With summer vacations over and the kids heading back to school, Catholics across the state are looking forward to a fall classic – the MCC Annual Assembly! This year the Annual Assembly will be held on Saturday, September 28, at the State Capitol in Jefferson City.
Over the years the MCC Annual Assembly has become known as a premier event for Catholics to attend. It is not just about becoming better informed; the assembly offers an opportunity for Catholics to meet and share the challenges they face in their own communities and parishes. The bishops of Missouri are on hand and the day closes with an inspiring Mass at historic St. Peter Church across from the Capitol.
The theme of this year’s assembly is “Francis, Rebuild My Church!” and draws inspiration from the example of our new Holy Father and the saint whose name he has adopted, St. Francis of Assisi.
The keynote speaker will be the Most Reverend Richard Pates, bishop of the Diocese of Des Moines, Iowa. Bishop Pates chairs the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace. He has dealt extensively with the question of how Catholics can act in solidarity with the poor and marginalized, including immigrants and those living in poverty in emerging nations.
To many Catholics the heart of the Annual Assembly is the quality
workshops that are offered. This year the MCC has an impressive line-up of workshops, many of them building on the theme of the assembly. One of the workshops will invite participants to “Meet St. Francis of Assisi”. Another workshop offered by St. Louis Auxiliary Bishop Edward Rice will discuss Pope Francis’ special concern for the poor. Topics of other workshops relate to marriage, confronting violence, immigration, and meeting the needs of the most vulnerable in our parishes.
Another highlight of the Assembly is the youth track that is offered. Young people (grades 6-9) will have an opportunity to attend a workshop geared toward them (this year on stream ecology). Youth love the morning scavenger hunt where they get to explore the rich history of the Capitol in hopes of winning cash prizes. In the afternoon, the youth participate in a mock legislature where they are able to debate and vote on the same bills lawmakers faced. This fun, educational experience provides a unique opportunity for youth to participate in the democratic process.
A special treat for those attending this year’s Annual Assembly will be the St. Francis drawing. The names of all those who attend the assembly will be placed in a drawing for three prizes that will be awarded at the closing session. The prizes are a lawn statue of St. Francis, a wooden Franciscan rosary, and a biography of St. Francis of Assisi.
The Annual Assembly is an event you don’t want to miss. All who attend find it a worthwhile, educational experience! Remember there is no cost to attend and a free, delicious deli lunch is provided to all who participate.