2012 Annual Assembly Workshop Descriptions

The 2012 Annual Assembly of the Missouri Catholic Conference will feature 16 workshops. There are two sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. See the workshop descriptions below to decide which workshops you would like to attend. On the registration form, you will select your top four choices. Click here to register for the Annual Assembly. Remember, registration is free.

America’s Contribution to the Second Vatican Council: The Declaration on Religious Freedom
It has been 50 years since the opening of the Second Vatican Council that produced 16 documents on Catholic teaching. This workshop will explore the development and discussions on religious liberty that led to Dignitatis Humanae. Come learn how this document can help form our consciences regarding religious liberty issues in our own day.
Presenter: Jude Huntz, Chancellor, Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Kansas City, Mo.

Artificial Contraception: Truth and Consequences
It’s time to cut through the political spin on artificial birth control. Get honest, accurate information on how various methods actually work. This workshop will consider the implications of contraceptives’ biological effects from a Catholic perspective so individuals can make informed personal and civic choices.
Presenter: Theresa Prosser, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacy Practice, St. Louis College of Pharmacy, St. Louis, Mo.

The Church in the Headlines: Combating Anti-Catholic Bias in the Secular Media
In light of recent attention on the issue of religious liberty and the HHS health care mandate, Catholic communicators now more than ever must be diligent in speaking the truth of what the Church teaches. Learn how the Catholic press plays an important part in sharing the Gospel message and overcoming anti-Catholic bias in popular media. You’ll also walk away with ideas that you can use to help Catholic communicators combat anti-Catholic bias in your local community.
Presenter: Jennifer Brinker, Reporter, St. Louis Review, St. Louis, Mo.

Exercising Your Religious Liberty in the Pro-Life Arena: Use It or Lose It
Are you aware of the current threats to religious liberty—especially on pro-life issues? This workshop will explore the HHS mandate, conscience protection for health care providers and past, present and future legislative/court efforts. Learn how you can exercise your religious liberty—or risk losing it altogether.
Presenter: Samuel H. Lee, Director, Campaign Life Missouri, Pro-life Lobbyist, Permanent Deacon in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, St. Louis, Mo.

Facing the End of Life with Dignity
As we age, we must make more decisions regarding our health care. But who will decide for us when we can no longer decide for ourselves.  Join us for a discussion of a Catholic approach to planning for our future medical needs, including a look at the Missouri Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care.
Presenters: Marc Kramer, Estate Planning Attorney, St. Louis, Mo., and Greg Vranicar, Associate Director, Office of Stewardship and Development, Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Kansas City, Mo.

Health Care: What Now?
To the surprise of many, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Now that ACA is the law of the land, what next? What are the rights and responsibilities of states? Of individuals? What options exist for improving health care? This workshop will explore possible next steps in the health care saga.
Presenter: Brian Colby, Director of Policy and Outreach, Missouri Health Advocacy Alliance, Kansas City, Mo.

Immigration: A Gospel Perspective
This presentation explores our Catholic teachings on immigration vis-à-vis our gospel values. More specifically, the workshop will look at the language (facts), sentiments and values surrounding the issue of immigration in order to bring our faith into the mix. Together, we will share some best-practices that will help us respond to the issue of immigration from a faith-based perspective.
Presenter: F. Javier Orozco, OFS, Ph.D., Director of Hispanic Ministry, Archdiocese of St. Louis, St. Louis, Mo.

Jerusalem Farm: A Unique Service Retreat Experience
Are you looking for a different type of service retreat experience? The presenters will share their experiences starting a “farm” in Kansas City, Mo. Jerusalem Farm combines service retreat experiences, sustainable living and home repair opportunities in the urban core. This workshop will focus on ways one can radically live the gospels and Catholic social teaching.
Presenters: Jordan and Jessie Schiele, Directors, Jerusalem Farm, Kansas City, Mo.

Juvenile Injustice
As a parent, it is frightening to have a juvenile child in an adult prison. In this workshop, you will hear the compelling story of my son Jonathon and how his prison experience led to the formation of an organization to reform juvenile justice. Come learn about national trends, legislative efforts in Missouri and how you can be part of this reform movement.
Presenter: Tracy McClard, Founder and Family Organizer, FORJ-MO, Jackson, Mo.

Liberty or License? A Catholic Perspective on What Freedom Means
Americans rightly cherish their freedoms, especially the right to practice their faith and follow the dictates of their conscience. But does this mean a person can invoke a right of conscience in all circumstances? Come learn what the Catholic Church teaches on religious liberty and rights of conscience in relation to our responsibilities both to ourselves and to others.
Presenter: Eddie Greim, Attorney, Member of the MCC Public Policy Committee, Kansas City, Mo.

Missouri Tobacco Tax: Offering a Brighter Future for Missouri
Missouri has the 39th lowest life expectancy in the country, due in part to smoking. Too many Missourians smoke, yet the state does not fund programs to help them quit. Show-Me a Brighter Future has proposed a statewide petition initiative that will help address Missouri’s health, smoking and school funding problems through a 73-cent tax increase on tobacco products. This workshop will explore how the tax increase will benefit Missouri in meaningful ways.
Presenter: Misty Snodgrass, Legislative/Government Relations Director, American Cancer Society, Jefferson City, Mo.

Money in American Politics:  History, Recent Developments and Prospects for Reform
This workshop will examine the growing influence of private campaign contributions on American politics and policy making, legislative efforts to regulate that influence, recent Supreme Court decisions regarding campaign finance and prospects for future reforms.  We will explore the intersection of money and politics and discuss whether campaign contributions are just a form of political speech or a conduit for legalized bribery that corrupts the political process and democracy itself.
Presenter: John Langton, Ph.D., Chair, Department of Political Science, Westminster College, Fulton, Mo.

Partners in Care: Meeting Needs Together
Military deployments impact soldiers, airmen and their families in profound ways. This cycle of separation and reunion tests the strongest families, prompting a need to seek out support and resources in the local community, as local guardsmen are dispersed across the state.  Partners in Care utilizes faith-based organizations to provide congregational support to military families in the community. This workshop provides insights on how your congregation can be part of this unique experience.
Presenter: Col. Gary Gilmore, State Chaplain, Missouri National Guard, Jefferson City, Mo.

Religious Liberty—An American Story
Religious liberty is our most cherished freedom, one protected by the First Amendment. How did Jefferson, Adams, Madison and others view the role of religion in public life? This workshop will consider the historical backdrop to the development of the First Amendment, how its meaning has been understood over time and how this has affected the ministry of the Catholic Church in America.
Presenter: James Hitchcock, Ph.D., Department of History, St. Louis University, St. Louis, Mo.

School Choice: Where We Are and What We Can Do
Parents have a fundamental right to choose the education best suited to the needs of their children, including public, private and religious schools.  This presentation will examine the national landscape of school choice, explain the differences between vouchers and tax credits, and explore the dynamics in Missouri that are blocking vouchers and tax credits. Learn concrete actions that can be taken in your community to help make school choice a reality in Missouri.
Presenter: John T. James, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Coordinator of Catholic Education Programs, St. Louis University, St. Louis, Mo.

Vocations: No Time Like the Present
Given the culture we live in, one might think it impossible to promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Actually, the opposite is true. As the culture of death becomes so strident, the Gospel of Life becomes more and more of an attractive alternative, and the priesthood and religious life, all the more radical, authentic way of life. This workshop will explore why there is no time like the present to promote vocations.
Presenter: Most Reverend Edward Rice, Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of St. Louis, St. Louis, MO

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