Kansas bishops: don’t take freedom for granted anymore

We are grateful that Governor Sam Brownback has acted so swiftly to address some of the threats to religious freedom that have taken on new urgency since the United States Supreme Court’s misguided decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.
When five individuals on the Supreme Court redefined the institution of marriage for the entire country, the Kansas marriage amendment approved by 70 percent of the voters in 2005 was struck down. Since, however, no court can change the true nature of marriage, many Kansans continue to recognize that marriage can only be the union of a man and a woman. Those Kansans, and the religious institutions they belong to, should not be punished by the government for believing what almost all people everywhere believed until just a relatively short time ago.
No priest or minister should be forced by the state to perform a ceremony contrary to that priest or minister’s faith tradition. Yet religious freedom means much more than this. In America, religious freedom has not just meant the right to hold a religious ceremony in a private setting, confined to the four walls of a church. In this country, religious freedom has meant the right to live one’s faith in one’s daily life, at home and at work, in private and in public.
Given the far reaching effects that redefining marriage will have on the law, and the fact that this incredibly consequential change in national social policy was effected by judicial fiat rather than the democratic process, there is tremendous uncertainty as to what the Obergefell decision will mean for everyday people just trying to live their faith as they always have.
We urge Governor Brownback and members of the Legislature to make the protection of religious freedom for all Kansans a top priority in the coming months. Generations of Americans have taken freedom of conscience for granted. We, sadly, do not have that luxury anymore.
+ The Most Rev. Joseph F. Naumann, Archbishop of Kansas City in Kansas
+ The Most Rev. John B. Brungardt, Bishop of Dodge City
+ The Most Rev. Edward J. Weisenburger, Bishop of Salina
+ The Most Rev. Carl A. Kemme, Bishop of Wichita

Religious freedom topic for Kansas bishops

Governor’s executive order designed to protect the church; but can be rescinded in the future
By Christopher M. Riggs
The threat to religious freedom became more tangible after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month that all states must recognize same-sex marriage.
Michael Schuttloffel, executive director of the Kansas Catholic Conference, said as a result of the ruling, religious freedom will be one of the topics the four bishops of Kansas will discuss in the months leading up to the next session of the Kansas legislature.
Gov. Sam Brownback, however, may have ameliorated any immediate affects in the State of Kansas through his executive order 15-05 “Preservation and Protection of Religious Freedom.” Executive orders carry the weight of law but can be rescinded by subsequent administrations.
Looking to the future, however, Schuttloffel said religious freedom will be a concern because of the big difference between the way a legislature addresses an issue and the way a court does.
“One of the many issues with the marriage decision being handled this way is that, generally, when legislatures pass same-sex marriage, they include religious freedom protections of varying strengths for institutions and individuals,” he said. “But when courts do it, that is not there. They just strike down the existing marriage laws and that’s that.”
Bishop Carl A. Kemme said in light of the recent ruling, “the church and all men and women of good will, will need to redouble our efforts to safeguard our First Amendment rights, and among them the right to freedom of religion.
“This decision has unleashed a flood of realistic anxiety and fear that religious organizations and religious avowed business owners will not be allowed to exercise their religious beliefs, promote them, or teach them as freely as was guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States of America or to do so risking fines and in the case of religious organizations even perhaps their tax-exempt status,” he said. “It will be most important, as we navigate these turbulent societal waters, that we do all we can to elect local, state, and federal representatives who will work to protect our religious freedoms.”
Schuttloffel said in a telephone interview from his Topeka office that Chief Justice Roberts’ wrote in his dissent that, “Respect for sincere religious conviction has led voters and legislators in every State that has adopted same-sex marriage democratically to include accommodations for religious practice. The majority’s decision imposing same-sex marriage cannot, of course, create any such accommodations.”
Justice Roberts says the majority opinion states that religious believers may continue to “advocate” and “teach” their views of marriage, but Roberts said the majority “ominously” did not use the wording of the First Amendment which guarantees the freedom to “exercise” religion.
In his dissent, the chief justice asked about possible conflicts with the same-sex marriage law, such as: “[F]or example, a religious college provides married student housing only to opposite-sex married couples, or a religious adoption agency declines to place children with same-sex married couples.”
Roberts added that the Solicitor General has already acknowledged that the tax exemptions of some religious institutions would be in question if they opposed same-sex marriage.
“There is little doubt that these and similar questions will soon be before this Court. Unfortunately, people of faith can take no comfort in the treatment they receive from the majority today,” Roberts wrote.
Schuttloffel said in anticipation of what the U.S. Supreme Court has just done, a religious freedom bill was introduced in the Kansas Legislature in 2014.
“We wanted the state to be prepared. And unfortunately, I think a lot of people did not take it seriously at that time. The other side was able to successfully distort what we were trying to do, to put it mildly. It was really an extremely vicious misinformation campaign and it was successful. And so we lost.”
He said the invective would likely be more vicious if a new bill is introduced at the next Kansas legislative session in January.
“The hope would be that people recognize that we do have a problem now,” Schuttloffel said. “I think at that point (in 2014) it was still understood maybe by some people that it was a theoretical concern and maybe they hadn’t faced up to the fact that this day was coming. Well, now it’s here and you have Supreme Court justices warning that religious freedom is in danger. So, hopefully we’ll have a little more awareness of the big picture.”
The bishops will meet about the topic and will be in contact with each other by email and by phone before the next legislative session.
Schuttloffel said he hopes those who support freedom of religion will be better prepared for how the secular media will try to distort any effort to protect religious freedom. “It’s going to be a very, very challenging issue.”

