More than 1,600 youth gathered at the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles this weekend for the third annual City of Saints conference, where local teenagers participated in workshops, the sacraments, and fellowship.

“City of Saints is a festival of hope,” stated Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles.

“The faith of these young people — their love for Jesus, their desire to live their faith and share their faith — is a beautiful witness. And it is contagious,” he continued.

The Aug.4-6 event was hosted by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and included workshops, praise and worship, and the opportunity to participate in Mass and confession. The youth were also encouraged to engage in the Liturgy of the Hours, Eucharistic procession, and facilitated group time.

Teenagers from 80 different parishes throughout the Los Angeles archdiocese participated in the City of Saints.

Speakers at the event included Life Teen’s David Calavitta and Steve Allgeyer, as well as mental health counselor Roy Petitfils, youth minister Chika Anyanwu, and Sister Miriam James Heidland of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity.

Archbishop Gomez celebrated the opening Mass at the De Neve Auditorium, where he told the youth during his homily that God has a specific plan for each individual person.

“The purpose of our lives is to be transformed and transfigured. To become more like Jesus every day of our lives,” the archbishop said, and encouraged the youth gathered to “let Jesus be your teacher — your life coach.”

“Two practical things in my life that have helped me listen to Jesus — prayer and reading the Gospel,” he told the youth, and urged them to “develop these two habits in your life.

Archbishop Gomez also pointed to the Bible App, and challenged them to check the Gospel instead of Instagram. He also told the youth that their faith was inspiring, and encouraged them to be transfigured by God’s loving plan through the Blessed Mother.

“Let us always go to Our Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary. May she help us listen to Jesus and to be transfigured,” Archbishop Gomez stated.

“And may she help us to transfigure our world into a City of Saints!”