English Speakers

Tony Alonso

Tony Alonso is a theologian and composer whose work is animated by the diverse needs of the contemporary church.

A Cuban-American Roman Catholic, Tony’s compositions embrace multicultural musical expressions and reflect a commitment to strong ritual song. His music appears in compilations and hymnals across Christian denominations throughout the world. In 2015, this work was recognized with an invitation to compose the responsorial psalm for the first Mass Pope Francis celebrated in the United States.

Tony’s scholarly work lies at the intersection of liturgical theology, sacramental theology, ecclesiology, and cultural studies. He has presented at scholarly and pastoral conferences and events across North America and Europe. He has also authored several essays and articles in journals such as Modern Theology, Worship, Liturgy, and many others. Tony holds a Bachelor of Music from Northwestern University, a Master of Arts in theology from Loyola Marymount University, and a PhD in religion from Emory University. He currently serves as Visiting Assistant Professor in the Practice of Theology and Culture and Director of Catholic Studies at Candler School of the Theology.   


Friday Keynote
Encounter

By his words and actions Pope Francis invites the global Church to a radically renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ in the presence of everyone and everything we meet. Encounter: From the Heart of Pope Francis is a performance piece that animates this prophetic and challenging call in song, prayer, and reflection. Through the proclamation of the words of Pope Francis and music inspired by those words, this work is an invitation to embrace the risk and the promise of encountering Jesus in the gaze of those we love, those we struggle to love, those we fear, those we don’t understand, even those who have caused us or others pain.       

Elsy Arévalo 

is the Assistant Director, Program Development and Community Outreach for the Center for Religion and Spirituality at Loyola Marymount University. In that capacity she develops, oversees and serves as instructor for certificate courses, workshops, and events focusing on Christian Spirituality.  Ms. Arevalo has also served in key leadership positions in the nonprofit sector providing vision, direction, and oversight to training and technical assistance initiatives and serving as a key presenter at nationwide forums and conferences.  Ms. Arévalo obtained her Masters in Pastoral Theology with a specialization in Spiritual Direction from Loyola Marymount University.


Session 4-01
Prayer: A Call to Union with God

At the heart of the Christian tradition is the undeniable belief that while God is found in all of creation, God is found in a special way within our hearts. The Christian mystics understood that union with God is not something to be acquired, but rather something to be uncovered in the very ground of our being. We get glimpses of this truth throughout our lives: in a moment of quiet reflection, while spending time with someone we love deeply, or when taken by the beauty of creation. But what if there was a way in which these moments could become a more consistent way of perceiving ourselves, others, and reality?  In this workshop, we will explore the prayer practices that can help us deepen our awareness of the presence of God in our lives. (Witness) 

Alejandro Aguilera-Titus 

has thirty years of experience in ministry with emphasis on leadership development, pastoral planning and intercultural competencies. He is a nationally known speaker and writer highly regarded for his practical application of theological thought to ministry in culturally diverse settings. Alejandro holds a M.A. in Theology from the University of Portland and is a Doctor in Ministry Candidate at Barry University. He currently works at the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church, USCCB. In addition, Alejandro is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Dallas.


Session 8-01
How to Work for Unity in the Diversity of Your Parish

Michael Brough/Alejandro Aguilera-Titus

Pope Francis describes the  Holy Spirit as both the source of diversity and  the One who brings about Unity. This session will explore the knowledge, skills, and  attitudes needed to develop intercultural competencies that bring about unity within the  diversity of our parishes. (Witness) 

Sr. Nona M. Barairo,SFCC

belongs to the community of the Sisters for Christian Community (SFCC).  She is a Master Catechist, and holds a degree of Master of Arts in Pastoral Liturgy at Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA.  She completed Theology Studies at Regina Mundi in Rome, Italy.  She holds a Bachelor Degree in Music, and a Composer. She is currently the Director of Faith Formation Program at Saint Augustine Catholic Church in South San Francisco, CA for over 26 years.


Session 6-02
Beyond White Dresses and Veils, Black Pants and White Shirts:  Preparing Children for First Holy Communion

The First Holy Communion marks the first reception of the Sacrament of the Eucharist, and is an extremely important event in one’s Catholic life. Children begin their spiritual journey by getting to know Jesus for the first time in their life. This indeed calls for a celebration that is beautiful and memorable. However, the true focus should be the holy sacrament itself and not on having the perfect dress or black pants. This session will focus on the spiritual preparation of the children and their parents for First Holy Communion, by providing a deeper understanding of the ways, means, strategies, and tools that will allow the children to experience the true meaning of God’s love.

Fr. Chris Bennett

is the pastor of St. Christopher Parish in the Diocese of San Jose. He also serves as the Chair of the Diocese of San Jose Art and Environment Committee and designs the art and environment for major Diocesan liturgies. Additionally, Fr. Chris is the lead art and environment designer for all Santa Clara Faith Formation Conference liturgical offerings.


Session 4-02
Preparing the Way for the Lord Through Liturgical Art and Environment

Environment Preparation is essential in helping a worshiping community enter more deeply into the liturgical seasons. In this workshop, you will learn best practices for creating rich, prayerful worship environments with seasonal considerations. You will also learn practical tips for sharing liturgical space with others and will be introduced to special considerations including cultural awareness of colors, environment, and architecture. With plenty of hands on art and environment sample items to see and touch, you will walk away with this workshop with new ideas that you can implement right away and a deeper appreciation for how art and environment can lead us more deeply into prayer.

  

Laura Bertone

is the Director of the Office of Worship for the Archdiocese of San Francisco.  A San Francisco native, Laura was raised in Marin County, and graduated from the University of Santa Clara with a degree in Accounting.  Following a successful career in banking, including many years spent working abroad, Laura received a Masters in Theological Studies from the University of Notre Dame with an emphasis in Liturgical Studies.  While Laura is responsible for planning large liturgical events and renewing sacramental policies in San Francisco, her favorite role is the training of liturgical ministers and permanent deacons on the Archdiocese.


Session 5-02
Living the Liturgical Year:  Explore the History, Theology and Focus of Our Annual Cycle of Seasons and Celebrations

Practical suggestions and resources for celebrating the seasons in parishes, as well as an appreciation of how the year should affect our daily lives.   

  

Nancy Bird

has been involved in religious education  as a catechist, parish catechetical leader and youth minister.  She combines practical experience, creativity and motivational enthusiasm to energize those called to embrace and live their Baptism joyfully.  Nancy has been a featured speaker, workshop presenter and retreat facilitator across the US and Canada.  Presently she serves as Director of Training and Professional Development for RCL Benziger Religion Publishing Company, resides in Tallmadge Ohio and continues to be a volunteer catechist.


Session 3-02
Six Steps to Cultivate the Creative Catechist: Catechetical Leaders.

Looking for practical ways to motivate and inspire your catechists?  You’ll leave this lively workshop with six simple suggestions to cultivate your own creativity and some practical ideas for encouraging and engaging your catechists to fully embrace their catechetical vocation.


Session 5-14
Six Steps to Cultivate the Creative Catechist: Catechetical Leaders

Parents are the people who have the greatest impact upon the attitudes and behaviors of their children. Not friends, not teachers, not TV or social media or culture: parents. Discover how parishes can make the connection with parents

Sponsor: RCL Benziger   

Steve Botsford

is a National Religion Consultant for Sadlier Publishing. He is a convert to the Catholic faith and earned a Master of Religious Education degree from Loyola University, New Orleans. He also holds a Church Management certificate from Villanova University. Steve is a master catechist in the Archdiocese of Atlanta and has served over 10 years in parish ministry as a youth minister and DRE. He participated on the Digital Disciple Technology Competencies for Ministry committee and he writes a blog exploring catechesis and technology at www.TransformingCatechesis.com. He recently published a board game teaching the church year, FeastDay: The Liturgical Year Board Game  (www.FeastDayGame.com). 


Session 2-01
 3-2-1, Liftoff! Launch Your Parish or School into a Thematic and Immersive Learning Space

Session attendees will learn how my parish education program addressed the national decline in enrollment by rebranding and created an engaging and dynamic learning space. Areas addressed include overall immersive environment, mobile classrooms, and integrating technology to enhance family faith. (Witness)


Session 5-01
Digital Discipleship

Who and what is a digital disciple? This session explores the use of digital technologies for ministry through the new Technology Competency Standards for Digital Discipleship. Come and learn about the set of standards developed to guide the ministry community in the integration of technology in faith settings. This session is for anyone involved with ministry: technologist, director, coordinator, or catechist. (Witness)

Sponsor: William H. Sadlier, Inc.

