National speakers to highlight Parish Life Conference

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LEWISTON — Parish leaders, teachers, volunteers and representatives of other ministries will gather the 2017 Parish Life Conference from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, at the Ramada Inn. 

Attendees will learn from nationally-known speakers and engage with their counterparts from around Maine. The conference will begin with a 9 a.m. Mass celebrated by Bishop Robert P. Deeley.

Presenters from around the country will offer workshops, addresses and new ideas, many with a special focus on the conference’s theme: A Family of Families.

Earlier this year, the Diocese of Portland launched the Joy of the Family initiative to help protect, promote and strengthen marriage and families (www.portlanddiocese.org/joy-of-family).

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The conference’s two keynote speakers are Leisa Anslinger, director of Catholic Life and Faith in Loveland, Ohio, who will present “One in the Lord: Building Bridges of the Heart of Discipleship,” and Rory Cooney, a speaker, singer and composer, who will present “All Are Welcome — Now Get Out.”

Workshops presenters and themes include:

• “Engaging Parents in Faith Formation: Take Advantage of Opportunities” — John Collins, national religion consultant for William H. Sadlier, will share ideas and suggestions for engaging parents in their child’s faith formation.

• “Sunday Celebration of the Liturgy of the Word with Children” — Mary Sellars Malloy, who has nearly 40 years of experience in diocesan, parish and Catholic school ministry, will show participants effective ways to present Scripture, song and prayer to children.

• “Do What Matters: Creating Faith Forming Culture for the 21st Century” — Leif Kehrwald, who has over 30 years of experience in local, regional and national family ministry, will explore five key factors that matter for effective faith formation today: relationships, generations, adults, family/home and digital enablement.

• “Welcoming the Stranger to Maine” — Hannah DeAngelis, director of refugee and immigration services for Catholic Charities Maine, will cover a range of topics, including personal stories of refugees in Maine, the refugee resettlement process and how communities can help.

• “Connecting this Generation with the Eucharist as Source & Summit” — Kevin Down, doctoral candidate in theology and education at Boston College, will discuss how evangelization works best when we pay attention to this generation’s commitment to justice, service, equality and human rights, and make an explicit link between good works and participation in the Eucharist.

• “Adolescent Thriving … Not Just Surviving” — Leif Kehrwald will present a session on exploring the power of developmental relationships in kids’ lives and how they can empower youth to thrive, not just survive the turbulent years of adolescence.

• “The RCIA with Children & Youth: Keeping the Vision” — Mary Malloy will host a workshop reminding participants of the vision that guides them as they welcome, mentor and celebrate children and youth on the journey to becoming Catholic.

• “Leading for Change” — In addition to delivering one of the keynote addresses, Leila Anslinger will host a session exploring the principles of leading and managing change in parishes.

• “Turn Around and Believe in the Gospel” — Rory Cooney, a keynote speaker, will use song and Scripture to illustrate the spirituality of liturgy.

• Silvio Cuellar, coordinator of Hispanic Ministry for the Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island, will offer multiple workshops in Spanish.

The cost is $55 between Saturday, Sept.23, and Thursday, Oct. 12; $45 per person for groups of five or more; $60 after 4 p.m. Oct. 12, including walk-ins on the day of the conference.

FMI, portlanddiocese.org/olff/parish_life_conference.

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