Want to read the executive order?
Gov. Sam Brownback has signed executive order 15-05 “Preservation and Protection of Religious Freedom” in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision regarding same-sex marriage. To read the executive order, visit tinyurl.com/brownbackorder.

What the Catechism of the Catholic Church says about marriage:
¶ 1603 – God himself is the author of marriage. The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes.
¶ 1604 – For man is created in the image and likeness of God who is himself love. … And this love which God blesses is intended to be fruitful … “And God blessed them, and God said to them: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.’”
¶ 1605 – “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.”

Rally for Religious Freedom July 24
The Diocese of Wichita sponsors a rosary for religious freedom at noon on every fourth Friday of the month at the U.S. Courthouse, 401 N. Market, in Wichita. The group meets at the southeast corner of the block.

Midwest Catholic Family Conference features activities for the entire family

The 2015 Midwest Catholic Family Conference will be held Aug. 7-9 at Century II Convention Center in Wichita.
Kevin Regan, director of the event, emphasized that the conference is for families with programs for adults and young adults, middle and high school students, and for children and children with special needs.
“It covers all aspects of the family, from a single person to a grandparent,” he said.
One of the special guests will be Matt Maher, a well-known Christian artist who has been a part of international events such as World Youth Day. Maher will perform at 6:30 p.m. Friday evening, Aug. 7. The concert is covered by registration for the conference, but individual tickets will be sold online for those who are not registered for $15 before July 31, or for $20 at the door.
“Walk-ins are welcome! It’s a great opportunity for anyone looking for something to do on Friday,” Regan said.
Maher will also sing at the 2015 World Meeting of Families in September in Washington D.C.
The Matt Maher concert is sponsored by Catholic Charities. Several other diocesan entities are sponsoring parts of the conference.
The Office of Marriage and Family Life is sponsoring Simcha Fisher, blogger and author of The Sinner’s Guide to Natural Family Planning.
Dr. Pia De Solenni, a theologian, ethicist, and cultural analyst, and Dr. Elvira Parravicini, who works with infants who have been diagnosed with life-limiting conditions, are both sponsored by the Respect Life and Social Justice Office.
The Young Adult Program is sponsored by the Office of Faith Formation and the Persons with Disabilities Program is sponsored by the Ministry with Persons with Disabilities.

MCFC weekend highlights
• Matt Maher, 6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7
• Confessions Friday 6 to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• Outdoor Eucharistic Procession 3 p.m. Saturday
• Bishop Kemme celebrant for 11 a.m. Sunday Mass

Haven’t signed up yet for the MCFC?
The advance registration special rate ends July 31. Visit www.CatholicFamilyConference.org to register for the weekend, to view a schedule, or to learn more about the other presenters or vendors for the weekend.