Michael Brough

is Deputy Director of Leadership Roundtable, working with senior Catholic executives and Church leaders to promote best practices in Church management and leadership. Over his 27 years of professional ministry in the Catholic Church, Michael has worked with and trained lay ecclesial ministers and priests in dioceses and parishes across the United States and in thirteen different countries. He has also served as a consultant to Catholic nonprofits, boards, foundations and other institutions. Previously, he was executive director of RENEW International, the parish renewal and evangelization process. Michael began his career as an educator in Catholic High Schools and for SCIAF (Caritas Scotland).  Collaboration, accountability, and servant leadership are key principles of his leadership formation. Michael is from Edinburgh, Scotland and now lives in New Jersey, with his wife and their three daughters.


Session 8-01
How to Work for Unity in the Diversity of Your Parish

Pope Francis describes the  Holy Spirit as both the source of diversity and  the One who brings about Unity. This session will explore the knowledge, skills, and  attitudes needed to develop intercultural competencies that bring about unity within the  diversity of our parishes (Witness)

Sponsor: Leadership Roundtable

Bishop Randolp Calvo

was appointed the seventh bishop of the Diocese of Reno on December 23, 2005, and ordained and installed on February 17, 2006.  Bishop Calvo is a member of the Communication Committee and the Committee on Latin America for the U.S.C.C.B.


Session 6-03
Women Deacons: Sources in Tradition & Their Meaning for Today

The presentation will explore sources in the Church’s tradition which tell of the ministry of women ad deacons in the first millennium and will discuss their implications and possibilities for today.

Sponsor: The Pastoral Center

Paul Canavese

is the director of the online Pastoral Center. He has his MTS from the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley.  He has served in a wide range of parish ministries and also directs GrowingUpCatholic.com (focused on coaching parents) and GospelLiving.org (focused on “intentional daily life Catholicism”). Along with his wife Ann, he is author of Taming Technology: Parent Small Group Sessions and Room at the Inn: Pastoral Planning Kit for Christmas Visitors.


Session 3-03
Start with the Learners: Catechizing Families through Multiple Intelligence Activities

By 2030, almost 1/3 of North Americans will be over 65. Your parish already has many grandparents, and they are generous with their time and finances. How is your parish supporting them in their spiritual challenges? Grandparents have a great opportunity to share faith and wisdom with their grandkids (even those unfamiliar with church), and accompany them on their faith journey. This session will explore how grandparents and grandchildren can learn from each other, and how grandparents can pass on our faith through what they do naturally—loving their grandkids. It will also share effective ideas and easy-to-use tools to help parishes gather, minister to, and mobilize their grandparents. (Witness)


Session 5-03
Grandparenting with Grace: How Your Parish Can Coach Its Grandparents

With primary speaker Kathy Coffey.
By 2030, almost 1/3 of North Americans will be over 65. Your parish already has many grandparents, and they are generous with their time and finances. How is your parish supporting them in their spiritual challenges? Grandparents have a great opportunity to share faith and wisdom with their grandkids (even those unfamiliar with church), and accompany them on their faith journey. This session will explore how grandparents and grandchildren can learn from each other, and how grandparents can pass on our faith through what they do naturally—loving their grandkids. It will also share effective ideas and easy-to-use tools to help parishes gather, minister to, and mobilize their grandparents. (Witness)

Sponsor: The Pastoral Center

Kathy Coffey

is the author of 13 award-winning books and many articles in Catholic periodicals including America, U.S. Catholic, St. Anthony Messenger, and National Catholic Reporter. She has spoken at national conventions such as the L.A. Congress, NCCL, NCEA, NPM, and many diocesan gatherings, and gives retreats and workshops nationally and internationally. The mother of four, and grandmother of four, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is also the author of Grandparenting with Grace: Small Group Sessions (from The Pastoral Center) and When the Saints Came Marching In: Exploring the Frontiers of Grace in America (from Liturgical Press).


Session 2-03
Gusto, Grit and Grace: The North American Saints

With the longings, fears, hopes, humor, frustrations and failures of ordinary humans, these saints explored new frontiers in holiness. In health care, science, education, race or labor relations, they tried something no one else had ever attempted. They brought the hands and heart of Christ to new people and places. Hearing the stories of people like Dorothy Stang, Mychal Judge, Thea Bowman, Cesar Chavez and Rachel Carson should inspire, challenge, and delight. These aren’t plastic, pious saints floating above the earth; they are gutsy, practical and sometimes funny.  If they climbed our hills and mountains, smelled the rain on our forests, and watched the stars in our skies, shouldn’t we know more about them? Witness

 

Sponsor: Pflaum Publishing Group

Terry Cotting-Mogan

is currently the Pflaum Publishing Group’s Western Regional Manager, Ms Cotting-Mogan has 40 years in catechetical, campus, family, and youth/youth adult ministries at the parish, school, and diocesan levels.  She has spoken at numerous events at diocesan and national levels. She earned a BA from Marquette University, a MS from Cardinal Stritch College, both of Milwaukee WI, and an Advanced Studies Certificate in Youth Ministry Training from St Mary’s University, Baltimore MD.


Session 2-04
Creating an interactive prayer table for classroom teachers

Has your classroom prayer table turned into a shrine? Is it tucked into a corner and ignored? Come learn some simple and practical ways to create a sacred space that is interactive and enhances your lessons.


Session 5-08
Seeing and Hearing God in Your Ministry

God calls us to a ministry to serve, but also to provide us with an opportunity to grow in our faith. Come, reflect, and share how God is speaking to you through your catechetical ministry. (Witness)

Sponsor: Pflaum Publishing Group

Dr. Maureen Day

Dr. Maureen Day is the Assistant Professor of Religion and Society at the Franciscan School of Theology and Research Fellow at the Center for Church Management at Villanova University. Committed to young adult ministry, Maureen Day is a member of the Alliance for Campus Ministry, an advisory group to the USCCB’s Secretariat on Catholic Education. Her writings on American Catholic life appear in both Catholic and academic publications, including a recent edited collection on vocational discernment among young adult Catholics (Paulist Press) as well as a forthcoming book on American Catholic civic engagement (NYU Press). She is currently researching pastoral approaches among Catholic campus ministers (co-funded by the USCCB and the Religious Research Association) and financial stewardship among Latino Catholics (funded by Villanova University’s Center for Church Management). She has provided her expertise on families and young adults to the Church at both the diocesan and national level, recently providing theological assistance to the San Diego Synod on the Family as well as with the data analysis of the USCCB’s 2017 National Study of Catholic Campus Ministry.   


Session 2-12  
Young Adult Catholics: Moving from Crisis to Opportunity

Better serving young adult Catholics is a pressing issue in today’s Church. In this presentation, Dr. Maureen Day will unpack some of the larger sociological trends that are shaping and being shaped by Catholic young adults as they engage their worlds. She will also examine common pitfalls and offer some pastoral practices and possibilities that will help us better  meet the needs of young adult Catholics in our various ministerial contexts.

Sponsor: Paulist Press

Jed de Torres

is the Educational Technology and Instructional Coach for the Drexel Schools System in the Diocese of San Jose.   He is responsible for coaching and guiding teachers in the implementation of blended learning station rotation in the classroom.  He supports all the Drexel School teachers and also provides professional development, workshop, training, data interpretation, problem resolution, and integration of various educational technology applications and resources in a blended learning environment.


Session 2-09  
Declaration for Love and Justice: Fostering Witnesses Towards a Path for Hope

Cecile Mantecon and Jed de Torres will offer a path to develop a Capstone Project for rising high school students that is aligned with the school’s mission, philosophy, Schoolwide Learning Expectations (SLEs) focused on the tenets of Catholic social teaching and utilizes tools and skills for 21st century learning and ISTE standards.


