2013 Annual Assembly Workshop Descriptions

The 2013 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 online.

Confronting Violence:  Hot Spots Policing as Progressive Social Policy

Place-based or “hot spots” policing strategies have proven effective in reducing serious violence in urban areas.  Less appreciated is the connection between hot spots strategies and other forms of crime prevention, including those supported by faith communities. This workshop presents evidence on the effectiveness of hot spots policing in reducing crime and the compatibility of this approach with efforts to turn offenders away from crime through social services and support.
Presenter: Richard Rosenfeld, PhD,  Curators Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Missouri-St. Louis, St. Louis, MO


Disaster Planning: Good Stewardship Saves Lives

After a disaster your resilience is directly related to what you and your family did before the disaster to prepare. In addition to helping yourselves, you can help your parish and your community. Learn how you can save lives and prevent damage by planning ahead and practicing good stewardship.
Presenter: Susamma Seeley, MPA, Director of Disaster Response, Catholic Charities of Missouri, Jefferson City, MO


Faces of the Poor

Since 2000 the percentage of Missourians living in poverty has nearly doubled. Who are the poor among us? In this workshop you will get to meet some individuals facing poverty, hear their stories and learn what organizations, such as Catholic Charities, are doing to help them and how you can be a part of the effort to reduce poverty.
Presenter: Karen Wallensak, Executive Director of Catholic Charities Community Services and clients of Catholic Charities, St. Louis, MO


Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) and the New Evangelization

Every aspect of our society is in need of the saving power of Jesus Christ and His Church. How can we respond to this call? One answer is college students, who are emerging from campus as the leaders of tomorrow. This workshop will explore how FOCUS reaches college students and how you can participate in the new evangelization.
Presenter: Matthew P. McCartney, Director of Philanthropy-Central Region,  Fellowship of Catholic University Students,  Golden,  CO


Is the Missouri General Assembly Broken?

MCC Executive Director Mike Hoey will conduct an interview with former state legislator Franc Flotron about whether the Missouri General Assembly truly represents the people of Missouri. Past and present practices of the general assembly and the effect of term limits will be discussed. Workshop participants will hear stories of Flotron’s experience in seeking to advance pro-life and school choice legislation in the Missouri Senate.
Presenters: Franc Flotron, former Republican State Senator and current lobbyist, Chesterfield, MO; Mike Hoey, Executive Director, Missouri Catholic Conference, Jefferson City, MO


Latino Catholicism

Latino Catholicism represents a diversity of cultures and traditions.  It is a faith heritage that has a deep devotion to Mary, a strong family unit and a vibrant spirituality. This workshop will explore the richness of Latino Catholicism and how it is enhancing Catholic churches in our state. Participants will also learn practical ways to engage Latino Catholics in their parish community and local church. Bienvenidos!
Presenters: Fr. Daniel Robles, Pastor, St. Eustachius Catholic Church, Portageville, MO; Sharon Weidelman, Director of Family Life Ministries and Religious Education, Immaculate Conception Church, Springfield, MO ; F. Javier Orozco, OFS, PhD, Director of Hispanic Ministry, Archdiocese of St. Louis, St. Louis, MO


Meet Saint Francis of Assisi

This workshop  will discuss the life and vision of St. Francis of Assisi. It will follow his conversion from a young and ambitious son of a wealthy cloth merchant to his becoming the “little poor man” who sought to “rebuild the Church.” The session will also discuss how the vision of St. Francis has influenced the Church and still has relevance for Catholics of today.
Presenter: Fr. Thomas Nairn, OFM, PhD, Senior Director, Ethics, Catholic Health Association of the United States, St. Louis, MO


The New Catholic Land Movement: Restoring the Family through a Return to the Land

The Catholic Land Movement began almost a century ago in Britain. This movement sought to return the family to the natural environment of the farm. Although the original movement fell apart, it is now being revived by way of the New Catholic Land Movement.  Come learn about this movement and its impact on family life!
Presenter:  Kevin Ford, organic farmer, Nashville, KS