Cemetery news, July 17, 2015

Resurrection Cemetery expanding
By Don McClane
It’s time for Resurrection Cemetery to grow.
The Catholic cemetery in northwest Wichita was established in 1967. The mausoleum was constructed the following year, and is now completely sold out.
“We’re building a new one,” said Director of Cemeteries James Sheldon in an interview last week. “It will go north of the existing cemetery, right off of Maize Road. The new one will have about 288 burial options for people, and accommodate that many burials in caskets, and 128 cremation niches.”
The diocese has been working with the engineering and architectural firm Ruggles and Bohm on the land work design and landscaping for the cemetery, and with the Ingram Mausoleum Company on the mausoleum design.
“We’ll finish the designs this year, put it up for bid, and build as soon as this winter or next spring,” Sheldon said. “We’ll do the land work first, and then the mausoleum, and we’ll complete the mausoleum some time next year.
“The new land area, the traditional grave area, will allow upright tombstones, whereas the rest of Resurrection is just flat marker tombstones,” he said. “The families have asked for that.”
Sheldon plans to sell mausoleum spaces and grave reservations this fall, contacting one parish at a time giving the parishioners an opportunity to purchase at the pre-construction prices.
“The pricing will be similar to our existing pricing, which is very competitive within the Wichita area,” he said. “I think it’s anticipated and looked forward to by a lot of people, especially allowing upright tombstones.”
The mausoleum will be called “Holy Family Mausoleum,” Sheldon said. On the front of the structure will be depictions of Mary and Joseph, with Divine Mercy and Jesus the Good Shepherd in the interior corridor.
The project will be financed by pre-sales and by an endowment.
“We have an endowment we can use for the construction, and then pay back the endowment from the sales of the mausoleum spaces,” Sheldon explained. “So, it’s kind of like we’re borrowing from ourselves and then paying it back into our endowment.”
“People are really interested in the cemetery,” he observed. “It’s kind of strange for some people, but really it’s kind of fascinating, too. People are curious about it and what’s going on.”
McClane is production manager for the Catholic Advance.

Natural burial area gets a natural cross
The Natural Burial Area at Ascension Cemetery in Wichita has a cross befitting the area.
Jim Sheldon, director of Cemeteries for the Diocese of Wichita, said he wanted a rustic cross for the “green” section of the cemetery, located east of the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita.
“I wanted a rough, chainsaw type cross at the cemetery and Greg Eck, a longtime cemetery employee said, ‘I can make one.’ So he did.”
Eck used Osage Orange hedgerow wood from the cemetery tree line for the cross. Sheldon said unlike many woods, Osage wood is durable in contact with the ground because of its density and ability to withstand insect attacks.
“The cross will last many years,” Sheldon said.
Eck added that he is proud of the cross and happy to be able to put his mark on the cemetery.

Diocesan news, July 17, 2015

Bishop Kemme’s calendar
Here is Bishop Carl A. Kemme’s calendar.
Bishop Kemme has limited meetings and public appearances during the month of July.
July 19: New pastor installation Mass at Church of the Magdalen in Wichita
July 23: Camp Totus Tuus, Lyons
July 25: New pastor installation Mass at St. Anthony in Wichita
July 26: New pastor installation Mass at St. Michael in Girard

Candidacy for Holy Orders Aug. 2 in the Cathedral for 18 seminarians
The Reception of Candidacy for Holy Orders by diocesan seminarian candidates for theology will be celebrated with Vespers at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception at 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2.
Father Michael Simone, director of the diocesan Office of Vocations, said the ceremony will be conducted in Wichita rather than at the seminarians’ respective seminaries to highlight the diocese’s continued need for vocations to the priesthood, to educate the lay faithful, and to allow the priests of our diocese, prospective seminarians, and families of seminarians witness this step of the priesthood.
The seminarians scheduled to receive candidacy this year are Kurt Pauly, Paul Wagle, Matt Siegman, Andy Beugelsdijk, Derek Thome, Jimmy Schibi, Nic Jurgensmeyer, Matt Davied, Isaac Coulter, Brian Carrillo, Michael Brungardt, Brian Bergkamp, Jorge Lopez, Andrew Labenz, Ed Herzog, Adam Grelinger, Kyle Dugan, and J.D. Betzen.
Candidacy is one of the significant steps seminarians take before receiving Holy Orders. The rite emphasizes two main promises which the candidate makes to the bishop: “To complete preparation so that you will be prepared to assume ministry within the Church,” and “To prepare yourselves in mind and spirit to give faithful service to Christ the Lord and his body, the church.”
A steak dinner for the seminarians sponsored by the Serra Club of Wichita is planned after the event.

