12 Year Old Boy Starts His Own Conquest Group!

Conquest_CrestBy Austin Stolpestad

When my mom came home from the Youth and Family Encounter she brought me a present, the video of Blessed José Luis Sanchez del Rio.  After watching it I thought what a brave leader this 14–year–old boy martyr was.  Then I decided that there should be more boys like him, I thought of Conquest’s motto, “forming tomorrow’s leaders.”  It made sense.  I should start a Conquest club.  My name is Austin Stolpestad and I am 12 years old.  I knew I would need some help so I called the best… Fr. Robert DeCesare.  I sent him an email that included an outline of a retreat that my friend, Chris Schmitz, and I thought up.  Father emailed me back and said, “This is a fabulous idea.”

Chris and I called a bunch of our friends. 15 boys came to the retreat.  We had it in my house.  I showed them the José Luis Sanchez del Rio video.  They liked it.  One of the boys commented on how even though he was 14, he was a great leader and not afraid to die for Christ.  That was pretty cool.  Even though the night did not go perfect, we decided we wanted to meet again.  Now we are doing a four–week campaign on the virtue of respect.

Most of the boys couldn’t get to the group in Minneapolis, so Chris and I decided to offer them a site closer to their homes.  We hope that even more boys will come.  We need more leaders like Blessed José Luis Sanchez del Rio, boys who aren’t afraid, boys who will bring others closer to Christ.