“Nurturing Disciples” is the theme of the 2015 Diocese of Tyler Catechetical Conference set for August 7-8 at the Holiday Inn South Broadway in Tyler.
Open to the entire diocese, the conference features two days full of workshops for clergy, catechists, parents, youth ministers and other groups.
“The goal of the catechetical conference is twofold: to rekindle the fire within our catechists to grow in their own faith, and to equip them with the skills to be successful in handing on the faith,” said Linda Porter, director of faith formation for the diocese. “Attending the conference gives the individual opportunities for networking with other catechists from 33 counties in the diocese, exposure to exhibitors dedicated to providing resources for their ministry, and the opportunity to hear presentations that will touch both their hearts and their faith.”
Friday and Saturday both begin with Holy Mass at 7:30 a.m., followed by registration and exhibits at 8 a.m. Featured speakers Keith Strohm (Friday) and Patrick Coffin (Saturday) will present beginning at 9:15 a.m. each day. Workshops, lunch and publisher showcases will follow until 4 p.m. each day when participants will gather for Vespers.
Strohm is the Director of Evangelization and Faith Formation for Queen of the Rosary Parish in Elk Gove, Ill., and the Executive Director of Ablaze Ministries, an apostolate that provides parish and diocesan staff with assistance in the creation of formation programs, days of reflection, retreats and parish missions designed to proclaim the Gospel, build disciples and equip lay apostles for their work in the world.
Coffin is a national speaker, author, apologist and the host of Catholic Answers Live, the top-rated Catholic radio show in America, heard on over 350 stations. He has interviewed a wide array of leaders and personalities, from presidential candidates Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Patrick Buchanan to professional athletes Philip Rivers and Mike Sweeney, Raymond Cardinal Burke, multiGrammy nominee country music artist Collin Raye, comedy writer Tom Leopold (Seinfeld, Cheers), astronaut Thomas Jones, novelist Dean Koontz, papal biographer George Weigel, radio host Hugh Hewitt, and scores of others.
Coffin is also the cofounder of Immaculata Pictures, an indie film company. (http://www.immaculatapictures.com). Born in Halifax, he holds advanced degrees in philosophy and theology from McGill University in Montreal and Franciscan University of Steubenville. He has appeared on the Fox Channel, Comedy Central, One America News, The Sun News Network (Canada) and is a frequent guest on EWTN. As a journalist, his writing has appeared in National Review Online, Inside the Vatican, Spero News, The National Catholic Register, The Toronto Star, New Oxford Review, St. Austin Review and The Catholic World Report .
Other presenters and topics at the conference include:
Understanding Youth – Mark Knox, Diocese of Tyler
To Teach as Jesus Did – Ken Richard
Thresholds of Faith and Stages of Development – Jodi Phillips, SFA Campus Ministry
Attention, Please! Engaging Children and Youth in a Culture of Distractions – Dr. Joseph White
Who, me, an Evangelist? – Katerina Rae
Do the Right Thing: Forming Catholic Conscience in Children and Youth – Dr. Joseph White
Christian Initiation is Not an Assembly Line – Eric Dietel, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
To Infinity and Beyond!!! Energizing Sacramental Formation and Beyond – Mark Knox, Diocese of Tyler
Pornography: When Beauty is Broken: The Twisted Life of Porn and the Truth that Can Set You Free – Rev. Gavin Vaverek, Diocese of Tyler
Practical Strategies for Working with Children who Have Special Needs – Melissa Waldron, Diocese of Dallas
The cost of the conference is $30/day or $50/both for registrations before Aug 1. Walk-up registration is $40/day or $70/both days.
“I think what is most rewarding about the conference is to see the change in people as they walk out the door; spirits are lifted and they are so appreciative and excited to return with enthusiasm to their parishes,” said Porter.
Sponsors of the conference include Our Sunday Visitor, RCL Benziger, Liberaia Catolica JC Enterprise, Loyola Press, William Sadlier, Plaum Publishing, Herald Entertainment, Unbound and the University of Dallas School of Ministry.