The project asks the overarching question, “What social issue or challenge would you undertake if you were allowed to develop a nonprofit agency whose mission is to solve said issue or challenge?” Students are guided, with help from community leaders, to develop a business plan that includes a financial and marketing plan to prepare to pitch to a panel of funders, a la “Shark Tank.” (Witness)

Fr. Dave Dwyer, CSP

is a Paulist priest and Executive Director of Busted Halo Ministries, a media outreach that aims to help people grow in and share their Catholic faith. He is publisher of the award-winning BustedHalo.com.  He hosts “The Busted Halo Show with Fr. Dave Dwyer” on SiriusXM radio’s The Catholic Channel (ch. 129), a nightly call-in talk show, co-hosts “Conversation with Cardinal Dolan” with New York Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan on EWTN, and hosts the “Sacraments 101” video series on YouTube.  Father Dave speaks in person around the country about evangelization and reconnecting young people with their faith. He has offered commentary in or on Fox News Channel, CNN, The History Channel, Entertainment Tonight, NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and is featured in a book about prominent New York Catholics. He has worked in campus ministry at the Universities of Colorado and Texas, and has developed young adult ministry programs for the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA. Prior to his May 2000 ordination he directed television for MTV, HBO and Comedy Central. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Catholic University and a B.S. degree in communication from Syracuse University. He tweets @FatherDaveDwyer. Fr. Dave Dwyer, CSP is a Paulist priest and Executive Director of Busted Halo Ministries. He is the award-winning host of “The Busted Halo Show with Father Dave,” a live daily talk show on SiriusXM radio (ch. 129), co-host of “Conversation with Cardinal Dolan” on EWTN, host of “Sacraments 101” on YouTube, and publisher of BustedHalo.com and YoungAdultMinistryinaBox.com.  Father Dave keynotes at Catholic events, has offered commentary in or on Fox News Channel, CNN, The History Channel, NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, The New York Times, and Entertainment Tonight, and is featured in a book about prominent New York Catholics. He served in campus ministry at the Universities of Colorado and Texas, and has developed ministry programs for the Military Archdiocese.  Prior to ordination, he directed television for MTV and Comedy Central. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Catholic University and a B.S. degree in communication from Syracuse University.


Session 7-01
Building Bridges with Millennials: How Young Adults are Reshaping the Church

While there is a tendency to focus on the growing number of “Nones” in the millennial generation (those who claim no affiliation with any organized religion), there are many young adults still in our midst who are not only the future of our faith communities but also very much part of our present reality. What do young people say they want from the Church? How does this impact who we are as a people of faith now and in the future?  How are we being further challenged to reach out to millennials who are distant from the faith? (Witness)

Sponsor: N/A

Monsignor Ray East

is the son of the late Thomas and Gwendolyn East. He was born in Newark, New Jersey. Raised in San Diego, he graduated from the University of San Diego. After attending Holy Trinity Seminary in Dallas, Texas and Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland he was ordained in 1981 for the Archdiocese of Washington by Cardinal James Aloysius Hickey.


Session 5-04 
Well Formed, Uninformed and Misinformed!

Where are you?

Session 8-02 
Well Formed, Uninformed and Misinformed!

Where are you?

Becky Eldredge

is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator and author of the book, “Busy Lives & Restless Souls.” With two decades of ministry experience, she has led young adult retreats, parish missions, Ignatian retreats, and days of reflection for adults. Eldredge has presented at the Spiritual Director’s International Conference, the Ignatian Spirituality Conference, and has appeared as a panelist at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Convocation of Catholic Leaders.


Session 2-05
Making Hope Real

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where it is hard to hold onto hope? Hope is an invitation to see and appreciate the world, much like God does, and believe that things can improve. It is a call to action, rather than a chance to stick our heads in the sand like an ostrich and cross our fingers. In this workshop, Becky shows you how to make hope real, even when your season of life feels anything but hopeful. She will offer you tools on how to name what’s really going on in your life, how to bring the reality of what you are facing to God, and how to nurture hope. (Witness)

Session 4-16 
The Gift of the Inner Chapel or The Inner Chapel:  The Intimacy of Our Interior LIfe

We carry a chapel within us — a sacred space, where God dwells.    The gift of this inner chapel is that we are never alone: God is always with us and goes where we go.  It is in this space we learn the promises of God so that we can share the good news of these promises with the world.  Becky Eldredge, an Ignatian trained spiritual director, will offer ways to visit your inner chapel daily – amidst the busyness – to harness the fuel and inspiration to go forth and spread the good news! (Witness)

Deacon David Ford

Deacon David and Lorie Ford have been married 38 years with 5 children.  They’ve received professional accreditation in Grief Ministry. Deacon David has earned his S.T.L. in Systematic Theology and Th.M. in Christian Spirituality at the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley,  and Lorie, having a degree in Child Development and completing the 5 year Diaconate Formation program, have both had considerable experience in Retreat Work and Conferences on many topics including loss, self-care, ministry, spirituality, and formation for ministry.  Deacon David is the Director of the Diaconate and Ministry Formation for the Diocese of Monterey, and Lorie has worked in parish ministry, professionally with the sick and dying, and currently is on staff at St. Angela Merici Parish in Pacific Grove.


Session 3-13  
Keep Watch Over Yourselves…(Acts 20:28):  Self-Care and Self Compassion for Those in Ministry

For many in ministry we say ‘yes’ to service with full hearts but can, over time, experience burnout, exhaustion, stress, etc.  St. Paul encouraged the presbyters and ministers of the Church of Ephesus to keep watch over the “whole flock” but also to keep watch over “themselves.” Building upon last year’s well-received workshops on “Loss,” Dave and Lorie, in this workshop, will explore the elements of ‘self-care’ for those who minister.  We will examine the Jesus of the Gospels as a good role model for self-care. We will enjoy both humorous and inspirational stories, videos, and music, and reflect together on the Spirit’s role in helping us with discernment, as a way to help us “keep watch” over ourselves spiritually and practically, with care. We will discover among many insights, that ‘self-care’ is not being ‘self-ish.’  We will focus on healthy spirituality, boundaries, and practical decision-making in ministry.

Session 5-11  
Keep Watch Over Yourselves…(Acts 20:28):  Self-Care and Self Compassion for Those in Ministry

For many in ministry we say ‘yes’ to service with full hearts but can, over time, experience burnout, exhaustion, stress, etc.  St. Paul encouraged the presbyters and ministers of the Church of Ephesus to keep watch over the “whole flock” but also to keep watch over “themselves.” Building upon last year’s well-received workshops on “Loss,” Dave and Lorie, in this workshop, will explore the elements of ‘self-care’ for those who minister.  We will examine the Jesus of the Gospels as a good role model for self-care. We will enjoy both humorous and inspirational stories, videos, and music, and reflect together on the Spirit’s role in helping us with discernment, as a way to help us “keep watch” over ourselves spiritually and practically, with care. We will discover among many insights, that ‘self-care’ is not being ‘self-ish.’  We will focus on healthy spirituality, boundaries, and practical decision-making in ministry.

Sponsored by: Diocese of Monterey

Lorie Ford

Deacon David and Lorie Ford have been married 38 years with 5 children.  They’ve received professional accreditation in Grief Ministry. Deacon David has earned his S.T.L. in Systematic Theology and Th.M. in Christian Spirituality at the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley,  and Lorie, having a degree in Child Development and completing the 5 year Diaconate Formation program, have both had considerable experience in Retreat Work and Conferences on many topics including loss, self-care, ministry, spirituality, and formation for ministry.  Deacon David is the Director of the Diaconate and Ministry Formation for the Diocese of Monterey, and Lorie has worked in parish ministry, professionally with the sick and dying, and currently is on staff at St. Angela Merici Parish in Pacific Grove.


Session 3-13  
Keep Watch Over Yourselves…(Acts 20:28):  Self-Care and Self Compassion for Those in Ministry

For many in ministry we say ‘yes’ to service with full hearts but can, over time, experience burnout, exhaustion, stress, etc.  St. Paul encouraged the presbyters and ministers of the Church of Ephesus to keep watch over the “whole flock” but also to keep watch over “themselves.” Building upon last year’s well-received workshops on “Loss,” Dave and Lorie, in this workshop, will explore the elements of ‘self-care’ for those who minister.  We will examine the Jesus of the Gospels as a good role model for self-care. We will enjoy both humorous and inspirational stories, videos, and music, and reflect together on the Spirit’s role in helping us with discernment, as a way to help us “keep watch” over ourselves spiritually and practically, with care. We will discover among many insights, that ‘self-care’ is not being ‘self-ish.’  We will focus on healthy spirituality, boundaries, and practical decision-making in ministry.

Session 5-11  
Keep Watch Over Yourselves…(Acts 20:28):  Self-Care and Self Compassion for Those in Ministry

For many in ministry we say ‘yes’ to service with full hearts but can, over time, experience burnout, exhaustion, stress, etc.  St. Paul encouraged the presbyters and ministers of the Church of Ephesus to keep watch over the “whole flock” but also to keep watch over “themselves.” Building upon last year’s well-received workshops on “Loss,” Dave and Lorie, in this workshop, will explore the elements of ‘self-care’ for those who minister.  We will examine the Jesus of the Gospels as a good role model for self-care. We will enjoy both humorous and inspirational stories, videos, and music, and reflect together on the Spirit’s role in helping us with discernment, as a way to help us “keep watch” over ourselves spiritually and practically, with care. We will discover among many insights, that ‘self-care’ is not being ‘self-ish.’  We will focus on healthy spirituality, boundaries, and practical decision-making in ministry.