Salina Diocese Catholic Men’s Conference Aug. 8
The fourth annual Salina Diocesan Men’s Conference will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, at St. Mary, Queen of Angels Parish in Russell. The conference is open to all men including high school juniors and seniors.
Tom Peterson from “Catholics Come Home” will speak about “Our World Needs Catholic Heroes” and “Confession Ignites the New Evangelization.”
Peter Herbeck from Revival Ministries and EWTN’s Crossing The Goal will speak about Freedom Found In Jesus Christ” and “Men on a Mission.”
The conference costs $35 for men and $15 for students, before the July 28 deadline. Afterward the cost is $40 and $20. All food is included. in the cost. To register, visit www.salinadiocese.org.

Alleged Fr. Kapaun miracle part of TV series on Aug. 9
A miracle attributed to the intercession of Fr. Emil Kapaun will be part of an upcoming television program.
TLC is introducing a new television series, “Answered Prayers,” an hour long six-part show hosted by actress and producer Roma Downey which explores contemporary miracles.
One of the stories to be featured will be that of Chase Kear, a member of Sacred Heart Parish in Colwich. In 2008, Kear suffered a severe head injury from a pole vaulting accident and was not expected to live. However, he recovered in what his family and doctors describe as a miracle. Kear’s story is being considered as a possible miracle for Father Kapaun’s cause for sainthood.
The series uses recreations and interviews to tell the stories of those who have experienced what they believe to be miracles. Other stories be told throughout the series include a boy who was buried for hours, and a pastor who was stabbed 37 times.
Want to see Chase Kear’s story?
“Answered Prayers” will begin airing on Sunday, July 26 at 9 p.m. The episode which presents Kear’s story will air Aug. 9, episode. Watch a preview for the series at tinyurl.com/chasemiracle.

St. Joseph nurses reunion Aug. 15
The St. Joseph Nursing Alumni will have a reunion Saturday, Aug. 15, in the McNamara Education Center at Via Christi Hospital St. Joseph in Wichita.
A luncheon will begin at 11 a.m. and a reception at 1 p.m.
Additional information is available after 5 p.m. by calling (316) 648-4338.

Deadline today for St. Joe, Ost, golf classic at Cherry Oaks
The 11th annual St. Joseph, Ost, Golf Classic will be held Saturday, July 25, at Cherry Oaks Golf Course in Cheney.
The event is a four-person scramble with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. Check-in begins at 7 o’clock.
The cost is $100 per person. Half of the fee is tax-deductible and includes a green fee, cart, snacks, lunch, refreshments, prizes, and awards.
The deadline is July 17. For more information or to register contact Eva at (316) 444-2548 or 208-9144.

Youth and school news, July 17, 2015

St. Patrick School in Kingman wins $10K
St. Patrick Catholic School in Kingman won $10,000 for being a part of a TV game show July 7.
The fourth, fifth and sixth grade classes were a “satellite” school for the FOX network’s “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader” game show hosted by comedian Jeff Foxworthy.
A film crew arrived Jan. 22 to tape Principal Bob Lyall, school representative Hayley Hughes, and the rest of the students. But, the only questions they had to answer were about St. Patrick School.
The school won the money because one of the contestants in the studio made it to the $10,000 level and answered correctly.
Principal Lyall said St. Patrick’s was likely chosen to be a part of the game show because of the school’s National Blue Ribbon Award and his Terrell H. Bell Award, both from the U.S. Department of Education.

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd courses planned at three sites
New Catechesis of the Good Shepherd faith formation courses for children ages 3-12 will be offered in the Diocese of Wichita this fall.
Parts I and II of Level I will be offered at St. Mary Parish in Derby on the following dates: Sept. 12, Oct. 10, Nov. 14, Nov. 23-24, Dec. 12, Jan. 9, Feb. 13, March 12, April 9, and May 14.
For additional information on this course, contact Marcia Helten at ateach93@cox.net or (316) 722.7205.
St. James in Augusta will be hosting a Level II, Part I and II, course on Sept. 12, Oct. 3, Nov. 14, 23-24, Jan. 9 and 23, Feb. 6 and 20, March 5, April 2 and 23, and May 31.
A Level I, Part I and II course is being offered in St. Paul on Aug. 1, Sept. 9, Oct. 10, Nov. 7, Dec. 5, Jan. 16, Feb. 13, March 12, April 9 May 7, June 6 and 10.
For information on the Augusta and St. Paul courses, contact Francie Casey at francie5@mail.com.
For more information about the program, contact either Helten or Casey.

