meetings and camps. Michael Havercamp from the Young Life Catholic Relations office came out to train hundreds of Oregon Young Life leaders on the Catholic faith, and his visit inspired interest in making the Portland collaboration more official. An MOU was signed in December of 2017. Today, this agreement with the Archdiocese of Portland is creatively pioneering new territory for effective collaboration.

Diocesan Collaborations

The Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens, New York

In the summer of 2017, Young Life Senior Vice President Marty Caldwell was introduced to Auxilliary Bishop James Massa (Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens​) at a meeting of global ecumenical leaders with Pope Francis at the Vatican. Since that meeting, Young Life in New York City has been working with diocesan youth ministry leadership to craft a collaboration that would build on the momentum in the diocese created through the involvement of the Catholic Foundation.

In the fall of 2019, up to six Catholic youth ministers will have the opportunity to expand their ministry through a collaboration with Young Life that focuses on:

  • Using Young Life Camps, primarily Young Life's Lake Champion
  • Personal training and development in incarnational ministry
  • Developing middle school outreach ministry (WyldLife)
  • Recruiting and training volunteer leaders

Young Life staff in NYC, supported by Young Life Catholic Relations, will steer the collaboration to help the church reach more kids, using Young Life’s best practices and ministry assets.


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