Sponsored by: Diocese of Monterey

Carol Fowler

is the recently retired Director of the Department of Personnel Services for the Archdiocese of Chicago.   Her position included supervision of all human resource functions for laity, clergy and religious, including policy development, recruitment and hiring, performance management, employee relations and benefits management of health, pension and related benefits.  Carol was a founding Board member of the Villanova Center for Church Management and Business Ethics. She served as a member of the Board for Leadership Roundtable. She was president of the National Association of Church Personnel Administrators and served on that Board for several years.  She holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from St. Mary’s Seminary and University, Baltimore. She has a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from the Adler School of Professional Psychology. The Human Resources Certification Institute of the Society for Human Resource Management certifies Ms. Fowler as a Senior Professional in Human Resources.  Ms. Fowler currently teaches, conducts workshops and consults on areas of Church management, best practices in Church human resources, leadership development, new pastor workshops and a variety of parish and diocesan administration issues.


Session 2-06
How to Find and  Support Volunteers for Your Parish

The cry of the parish leader is often “I need more volunteers!”. This session explores best practices in the identification, training, and support of volunteers so that we might cry this phrase less frequently. (Witness)

Session 6-04
How to Manage Conflict in the Ministerial Workplace

All parishes seek to create healthy relations within staff,  ministry leaders, and parishioners. This session provides approaches for pastoral leaders to help  develop a culture of trust, manage conflict, and restore broken relationships (Witness)

Sponsor: Cards by Anne

Mona Harris

Mona Harris has served in catechetical ministry for 38 years.  During this time she has served the Diocese of San Diego and the Diocese of Las Vegas. She is a certified Youth Minister, and currently the Director of Religious Education in a large parish community in Las Vegas.  Mona completed her Masters of Religious Studies at Felician College, with her thesis on Developing Methods of Inclusion For Children With Disabilities in a Catechetical Setting.  She has provided workshops on inclusion, and catechizing children with disabilities. Mona has 6 grandchildren that reside in Las Vegas and is a Foster Parent for 2 children with special needs.


Session 3-12 
Unique and Belonging: Autism and Parish Ministry

1 in 68 children will receive an autism diagnosis each year. Autism is a part of our communities and a part of our parishes. Come learn more about what autism is and isn’t; how it can impact a person’s experience of parish life and ministry; and develop some practical tools and skills for better understanding, accepting, and ministering to individuals on the autism spectrum.  (Witness)

Session 5-10
Unique and Belonging: Autism and Parish Ministry

Come and explore the questions, issues and practical suggestions around sacramental preparation for individuals w/special needs. We will also look at the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ revised guidelines for celebrating Sacraments with persons with disabilities.  (Witness)

Sponsor: Pflaum Publishing Group

Sherry Hayes-Peirce

is an internationally known speaker through her tenure with SkillPath Seminars for 6 years and has carved a niche as a social media strategist working with the industries of Education, Health & Safety and Catholic Parishes and Dioceses.

As a practicing Catholic and lector within the Los Angeles Archdiocese she feels she was called to launch her Church Social Tips brand. She has served as a social media consultant to the Archdiocese of Seattle, featured speaker at the 2015 Northwest Regional Catholic Stewardship Conference, 2017 Los Angeles Archdiocese C3 Technology Conference and wrote a featured article for Angelus News on social media titled “5 Things Every Parish Should Post on Social Media”.

Sherry received best rated social media speaker award in 2014 and 2015 from SkillPath, because attendees consistently endorse her ability to engage audiences with realistic examples that are relatable to their unique audience and experiential activities to ensure attendees leave with a “personal action plan” as a call to action to incorporate social media strategy learned at her workshops!

References: Websites and American Martyrs Catholic Community FB/Church Social Tips, TW/Church Social Tip, Instagram/Church_Social_Tips, LinkedIn/Sherry Hayes-Peirce, Slideshare/Presentation


Session 3-04
5 Things Every Parish Should Post

This session will explore the who, what, where, why and how of using Catholic social media to inform, inspire and engage parishioners. Sherry’s “5 Things Every Parish Should Post” Strategy will provide you with a template for creating content every month of the Liturgical year. In this experiential session you will build a plan for your parish using the Advent season as a model.

 

Dr. Timothy F. Hogan

is a psychologist and Certified Imago Relationship Therapist who co-authored How to Find the Help You Need, a guide to psychotherapy and spiritual direction, and recently released an album of guided meditations, Awakening Your Heart (iTunes). He directs The Grace Counseling Center and serves as adjunct faculty at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, both in Detroit. He lives in Plymouth, Michigan, with his wife of 29 years and three children. Tim’s weekly blogs inspire us to transform our desires and deepen human connections. He blogs at DrTimHogan.com/my-blog/. He contributed to RCL Benziger’s Family Life series.


Session 2-07
Combatting Anxiety, Stress and Pressure: Using Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Strategies to Revitalize School Culture

Today’s children and youth face emotional pain, anxiety and pressure unknown to previous generations. This creates a novel challenge for those on the front lines, especially teachers and catechists. Attendees will learn how to confront these challenges using Social Emotional Learning (SEL) skills. Participants will learn about and experience the value of these strategies. These skills effectively help students and teachers to deal with anxiety, stress and pressure, as well as nurture a more meaningful and robust spiritual community. Participants will practice five unique SEL skills during this session. Participants should expect to leave this session feeling encouraged and revitalized. (Witness)

Session 8-04
The Gift of Cultural Hurricanes: How to Build Bridges that Empower Parents and Transform Catholic Families

Multiple global forces have combined to create a cultural hurricane that is pounding and often washing away ancient bridges of human connection. These forces are fundamentally changing the landscape of family life, and, importantly, radically changing what families need from us in ministry. Dr. Hogan will propose effective strategies to reinvigorate ministry by creating new connections between youth, families and their parish. (Witness)

Sponsored by: RCL Benziger

Sponsor: RCL Benziger

Bob Hurd

has served as a teacher, composer and liturgist in various pastoral and academic settings. He currently teaches in the summer program of Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry. His liturgical music is published by OCP and is featured in numerous hymnals in the United States, Canada, Great Britain and Australia. Bob’s articles have appeared in numerous journals, and has contributed to two books: That They Might Have Life: Power, Empowerment and Leadership in the Church (Crossroads, 1991) and The New Dictionary of Catholic Spirituality (Michael Downey/Liturgical Press). He has a doctorate from De Paul University in Chicago. 


OCP Bilingual Music Institute

Timothy Johnson

Timothy is co-author of Disciples Making Disciples: Print and Digital Resources for Forming the Assembly (LTP, 2017) and also serves as the director of music at Immaculate Conception Parish in Chicago.


Special Programs
The Catechumen’s Journey

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday

Conducted in a retreat-like manner, this institute will offer participants an experiential understanding of the RCIA as they walk through its periods and rites. Together they will participate in catechesis, ritual celebration, and apostolic witness adapted from the vision of the RCIA.

Thursday, November 29 from 9:00 am – 8:00 pm

DAY ONE presentations include: An Introduction to the Ritual Text: Vocabulary, Periods, and Stages; An Evangelizing Parish; The Period of Period of Evangelization and Precatechumenate, The Rite of Acceptance, The Period of the Catechumenate; Apprenticeship and Mentoring

Friday, November 30 from 9:00 am – 8:00 pm

DAY TWO presentations include: The Rite of Election; Discernment and Conversion; The Period of the Purification and Enlightenment; Scrutinies and Presentations

Saturday, December 1 from 9:00 am – 4:30 pm

DAY THREE presentations include: The Sacraments of Initiation and the Paschal Triduum; The Paschal Mystery; Eucharistic Living and the Mission of the Church. The Period of Mystagogy

RCIA coordinators, teams, and clergy are invited to attend this institute and gain a deeper appreciation for the spiritual journey, catechesis, and ritual celebrations of the catechumenal process. 

Sponsor: Liturgy Training Publications

Rev. Dr. Thomas A. Kane, CSP

a Paulist priest, is an internationally known ritual maker, videographer and bridge builder. His research interests include the area of arts, communication, liturgy and culture.  Dr. Kane studied contemporary worship and celebration and has written and lectured on liturgy, dance and creativity in the US and abroad.  In his research, he has documented liturgical inculturation in three Dancing Church videos.  He has recently retired from the faculty of the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry in Chestnut Hill, MA.  At present, he directs Landings International, a Paulist Ministry of Reconciliation with centers in the US,, UK and Singapore. Landings is a compassionate, lay-run program for returning Catholics while Landings2 develops disciples in mission. He has been a cruise chaplain for twenty years and enjoys his days at sea.