Monthly Mass with children July 23 at the Spiritual Life Center
Caregivers and their small children are invited to the monthly “KidsPrayToo!: Mass with Children” at 11:15 a.m. Thursday, July 23, at the the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita.
During the Mass, Fr. Van Haverbeke will speak especially to the littlest among us. The program gives parents and caregivers an opportunity to teach their children without worrying about disturbing other Mass goers around them.
All families are invited to pack a lunch to enjoy in the SLC’s dining room or courtyard afterwards. Participants may wish to bring a picnic blanket to enjoy lunch on the grass. No registration is necessary.

Spiritual Life Center news, July 17, 2015

Presentation and open forum on education Aug. 4 at the SLC
By Dusty Gates

August is back to school month and a good time for parents and students to set goals for the upcoming year.
With that in mind, I will present an evening conference, “Who Needs Education,” Tuesday, Aug. 4, on the proper goals of education from a Catholic perspective, focusing on the common mistakes we make as parents, teachers, and students, even with the best intentions.
The evening will also provide the forum for parents, grandparents, teachers and students (as Christians all of us fall into the last two categories, by the way) to share ideas as they seek the answer to the question, “Who Needs Education?”
The church teaches that parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children (CCC 2223). But what does it mean to educate? The modern world tends to say that education means to prepare someone for useful employment. The ancient church tends to say something very different!
Contemporary educational goals such as expertise, specialization, and productivity strike most of us as laudable goals of an educational curriculum. To some degree, they can be. But these goals can also be devastating to an education when they overreach the more important goals of whole person development, creativity, citizenship, and faithfulness.
For example, how many people who attend a “liberal arts” college or university really know what the “liberal arts” are, or truly desire an education in them? How many teachers employed by these institutions (which also include primary and secondary schools) truly have the necessary ability, interest, and commitment needed to pass the liberal arts on to students?
Most of us, even when we give lip service to the idea of a well-rounded education, are primarily concerned with one that is merely practical. And “the standards of the two kinds of education (liberal or practical),” as one author put it, “are fundamentally different and fundamentally opposed.”

Monthly Mass with children July 23 at the Spiritual Life Center
Caregivers and their small children are invited to the monthly “KidsPrayToo!: Mass with Children” at 11:15 a.m. Thursday, July 23, at the the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita.
During the Mass, Fr. Van Haverbeke will speak especially to the littlest among us. The program gives parents and caregivers an opportunity to teach their children without worrying about disturbing other Mass goers around them.
All families are invited to pack a lunch to enjoy in the SLC’s dining room or courtyard afterwards. Participants may wish to bring a picnic blanket to enjoy lunch on the grass. No registration is necessary.

Retreat about St. Dominic Aug. 7-8 at the SLC
Fr. Ken Van Haverbeke will lead a mini retreat based on Saint Dominic and his teachings Aug. 7-8 at the Spiritual Life Center.
During “A Retreat with Saint Dominic,” participants will learn about the founder of the Order of Preachers. Topics include Living in the World, But Not of the World; Preaching and Evangelization; and Contemplative Living.
The retreat concludes at 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon, but all are welcome to stay through Sunday for private prayer and reflection.
The cost for this mini retreat is $50. Register by visiting the Spiritual Life Center’s web page at www.slcwichita.org or by calling (316) 744-0167.

Fr. Van Haverbeke to lead series July 22-29 at SLC on ‘Walking Your Children Back to Church’
Fr. Ken Van Haverbeke will address the heart-troubling topic of family members and friends who have left the Catholic faith on two separate occasions in July.
Part one of the series begins on Wednesday, July 22; at noon or at 7 p.m. Part two will be presented on July 29 at the same times.
Father Van Haverbeke will use encouragement from Scripture and the saints to give practical advice to attendees.
Want to attend?
The suggested cost is $20 to attend one of the presentations at both sessions of the series. Please visit www.SLCWichita.org or call (316) 744-0167 to register. Pre-registration is requested but walk-ins are welcome.