The New Evangelization and Eco-Friendly Family Planning

This workshop will explore the negative environmental impact of contraception and how natural family planning (NFP) offers a healthy and environmentally friendly way to plan a family. We will also discuss how NFP is being promoted around the world as part of the new evangelization of the Catholic Church.
Presenter:  Diane Daly, Director of Office of Natural Family Planning, Archdiocese of St. Louis, St. Louis, MO


Pope Francis and the Poor Among Us

In his brief time as Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis has shown himself to be a voice for the poor. As many welcome this “new” focus, concern for the poor is as old as the Church Herself.Pope Francis illustrates that the Church is “ever ancient, ever new.” Come learn how from ancient times to the present, the poor have always been with us and how the Church has tried to respond to Christ disguised in the poor.
Presenter: Most Reverend Edward Rice, Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of St. Louis, St. Louis, MO


Renewing Parish Life: Leadership Training and Congregation-Based Outreach

Most parishes are stretching to find enough leaders and to move them into the right roles. This workshop will describe proven tools of community outreach to build your ministries: responding to God’s call for your parish, building relationships through sacred conversations and sparking vitality for critical ministries.
Presenters: Rev. Msgr. Jack Schuler, Pastor of St. Ferdinand Catholic Church, St. Louis, MO;  Rev. David Gerth, Executive Director of Metropolitan Congregations United, St. Louis, MO; Molly Fleming-Pierre, Policy Director, Communities Creating Opportunity, Kansas City, MO


Saving Catholic Schools

Catholic schools have a long tradition of providing quality education in America. Unfortunately many K-12 Catholic schools are closing their doors. Why are they closing and what can be done about it? This workshop will examine enrollment trends, the driving forces behind school closures and discuss new innovative programs and legislative efforts designed to save Catholic schooling for this and future generations.                        Presenter: John T. James, PhD, Associate Professor, Educational Leadership and Higher Education, St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO


Serving the Poor: Soup Kitchens and Beyond

One of the most common ways of serving the poor is through a soup kitchen. Providing hot meals in a warm, welcoming setting is good for the body and the soul. But soup kitchens can be a doorway to provide additional services for the poor by connecting them with other resources in the community.  This panel will explore practical aspects of setting up soup kitchens and providing community services and how this direct interaction enriches the lives of the poor as well as the volunteers.
Presenters: Helen Manson, Coordinator of Holts Summit Soup Kitchen; Anne Erbschloe, President of Fulton Soup Kitchen; and Ruth O’Neill, Coordinator of Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen, Columbia, MO


St. Francis and the Crusades

For modern Catholics, the Crusades can be a source of bewilderment and controversy. St. Francis, a man of peace, also took part in the Fifth Crusade.  This seminar will examine why that posed no contradiction in the Middle Ages and how the lessons of the Crusades can still be of value for the Church today.
Presenter: Thomas F. Madden, PhD, Professor of History, Director of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO


St. Raymond’s Society: Stabilizing the Pro-life Tripod

St. Raymond is the patron saint of unborn babies, newborns and expectant mothers. This workshop will discuss the mission of St. Raymond’s Society in supporting mothers who choose life; giving special attention to long term support after the child is born. Come learn the origins of this local group that grew from community support into an organization fulfilling its mission to partner with mothers, provide resources and promote self-sufficiency Presenters: Mike Hentges and Steve Smith, business men, co-founders of St. Raymond’s Society, Jefferson City, MO


State of Marriage after U.S. v. Windsor: Where Do We Go from Here?

The Catholic Church has always taught that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. This seminar will explore the Church’s teachings on this important institution, and will also examine what lies ahead for us as Catholics in light of state and federal efforts to redefine marriage to include the union of same-sex couples.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Presenter:  Fr. James Knapp, SJ, STD,  Assistant Professor of Moral Theology, Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, St. Louis, MO


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