Session 5-05 
Becoming a Disciple of Joy and Mercy

Listen to Pope Francis’ Call to Mercy by reaching out to the peripheries and welcoming and inviting those on the edges.  This workshop will explore the Theology of Reconciliation and offer practical and pastoral suggestions on being a Disciple of Joy and Mercy through personal witness and compassionate listening. (Word)

Session 6-05 
Becoming a Disciple of Joy and Mercy

Listen to Pope Francis’ Call to Mercy by reaching out to the peripheries and welcoming and inviting those on the edges.  This workshop will explore the Theology of Reconciliation and offer practical and pastoral suggestions on being a Disciple of Joy and Mercy through personal witness and compassionate listening. (Word)

Sponsor: Paulist Reconciliation Ministries Landings International

Anne Kertz Kernion

(BS in Environmental Engineering, Penn State; MA in Theology, Duquesne University, Certificate in the Science of Happiness, UC Berkeley, current graduate student in Positive Psychology, U. of Missouri) is the owner/artist of Cards by Anne, an inspirational greeting card company founded in 1986. Her book, “A Year of Spiritual Companionship” was published by SkyLight Paths in 2016. Anne’s cards are available online (cardsbyanne.com) and in hundreds of stores. For 14 years, Anne taught “Cross-Cultural Understanding of Religious Meaning” at Carlow University. For seven years, she was also an adjunct professor at CCAC, teaching courses ranging from Chemistry, Environmental Science, and Nutrition, to World Religions and Ethics. Currently, Anne is a frequent lecturer and retreat leader, presenting topics that combine neuroscience and spirituality to groups around the country. Anne is married to Jack and they have 3 grown children and 5 grandchildren.


Session 4-05
The Spirituality and Science of Compassion

Pope Francis calls upon us to be merciful and show compassion to those in need. Charles Darwin note that “compassion is our strongest instinct.” Did you know that being kind and compassionate towards others enhances our immune systems, increases our life expectancy, protects us from heart disease, and decreases the risk of depression? We’ll explore the fascinating neuroscience and spirituality of compassion, including how we can nurture it in ourselves and others. (Witness)

Sponsor: Cards by Anne

Dennis Kurtz

presently serves as a National Sales Consultant at Saint Mary’s Press, in Winona Minnesota.  He holds a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Ministry from the Center for Ministry Development and has done graduate work in Theology with emphasis on Sacred Scripture, at Saint John’s University, Collegeville Minnesota.  He directed the Office of Youth Ministry for the Diocese of La Crosse, WI for twenty years.  Dennis has served as a high school instructor of Religion and Campus Minister.  He also served on the Board of Directors for the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry.

Publications: Effective Practices for Dynamic Youth Ministry, co-author; Youth Engaging Scripture; Diving into the Sunday Gospels, author; Day by Day with People of the Bible; Reflections for Teens, co-author; Personal Journey Bible, Contributing author.


Session 3-05
Infusing Scripture Across the High School Religion Curriculum


High school religion curriculum based on the USCCB Framework tend to be doctrine heavy. Drawing on the stories of Scripture can help bring more balance to these courses. Let’s look at the USCCB Curriculum Framework and draw correlations to Scripture. How might each course focus on a book or books of the Bible and biblical themes? What does it look like if Scripture is another primary text for Framework courses? (Word)

Sponsor: Saint Mary’s Press

Blessie La Scola

entered into the full communion of the Roman Catholic Church in 1976. Since 1978 she has been active in the areas of catechesis, sacramental preparation, and faith formation through the process of Christian initiation. She served as Master Catechist for the Diocese of San Jose for over 25 years, and served adults, youth,, and children in the RCIA process for 22 years. She served on the Catechumenate Committee for the Diocese of San Jose for 20 years, and has mentored lay leaders in the diocese in implementing or developing the RCIA process in their parish. She is the author of Mystagogia: A Journey into Mystery and RCIA and You: Experiences and Ideas for the Process, published by Resource Publications. Blessie and her husband, Ernie, have been married for nearly 50 years and have two adult children.


Session 2-08  
Children of the Light: The Pre-Catechumenate Period with Children

We, the Church, are to welcome and invite those children who have not yet been baptized, have come to an age of understanding, and are of catechetical age to be a part of the process of faith formation. This session for RCIA ministers, directors of faith formation, and catechists will introduce you to a method of creative ways to draw on your own faith experiences as you begin to prepare children to receive the sacraments of initiation through the RCIA as adapted for children. (Worship)

Session 5-07
Children of the Light: Catechumenate Period Adapted for Children

The RCIA document challenges catechists and leaders to develop ways to adapt what is used with adults to be used with children.  This workshop will highlight the importance of guiding the children through discerning their readiness to enter the catechumenate period, to offer the time needed to each person as they journey and grow in faith, and ways to gauge spiritual awareness of God’s presence and knowledge of the children as they prepare to enter the third period of the RCIA process. (Worship)

Sponsored by: World Library Publications

 

Jim Lundholm-Eades

is Director of Programs and Services for Leadership Roundtable. A feature of Jim’s 43 years of leadership and service in the Catholic Church is the variety of contexts in which he has led and served. At both parish and diocesan levels Jim has led Catholic education, Catholic social services and in pastoral outreach before he took on a national profile through Leadership Roundtable. He holds graduate degrees in educational administration, business administration, pastoral counseling and counseling.


Pre-Conference
Executive Team Pre-Conference Workshop

Session 4-06  
How to Restore Trust in Your Diocese After a Crisis:  What it looks like and how to get there?

What is the path to restoring trust in a diocese after a crisis? In this workshop, bishops and their key leaders will be introduced to examples of diocesan best practices to repair the trust of Catholics. Participants can expect to learn practical solutions that they can implement in their dioceses that are grounded in transparency, accountability, and canon law. There will be opportunities to ask questions that pertain to one’s particular situation. Diocesan leaders will develop a clear sense of direction and a roadmap for becoming a trusted diocese by embedding important principles and practices into diocesan culture. (Witness)

Session 8-05  
How to Form and  Re-Energize Parish Pastoral and  Finance Councils

Pastoral and  Finance Councils are key advisory bodies in parishes. This session provides practical tools and approaches for forming, energizing, and  sustaining councils so as to increase their effectiveness in promoting the mission of the parish. (Witness)

Sponsored by: Leadership Roundtable

Cecilia Mantecon

is the current principal at St. Clare School. Prior to this, Cecile served as vice principal, religion coordinator and campus minister at St. Mary School in Los Gatos and also in Gilroy. Cecile, along with Georgia Stern, a colleague at St. Mary in Gilroy, developed the Student Learning Portfolio, a graduation project, about 12 years ago. When she returned as administrator in Los Gatos after four years in the Department of Education (now Department of Catholic Schools), Cecile developed the Capstone Project, “A Declaration for Love and Justice,” a cross-curricular project that incorporates religion outcomes, social studies standards, financial literacy, presentation skills and other literacy and 21st century skills.

This year, Cecile enlisted the help of Jed de Torres, Drexel School Systems Educational Technology and Instructional Coach to challenge students to create a website, QR code and HP Reveal solutions as part of the marketing solution for the nonprofit.

Cecile is a graduate of Catholic schools and a proud parent of two good humans.

Session 2-09  
Declaration for Love and Justice: Fostering Witnesses Towards a Path for Hope

Cecile Mantecon and Jed de Torres will offer a path to develop a Capstone Project for rising high school students that is aligned with the school’s mission, philosophy, Schoolwide Learning Expectations (SLEs) focused on the tenets of Catholic social teaching and utilizes tools and skills for 21st century learning and ISTE standards.

The project asks the overarching question, “What social issue or challenge would you undertake if you were allowed to develop a nonprofit agency whose mission is to solve said issue or challenge?” Students are guided, with help from community leaders, to develop a business plan that includes a financial and marketing plan to prepare to pitch to a panel of funders, a la “Shark Tank.” (Witness)

 

Terry McCaffrey

has been active on abolition of the death penalty for over 30 years.  He was a founding member of California People of Faith Working Against the Death Penalty, and is currently the President of the statewide organization.   He was the producer of a widely acclaimed video “Interview With an Executioner”.  He is currently working on a feature length  movie dealing with Restorative Justice titled “To Forgive a Killer?”  He is married with two children living in Palo Alto, CA   

Session 3-06
The Way Forward Towards Abolition of the Death Penalty

Currently there are 728 men in San Quentin and 21 women in Chowchilla awaiting execution.  18 persons have completed all their appeals and could be executed within a year. It is time to put our faith into action and acting on our sense of compassion and our belief in the
sanctity of life to join the campaign to end the death penalty in California. This workshop will provide an opportunity for the Catholic Community to become active the campaign to end the death penalty and the role of Restorative Justice in support of  murder victim families.
Resource materials to aid in abolition work will be provided.