Bishop Kemme’s statement pn the Supreme Court’s decision

The Catholic Church consistently and clearly teaches that marriage can only exist between one man and one woman.
In spite of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the state’s authority to prohibit marriage between persons of the same sex, the Catholic Church will continue to proclaim its teaching, while at the same time always respecting the dignity of persons who experience same sex attraction.
The welfare of children, who deserve both a mother and a father and the foundation of a stable society, demand and call for the dignity of marriage between one man and one woman who by God’s design and the natural order complement each other.
+ The Most Rev. Carl A. Kemme
Bishop of the Diocese of Wichita

Paperwork for Kapaun beatification bound for Rome

Bishop Kemme will present statement to the Vatican in November
The Diocese of Wichita is closer to possibly being able to refer to its native son, Father Emil Kapaun, as Blessed Father Kapaun.
Dr. Andrea Ambrosi, the postulator for the cause of canonization for Father Emil Kapaun, visited the Chancery in Wichita Friday, June 19, to review the progress the diocese has made on the alleged miracles related to Fr. Kapaun’s cause and to give an update on what else the diocese needs to do.
Fr. John Hotze, who is overseeing the work for the Diocese of Wichita, met with Ambrosi, a Roman canon lawyer and an expert in the field of canonization, as did Bishop Carl A. Kemme. Ambrosi was assisted by Nina Bartulica, who translated for Ambrosi.
After visiting with Bishop Kemme and Father Hotze, Bartulica said information about two alleged miracles is being reviewed. “We expect that these will be closed soon and ready to be sent to Rome for further examination by the Congregation of the Causes of Saints.”
She said she and Ambrosi discussed the progress of the positio with Bishop Kemme and Father Hotze.
“That is what we are doing in Rome now. Since we are completing the positio now, this is the most active time that we are working on this cause in Rome.”
Although the work on the cause continues in Wichita, Father Hotze said, Bishop Kemme is scheduled in early November to present the “positio” to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints. A positio, short for positio super virtutibus, or statement on heroic virtues, is a collection of documents used in the process by which a person is declared venerable.
Bishop Kemme will present 45 copies of the positio which will be compiled and written by Ambrosi. Those in the Vatican involved in the process will review the positio and in due time – perhaps after requesting for more information from the Diocese of Wichita – make a recommendation to the pope for beatification.
Although the diocese has been working on the cause for years, Father Hotze urges the faithful to be patient.
“I know people are antsy,” he said. “But this is typical. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints has hundreds of cases from throughout the world. It may seem to be taking a long time, but in terms of the church and the way things have to be done, it’s pretty much on schedule.”
Father Kapaun is a priest of the Diocese of Wichita who, as a chaplain in the U.S. Army, was taken prisoner during the Korean War. He died in a prisoner of war camp in North Korea in 1951.

Catholic family conference Aug. 7-9

Concert tickets for Friday evening available separately
The 2015 Midwest Catholic Family Conference will be held August 7-9 at Century II Convention Center in Wichita.
The annual conference is entering its 16th year because it has something that sets it apart from other conferences according to Kevin Regan, director of the event.
“We are a family conference. That is, we have children programs starting at three years old, middle and high school programs, young adult programs, two concurrent adult talks going on. It covers all aspects of the family, from a single person to a grandparent. Anything you gain from this conference is not only for yourself but for your friends, family, and community.”
As in previous events, the conference features talks from a variety of speakers and provides an opportunity for daily Mass, confession, rosaries, and Eucharistic adoration.
Regan wanted to highlight a special event at 6:30 p.m. Friday evening, Aug. 7, when singer Matt Maher will perform. Maher is a well-known Christian artist who has been a part of events such as World Youth Day. He will also sing at the 2015 World Meeting of Families in September in Washington D.C.
Attendance to this concert is covered by registration for the conference, but individual tickets will be sold online for those who are not registered for $15 before July 31, or for $20 at the door.
“Walk-ins are welcome! It’s a great opportunity for anyone looking for something to do on Friday,” Regan said.
The Matt Maher concert is sponsored by Catholic Charities. Several other diocesan entities are sponsoring parts of the conference.
The Office of Marriage and Family Life is sponsoring Simcha Fisher, blogger and author of The Sinner’s Guide to Natural Family Planning.
Dr. Pia De Solenni, a theologian, ethicist, and cultural analyst, and Dr. Elvira Parravicini, who works with infants who have been diagnosed with life-limiting conditions, are both sponsored by the Respect Life and Social Justice Office.
The Young Adult Program is sponsored by the Office of Faith Formation and the Persons with Disabilities Program is sponsored by the Ministry with Persons with Disabilities.

Haven’t signed up yet for the MCFC?
Visit www.CatholicFamilyConference.org to register for the weekend, to view a schedule, or to learn more about the other presenters or vendors for the weekend.

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