2017 Ministry Team

Chris Padgett


A founding member of Scarecrow and Tinmen, Chris Padgett wrote, recorded, and toured with this popular Christian band for seven years. He also has nine solo albums to his credit. In 2005, his song “Wonder” won the Unity Award for Rock Song of the Year. The music video of “I’m in Love” from his 2007 album Impact premiered with outsidedabox.com. Chris has been married to his high school sweetheart for over 20 years and has nine children. He has also appeared on television and radio and has been a regular speaker and entertainer at Steubenville youth conferences. For the last several years, Chris has also been an adjunct professor of theology at Franciscan University.

Josh Blakesley

Worship Leader

The Josh Blakesley Band strives to make music that moves people into prayer and action. Their new release, Even in This, has done just that; the title track is about finding hope in the darkest valleys of life. Josh began speaking and leading worship in his late teens. He and the band have led music world-wide for 12+ years. Their music has been featured on Sirius XM; EWTN; in concerts with Kutless, The City Harmonic, Jars of Clay, Newsboys, Matt Maher and Audrey Assad. The band is originally from Alexandria, Louisiana and currently all reside there. Josh is married with two children and serves as Associate Music Director at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic Church.

Fr. Rick Martignetti

Team Priest

Father Rick Martignetti, OFM, is a Franciscan priest living in his hometown of Boston, Massachusetts. From 2008-2012, he taught theology and worked with young men in the Priestly Discernment Program at Franciscan University of Steubenville, helping them discern the Lord’s call in their own lives. He then worked in initial formation for the Immaculate Conception Province until 2016. After several years away, he has returned to Franciscan University of Steubenville to serve as the Director of Household Life. Father Rick enjoys preaching, leading retreats and pilgrimages, and sitting down for one-on-one conversations about the Lord. He is the author of St. Bonaventure’s Tree of Life: Theology of the Mystical Journey.

Katie Hartfiel


Katie Hartfiel is an author and speaker dedicated to sharing the intense love of the Lord. As a teenager, Katie fell in love with Christ at a Steubenville youth conference in her home state of Colorado. She received a degree in theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville and served as a youth minister for seven years in Houston, where she now resides with her husband, Mark, and two daughters. In 2012, Katie released her first book, Woman in Love. This work coaches young women as they strive for purity through praying for and journaling to their future spouse. She has been blessed to watch hearts come alive with the realization that our faithful God hungers to exceed our deepest desires.

Pete Burds


Ever since his awakening to Catholicism through a youth ministry program, Pete Burds has used his five loaves and two fish for the sake of building the kingdom. Through storytelling, retreats, and leading worship, he has proclaimed the freedom found in Christ to thousands. He is the Director of College Campus Ministry for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and also serves as the President of Arise Missions. Pete is a wanna-be philosopher, has a mild obsession with the band Switchfoot, and because of Christ, finds himself living a life greater than he could have dreamed. He and his wife live in Milwaukee, WI.

Cooper Ray


Cooper Ray is a dynamic & light-hearted speaker, worship leader, and retreat facilitator who leads groups of all ages to a greater awareness of who they are as Catholic Christians and how to recognize God’s presence in their lives. As a full-time missionary, he has shared his stories, music, and life experiences with thousands youth and adults at hundreds of diocesan, parish, and school events across the country. He has also presented at numerous national and regional events including the the National Catholic Youth Conference, LA Congress, and Steubenville Youth Conferences. He holds a Bachelors in Psychology and a Masters in Pastoral Studies. Cooper lives in Texas with his wife, Laura, and two sons.

Steubenville Toronto

Now in its 5th year, Steubenville Toronto is Canada's largest Catholic Youth Conference. The conference will take place July 13-15, 2018 on campus at UOIT in Oshawa, ON.


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