Session 5-12
The Way Forward Towards Abolition of the Death Penalty

Currently there are 728 men in San Quentin and 21 women in Chowchilla awaiting execution.  18 persons have completed all          
their appeals and could be executed within a year. It is time to put our faith into action and acting on our sense of compassion             
and our belief in the sanctity of life to join the campaign to end the death penalty in California. This workshop will provide an opportunity for the Catholic Community to become active the campaign to end the death penalty and the role of Restorative Justice in support of  murder victim families. Resource materials to aid in abolition work will be provided.

Sponsor: California People of Faith Working Against the Death 

Sr. Patricia M. McCormack, IHM, Ed.D

is Program Director of the IHM Office of Formative Support for Parents and Teachers, Philadelphia, PA, a ministry of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Immaculata, PA.  Adult practices that foster the formation-education of children are the primary focus of her ministry. Consequently, she speaks internationally to a variety of audiences. Her style of public speaking blends Catholic spirituality, psychology, and wisdom gathered from parents, teachers and students. 

Sister Pat’s professional history includes classroom experience at the elementary, secondary and college levels, elementary school administration, and adjunct teaching in university programs of Catholic School leadership.  In addition to a bachelor’s degree in theology and sociology from Immaculata University, PA and a master’s degree in K-8 education from Rowan University, NJ, she holds a doctorate in private school administration from the University of San Francisco, CA.  She is a two-decade author of the “Parent Partnership Handbook” feature of Today’s Catholic Teacher magazine, numerous other articles, and several publications – the most recent being Embrace the Mission – Be the “I” in Evangelize, NCEA (2018), Engaging the Parking Lot Parent, Twenty-Third Publications (2017), and Parental Love Is, The Pastoral Center (2016).

Session 2-10
BEING a Catechist vs. WORKING AS a Catechist

Enrich your personal commitment to Jesus and affirm your catechist-vocation. Consider the threefold aspects of your call: (1) witnessing (2) mentoring and (3) teaching. This presentation will consider Pope Francis as a pre-eminent catechist and it will offer practical, easy-to-imitate ideas. (Witness)

Session 3-07
Connect the Dots between Attitutde, Behavior and Self-Esteem

Self-discipline (self-regulation, impulse control) requires students to name, claim and tame feelings and emotions that lead to attitude and behavior.  K-8 teachers and administrators will        learn how to “read” the signs of student need, to give appropriate, effective response in the moment, and to use pro-active practices for the future. (NCEA Publication: Student Self-Discipline in the Classroom and Beyond. (Witness)

Session 5-06
Resilient and Self-Reliant Children Born or Fomed?

A self-reliant, resilient character is not the result of a birthday.  It is the by-product of daily life practices that nurture security, autonomy, initiative, and industry on a consistent basis. When parents and teachers apply these practices with consistency, repetition, and continuity, positive identity formation takes root in the child. Over time resilience, self-reliance, and positive self-esteem evolve as byproducts. This presentation will  “unpack” these elements and communicate practical advice that was gathered from parents of children in grades K through 12 who were recognized for positive self-esteem and character. (Witness)

Session 6-06
Shift Parents from the Parking Lot to Participation

Why do some parents rely on religious education programs to be the primary providers of faith formation for their children?  How can catechists move parents from the parking lot to fuller participation?  This presentation will provide practical, applicable, inspirational and  compassionate insights for “backdoor” evangelizing. (Witness)

Barbara McGraw Edmondson, Ed.D

Dr. Barbara McGraw Edmondson is the Chief Leadership and Program Officer for the National Catholic Educational Association.  Prior to her arrival at NCEA, Dr. Edmondson served as the Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Baltimore.  She enjoyed two successful principal appointments in the Archdioceses of Washington and later in Baltimore. As superintendent, she served as the Chair of the Maryland Catholic Conference Education Committee and a member of the USCCB Faith Formation Working Group.  Dr. Edmondson has also taught as an adjunct professor of educational leadership at Loyola, Notre Dame of Maryland and The George Washington universities.

Session 3-08
The Heart of Leadership: Building a Culture of Growth  (part I)

At the center of the discussion of contemporary leadership models is the leader’s heart, his or her care for the organization and its members. This session will explore Kouzes and Posner’s Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership from an incarnational view, an approach that for the Catholic school leaders emulates the truth of how Christ came, lived, and remains with us today.

Session 4-07
The Heart of Leadership: Building a Culture of Growth  (part II)

At the center of the discussion of contemporary leadership models is the leader’s heart, his or her care for the organization and its members. This session will explore Kouzes and Posner’s Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership from an incarnational view, an approach that for the Catholic school leaders emulates the truth of how Christ came, lived, and remains with us today.

Virginia Meagher

is the Director of Liturgy and Music at St. Anne in Byron. She served as the Director for Worship, Music and Christian Initiation for the Diocese of Stockton for twelve years, where she also served on the Board of Directors for the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions, representing Region 11. Virginia is the co-author of Guide for Lectors from LTP with Fr. Paul Turner. Virginia has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Northwestern University, a Certificate in Liturgy from the Liturgical Institute of Chicago, did her M.Div. coursework at Loyola University Chicago, and has an MBA from Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont.

Session 8-06
Daily Formation in Discipleship

Whether it is a new study published in “Scientific America,” an article in the “Harvard Business Review,” or a writing from Fr. Ron Rolheiser, OMI, the value and importance of ritual seems open to new discovery all the time. Aristotle wrote that virtue is formed in us through our actions. The Bible provides detailed descriptions and instructions for rituals throughout life. And within the church the liturgical year, the sanctoral cycle of saints days and holy days, the actions of sacraments and liturgy provide us with daily formation that helps us to grow in discipleship. We will look at what the ritual calls us to, how our actions, especially in liturgy, shape the whole community, and how we can prayerfully reflect on and grow in our ritual participation, even when we’ve been doing it a long time. (Worship)

Mikey Needleman

Raised in Kansas City, Kansas, Mikey Needleman began playing and writing music at the age of 12 after his father gave him a guitar and a few pointers. From there, he taught himself every instrument he could get his hands on. By the time he was in high school, Mikey had been in countless bands but didn’t start really singing until his later years of high school, when he began to lead praise and worship from time to time at local youth groups, retreats, and churches. Mikey then discovered the power of musical performance when he found a way to pay for college by performing around campus several times a week, developing a diehard fan-base. As his solo act grew, so did his desire to form a band.
The Mikey Needleman Band was formed in 2006. Begun as a three-piece, MNB’s energy and passion gave live performances an exciting edge in the local scene. After graduation, Mikey moved back to Kansas City and became the youth minister at his home parish, where he started a Sunday evening contemporary Mass. The band continued to expand and recorded an EP in 2008 called “Waiting for You,” and began playing hundreds of shows a year. In 2011, Mikey recorded “All for You,” a six-song worship record filled with anthemic melodies and huge pop-rock hooks. Mikey’s latest recording, titled “We Ask of You,” was released last summer.

The four-piece Mikey Needleman Band is now a staple in the Midwest music scene, playing youth rallies, Masses, retreats, summer camps, weddings, and just about every other setting where live music is needed.

In 2016, Mike served as the music director for the National Religious Vocation Conference convocation in Overland Park, KS. Currently, he serves as the Worship Director for St. John Paul II Catholic Parish in Olathe, Kansas in addition to his solo gigs and full band concerts every week.


Session 3-09
Finding Truth in Music

Beauty and truth is found in sacred music, pointing us to heaven. But is that beauty and truth non-existent in secular music? Not necessarily. Beauty is found everywhere, on the radio, on TV, and on your iPod or tablet, but finding truth is a little harder. Here are some ways to look for it yourself and help others to find it too. (Witness)

Session 4-09
“I Call the Drums!” What Instrument Are You in the Song of Body of Christ?

Paul reminds us that we each are integral parts of the Body of Christ and given specific gifts. What if I want someone else’s gift? What if I haven’t found my gift? How can I find my “instrument” in the “song” of the Body of Christ? This talk is an interactive musical experience consisting of reflection, prayer, worship, and meditation. Attendees will be challenged to dig deeply into the unique gifts and talents God has bestowed on each of us that are designed to give him glory every day in order to build up the Body of Christ.(Witness) 

Sponsor: World Library Publications

Ann Naffziger 

has her MDiv from the Jesuit School of Theology and MA in Biblical Languages from the Graduate Theological Union, both in Berkeley.  Ann has worked in a variety of parish roles, as well as a hospital chaplain, spiritual director, scripture instructor, and lecturer at the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University. She has written articles in the field of spirituality and scripture for America, BustedHalo.com, Commonweal, and other publications. She is also a Master Gardener and girls’ softball coach.


Session 4-08
Sharing the Catholic Way: Helping the Faithful and Seekers Learn the Faith

Many are curious about the details of the Catholic faith, but unless you’re a child or becoming Catholic as an adult, parish opportunities to learn are often limited. After years with practicing Catholics “sneaking” into her RCIA sessions and curious parents asking what their kids were learning, Ann decided enough was enough. She put together a simple, interactive learning approach to share the best our faith has to offer, balancing doctrinal teaching with prayer, spirituality, and faith sharing. Hear more about her formula to engage both seekers and life-long Catholics, and appeal to both head and heart. The session will include do’s and don’ts, and other tips for starting, promoting, and growing a process that can work in any parish. (Witness)

 

Sponsor: Pflaum Publishing

Sergio Ovando

TBP


Session 4-15
“The one who is righteous will live by faith.”  Justification and Faith in the Pauline theology.

Study of justification and faith in the letter to Galatians and Romans.  The presentation will guide to the right understanding of the meaning of justification and faith related to salvation of Gentiles and Jews. And will enlighten the believer of today to live his faith in fulness knowing the truth nature of salvation and righteousness thru the Gospel, that is the power of God for salvation.

 

Joe Paprocki, DMin

is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press in Chicago. His experience in pastoral ministry spans over four decades and he has presented in nearly 150 dioceses in North America. Joe is the author of numerous books on pastoral ministry and catechesis, including the best-selling The Catechist’s Toolbox and his latest, Living the Sacraments: Finding God at the Intersection of Heaven and Earth. Joe blogs about his catechetical experiences at www.catechistsjourney.com.


Session 3-10
Practicing a Living Faith – 5 Principles that Shape a Robust Catholic Vision

“In the end, aren’t we all just worshipping the same God?” This question is often asked by well-intentioned people hoping to play down differences as a way to avoid conflict. The truth is, differences DO exist when it comes to faith traditions and the solution is not to avoid talking about them but to be able to speak about those differences intelligently and with civility. In this session, Dr. Joe Paprocki will identify five principles that are unique to Catholicism and that shape the way we think and act in our daily living, lest we fall prey to what Bishop Robert Barron refers to as “beige Catholicism.”                 (Worship and Witness)  

Session 6-08
Practicing a Living Faith – 5 Principles that Shape a Robust Catholic Vision

“In the end, aren’t we all just worshipping the same God?” This question is often asked by well-intentioned people hoping to play down differences as a way to avoid conflict. The truth is, differences DO exist when it comes to faith traditions and the solution is not to avoid talking about them but to be able to speak about those differences intelligently and with civility. In this session, Dr. Joe Paprocki will identify five principles that are unique to Catholicism and that shape the way we think and act in our daily living, lest we fall prey to what Bishop Robert Barron refers to as “beige Catholicism.” (Worship and Witness)

Sponsor: Loyola Press

Dr. Jo Ann Paradise

is a National Consultant for Our Sunday Visitor Curriculum Division and works with the product development team in creating resources for children and their families.  She is the General Program Editor for Encounter With Christ, OSV’s completely new sacrament preparation program.  Jo Ann has served as catechetical leader in the Diocese of Pittsburgh for over 32 years. A teacher at both the grade school and high school levels in Catholic schools as well as an adjunct faculty member of several universities in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Jo Ann gives keynotes and workshops at Diocesan conferences throughout the United States and Canada.  Through her stories, Jo Ann motivates educators and catechists to prepare their children to meet the risen Lord and then learn how to respond to his invitation through a life of discipleship.  She is a popular retreat director and provides spiritual direction.   Jo Ann lives in Pittsburgh, PA with her husband Don and extended family.


Session 4-10
Our Hope Is in the Name of the Lord!

Pope Francis asks, “How often in our life do hopes vanish, how often do the expectations we have in our heart come to nothing!”  Yet, the great hope that Christians possess comes from encountering God.  It is Pope Benedict who reminds us that the definitive Love made visible in Jesus can transform the world from within.  This session will explore how we remain hopeful in the face of the sometimes overwhelming darkness in our world or in the face of suffering and pain in our own families. (Witness)


Session 2-15
Integrated Family Catechesis Is More Than One Gathering

The question is no longer, “Should we do family catechesis?”  The question is now, “What are the necessary elements of effective family catechesis?”   We will explore the concept of integrated family catechesis that is systematic and intentional as it awakens, evangelizes and catechizes parents leading them to a life of discipleship. All the while recognizing we must equip, support, affirm and challenge parents to see parenting as a vocation.  Jo Ann will inspire you to meet families where they are and awaken in them the “holy longing” to live in relationship with God and his people.  (Witness)

Sponsor:Our Sunday Visitor Curriculum Division

Ken Preston

is the Relationship Manager for Catholic Relief Services in northern California. He has a Masters Degree in Theology from Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley. He has worked for Maryknoll Lay Missioners and Pace e Bene, a Franciscan organization that teaches Franciscan peacemaking. Sponsored by Catholic Relief Services (CRS).


Session 3-15
God Walks With Us: The Catholic Church’s Response to the Refugee Crisis

Pope Francis has made a strong call for Catholics to respond to the refugee crisis. In this session, participants will learn the scope and causes of the refugee crisis abroad and at home, what the US Catholic Church is doing to respond, and how US Catholics can witness to and participate in supporting refugees.

Fr. Loreto Rojas

Rev. Fr. Loreto B. Rojas, Jr., has been a pastor for many years and a former director of evangelization and catechesis for the diocese of Sacramento. He is currently the director of Field Education at St. Patrick’s Seminary and University. He has also taught in the departments of philosophy, pastoral and dogmatic theology at the seminary.


Session 3-14
Modern Saints – Continuing the Tradition of Witnessing

If catechesis has a fruit, it would have to be the knowledge that God confers on us the holiness that all of us are called to have. This session will initially examine our concept of holiness and how we arrive at this universal vocation. Then it will look at how some of our modern saints have embraced this calling to become saints. In the interest of catechesis, it should provide a radically important paradigm to guide the Christian in his/her journey to holiness.

Session 6-07
Enlisting Witnesses for Jesus – A Catechist’s Boot camp

This year’s Catechetical Sunday theme challenges us on what we can do to “enable the faithful to claim their true roles as witnesses to Jesus Christ.” (Bp. Baron, USCCB) This session will focus on what the catechist can do to promote and encourage the children and families to be witnesses to Jesus. It will look at some practical ways to plant the Word of God in the lives of the children and their families. Needless to say, this will also look at how the Catechists themselves can become witnesses of Christ. The enlisting part will target not just the children, their families, and current catechists – but also other prospective catechists.   

Ish Ruiz

Ish Ruiz is a doctoral student in the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and a Religious Studies instructor at a Catholic high school in San Francisco. His research interests explore the intersection between religion, sexuality, justice, and education. Ruiz is a co-chair of the Marianist LGBT Initiative Team, which published a resource titled Addressing LGBT Issues with Youth: A Resource for Educators and has offered workshops to Catholic high school faculty and staff on the care for LGBTQ+ students. He is also a leading member of the Young Adults group at Most Holy Redeemer parish in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco, which is known for its integration of LGBTQ+ Catholics into the life of the Church. Ruiz has presented in conferences and has made several contributions through the media and his ministries regarding the protection of LGBTQ+ Church workers, the Catholic Church’s response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality, and the contributions of LGBTQ+ teachers in Catholic schools. He hopes to see a world where religion and LGBTQ+ people embrace each other with love and gratitude for the gifts everyone brings to society and the Church.


Session 3-01
Gender Identity and the Catholic Church, What Educators and Administrators Should Know

Gender identity and transgender issues have become hot topics. How does the Gospel teach us to serve young Catholics on their journeys? How are we called to be loving in the midst of challenging theological questions? In this session, I’ll present a brief overview of gender theory and offer theological reflections to inform a pastoral approach for students who question their gender identity. (Social Justice)

Session 6-01
Let’s talk about Gender Identity in Our Parishes

How can we as catechist and lay leaders bring the compassion that Pope Francis is speaking about when it comes to gender identity in our parishes. This session will explore the experience of transgender people and will focus on potential ways Catholic parishes/schools could address gender identity in practical ways. (Social Justice)

 

Paul Sanfrancesco

is a National Technology Consultant for William H. Sadlier, Inc. For over 20 years, he has worked in Catholic, private, and public education, including as Director of Technology for the 200+ schools of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and in collegiate teaching at Saint Joseph’s University and Neumann University.  The National School Boards Association named him one of the “20 to Watch” Educators for his work in Instructional Technology. Pennsylvania Association for Educational Communications and Technology named him CTO of the year 2018.  Mr. Sanfrancesco has been featured in Tech & Learning, Schools CIO, EdTech Mag, and Catechetical Leader and presents at local, regional, and national convocations. He holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Millersville University and a master’s degree in instructional technology from Temple University.


Session 2-13
Proclaiming the Joy Using the Power of Social Media

Today everyone is connected by mobile devices and social media but are we using theses power tools for our ministries? This session will provide how to bridge families and the whole parish together with social media. Catechists and administrators will take away ideas and plans implement and teach the faith using these powerful tools. Bring your devices!! (Word)

Session 4-11
Proclaiming the Joy Using the Power of Social Media

Today everyone is connected by mobile devices and social media but are we using theses power tools for our ministries? This session will provide how to bridge families and the whole parish together with social media. Catechists and administrators will take away ideas and plans implement and teach the faith using these powerful tools. Bring your devices!! (Word)

Sponsor: William H. Sadlier, Inc.

 

Janèt Sullivan Whitaker

is a lifelong music minister for the Diocese of Oakland. In addition to her work as a composer and recording artist, Janèt is a cantor, pianist, arranger, percussionist, workshop presenter and retreat leader. For almost two decades, she has served on the catechetical music staff for the One Bread, One Cup Summer Liturgical Leadership Conferences at St. Meinrad Archabbey in Southern Indiana. She holds a BA in music from California State University, Hayward (CSUEB), and a master of theological studies from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. Janèt has three solo collections with OCP. She currently resides in Hayward, California, and serves as full-time director of music and liturgy at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in San Ramon.


OCP Bilingual Music Institute

Msgr. John Talesfore

was ordained in 1989, and since that time has served as Associate Pastor of several parishes in the Archdiocese of San Francisco and was the Pastor and Rector of St. Mary’s Cathedral for 12 years.  In 1997, he earned a Licentiate in Sacred Liturgy from the Pontifical Liturgical Institute in Sant’ Anselmo, Rome, and in 2010 was named an Honorary Prelate by Pope Benedict XVI. He currently serves as the Pastor of St. Matthew Church, San Matteo.  Monsignor has served as the Director of the Office of Worship for the Archdiocese, taught at several local institutes, and was a columnist for Catholic San Francisco.


Session 2-14  
Unfolding the Paschal Mystery Throughout the Liturgical Year:  Gathered into the life of the Trinity

Participants will be invited to identify practical, pastoral guideposts toward full, conscious and active participation in the Paschal Mystery with consideration of Saint Paul’s concept of “mystery” and the Church’s understanding of  the Most Holy Trinity as “the central mystery of the Christian faith and life…the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them” (CCC 234).

Mary Elizabeth Sperry

has worked for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops since 1994 and serves as associate director for USCCB permissions and NAB utilization. The author of five books, Sperry’s articles have appeared in publications including Give Us This Day, Liguorian, Emmanuel, and Today’s Parish Minister. She speaks about the Bible and a variety of spiritual topics in dioceses and parishes throughout the United States and has been interviewed on National Public Radio, EWTN Radio, CBS Radio, Relevant Radio, and SiriusXM. Sperry earned a master’s degree in liturgical studies from Catholic University of America and a master’s degree in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has bachelor’s degrees in international politics, Russian, and economics. She lives with her dog, Hershey, in Silver Spring, Maryland.


Session 2-11 
Living Your Faith at Home without Losing Your Mind

Too often, discussion of being a domestic church gives already time-crunched families a laundry list of more things they should be doing. This talk will discuss ways to help families find the spiritual value in their ordinary household tasks and to unite them to their “church life.” This talk is appropriate for both family ministers and a broader lay audience. (Witness)

Damaris Thillet

A native of Puerto Rico, Damaris Thillet, studied at Temple University in Philadelphia. She frequently collaborated with her late husband, Diego Correa, in music ministry. As a team, they served the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey, for many years. Serving as the northeast regional representative for the Instituto Nacional Hispano de Liturgia, Damaris is also one of the founders and current president of the East Coast Hispanic Pastoral Musicians Association. During the 2016 United States visit by Pope Francis, she was invited to lead the Spanish choir at a Mass to close the World Meeting of Families.

Damaris and Diego have released Del Pesebre a la Cruz, their OCP debut. After the passing of her husband, Damaris completed her most recent collection Todo Lo Podemos en Dios, with songs that bring consolation and hope in times of grief, loss or mourning.

Currently, Damaris is the associate director of the Office of Worship


OCP Bilingual Music Institute

 

Carolyn Trumble

works as a Mission Education Promoter for Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers, in the Bay area.  Having just moved from Oregon Carolyn brings with her a vast experience of working in education and mission.  She has been a Pastoral Associate, Coordinator of Youth Ministry and DRE  In 2011 she went to Brazil as a Maryknoll Lay Missioner for 3 ½ years.  Now she is able to merge her education experience with her mission experience and accompany teachers and catechists in promoting mission in their classrooms.


Session 5-09
Be Inspired to Live a Life of Gratitude

Are you experiencing all the joy that God hopes for you? If not, give yourself the gift of gratitude. In this workshop we will explore ways to Live, Love and Serve with Abundant Joy!  God’s mission is to share love. When love takes root, our natural desire is to share that love with others.  A spirituality grounded in gratitude not only makes us more receptive to receive God’s love, but to also share it as a missionary disciple who goes forth in joy.

Sponsor: Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers

Lesa Truxaw

is the Director for the Office of Worship for the Diocese of Orange, where she has worked since October of 2002.  Before her appointment to the Office for Worship, Lesa was on the pastoral staff at St. Vincent de Paul in Huntington Beach as Director for Liturgy and Initiation for over eight years.  She was also very involved with the design and building of the new church at St. Vincent de Paul, which was dedicated February 2, 2002. She has a Masters Degree in Pastoral Liturgy from Santa Clara University. Lesa is a native of Orange County, and is currently living in Costa Mesa with her husband, Joe, of thirty four years.


Session 3-11
 Liturgy Planning 101

This workshop is for anyone who is asked to “plan” a Mass. Consideration needs to be given to who is the assembly, are they primary age children, teens, or a mix of ages? What options or choices are there and how do you make all the “pieces” of the mass (prayers, music, environment and movement) fit together for a more prayerful, integrative and spiritually meaningful act of worship? Practical resources will be shared, seasonal tips and core principles upon which all our church’s worship is based will be examined.

Chris Wemp

Christopher Wemp is the Director of Liturgy for the Diocese of San Jose. He participates in liturgical music research and leadership in locations including El Salvador, Peru, Colombia, India, and Kenya. This past summer, he launched a local Youth Musicianship and Composing camp for the DSJ, which includes supporting youth composers in writing and publishing new music. In addition to being passionate about engaging young people in liturgical music, he is a composer, a pianist, and Director of Music for Sunday morning and feast day masses at St. Clare Parish in the Diocese of San Jose. His song “God is Always With Us” was the SCFFC 2017 Theme Song.


OCP Bilingual Music Institute

 

 

John M. Vitek, MA

currently serves as the president and chief executive officer of Saint Mary’s Press. He is the co-author of Going, Going, Gone! The Dynamics of Disaffiliation in Young Catholics (Saint Mary’s Press 2018). He has served in church leadership for 36 years, including as a parish minister and director of religious education, a diocesan director, and as diocesan chancellor.


Session 4-13
Going, Going, Gone! The Dynamics of Disaffiliation in Young Catholics

In their study, The Dynamics of Disaffiliation in Young Catholics, Saint Mary’s Press reveals extensive research on young Catholics who have left the church. This presentation will identify the underlying dynamics that lead to disaffiliation, describe the factors that reinforce those dynamics, and examine the implications for the Church and ministry with young people. We will hear about these issues from young people, in their own voices. We will examine the broader sociological shifts that enhance and diminish religious affiliation and engagement in secularized society.

Overview

● Participants will connect this research and the stories of young adults with their lived experiences
● Participants will understand the dynamics leading to disaffiliation among young Catholics
● Participants will consider the implications for the Church and its ministry

Sponsor: Saint Mary’s Press