2014 Workshops

2014 Annual Assembly Workshop Line-Up

The “Baby-Daddy” Dilemma: Why Fathers Need to be Husbands

The cultural detachment of fatherhood from marriage has disfigured the meaning and reality of family life. Too many fathers remain “absent without leave” and too many children and moms are paying the price. The great “yes” to being a dad is designed to be an echo of the great “yes” to being a husband —so how do we go about helping men reclaim the true meaning of fatherhood? This workshop will outline the crucial steps needed to re-establish the inseparable link between fatherhood and marriage.

Presenter: Jim Russell, Deacon, Family Life Coordinator, Archdiocese of St. Louis, St. Louis, MO.


Back to the Future: Putting Children and Families First

In 1991 the U.S. bishops issued a prophetic document, “Putting Children and Families First” that detailed the challenges facing families and possible remedies to assist families in overcoming these stresses. How much has changed since that document was issued? What can we learn from this pastoral document to assist families in our times? This session will take a fresh look at this important document.

Presenter: Dino Durando, Director Family Life Office, Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Kansas City, MO


The Blaine Amendment: The School Choice Barrier from the State of Maine

In 1875 James G. Blaine, a U.S. Representative from Maine, proposed a constitutional amendment prohibiting public funds from going to religious schools. The amendment failed; but similar versions were subsequently adopted into state constitutions, including Missouri’s. The Blaine amendment remains one of the biggest barriers to establishing a private school choice program in Missouri. This session will discuss the Blaine amendment, the failed Children’s Education Initiative, and the future of school choice in Missouri.

Presenter: James V. Shuls, Associate Professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, University of Missouri—St. Louis, St. Louis, MO


The Changing Demographic Portrait of the American Family

From Ward Cleaver (Leave it to Beaver) to Jay Pritchett (Modern Family), the stereotypical image of the American family has changed over time. Does data support these T.V. portrayals? This workshop will focus on data from the U.S. Census to examine the demographic transitions for the American family over the past 50 years. Data will be presented for the U.S., Missouri, St. Louis and Kansas City.

Presenter: J.S. Onésimo Sandoval, Associate Professor, Director of Sociology, St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO


Crisis Pregnancy: Supporting Women in their Choice for Life

Pregnancy should be a happy time in a woman’s life, but for women in a crisis pregnancy life can be difficult. This session will examine the many challenges faced by women in crisis pregnancies and how pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes across Missouri offer a broad range of support to these women, making it easier for them to choose life for their unborn child. Come learn what additional resources are needed and what you can do to support the choice for life.

Presenters: Maureen Zink, MSW, LCSW, Executive Director, Birthright Counseling of St. Louis and Peggy Forrest, Executive Director, Our Lady’s Inn Maternity, St. Louis, MO.


The Doctor is In: Healthcare for Missouri Families

The Affordable Care Act has changed the healthcare landscape in the country. While some states are now using available federal money to expand Medicaid in their states, Missouri is not. How has this decision impacted individuals and health care providers? What health challenges do Missouri’s poor now face? This workshop will explore these questions from the perspective of a provider who is on the frontlines of healthcare delivery.

Presenter: R. Wayne Cooper, M.D., Central Ozarks Medical Center Camdenton, Lake Regional Hospital, Medical Missions for Christ Community Health Center, Camdenton, Missouri


Health Care and Long-Term Care: Options for Seniors

Meeting the health care needs of an elderly family member can be a challenging and emotional experience. What types of services are available? Who pays for them? How do you qualify for the care? How do you access care? What can you expect from the provider of your care? This workshop will focus on the various options seniors and their families have for healthcare in the home.

Presenter: Mary Schantz, Executive Director, Missouri Alliance for Home Care, Jefferson City, MO


A Lifetime of Faith for a Happy Marriage

Using his recent Pastoral Letter on The Spiritual Life, Archbishop Carlson will discuss the blessing marriage receives when the couple develops a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. Through prayer, understanding, and generosity the couple is invited to walk with Jesus and by their witness encourage others to journey with Christ as well. Married couples, single people and religious men and women will all benefit as the journey of faith formation is never-ending. Each participant in the workshop will receive a copy of the Archbishop’s Pastoral Letter.

Presenter: Most Reverend Robert Carlson, Archbishop, Archdiocese of St. Louis, St. Louis, MO


Managing Stressors of Family Life

School events, sports teams, work schedules, medical issues……family stressors have been defined as challenging events, positive or negative, that occur in the family and the family’s ability to manage those demands. This workshop will explore the impact that these stressors can have on family life and how a family can effectively cope with these challenges. Don’t miss this informational workshop!

Presenter: Nancy Hoey, M.Ed., L.P.C., Grace Counseling, Jefferson City, MO


The Next Clash of Absolutes: Religious Liberty and LGBT sexual Liberty

Emboldened by the Supreme Court’s majority opinions in Romer, Lawrence, and Windsor, judges, government officials and LGBT activists are seeking to redefine marriage, sexuality and gender identity in law and public policy. This workshop will explore how these redefinitions intersect with the free exercise of religion under the First Amendment, Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, and related state laws and policies.

Presenter: Matthew Kacsmaryk, Deputy General Counsel and Managing Director of Direct Litigation, Research and Education, Liberty Institute, Dallas Texas.


Parenting the Child with Special Needs

Parenting can be challenging under the best circumstances, but add a child with special needs and life takes on a new meaning. Come hear parents of children with special needs talk about the struggles and rewards of raising a family with unique challenges. Don’t miss this powerful workshop!

Presenters: Todd Mayfield, Robin McClay, parents, and Mary Beth Hoey, teacher of early childhood special education, Jefferson City, MO


Pets: The Newest Member of Your Family

From cats, dogs, gerbils, to a baby calf—animals can play an important role in our family life. Pets are more than just companion animals, they help improve family life, they can strengthen family bonds and they teach responsibility. They are truly members of our family! This workshop will explore the various roles of pets in family life. Emphasis will be given on how to cope with the loss of a pet, and how this event can impact family life.

Presenter: Beth Luebbering, D.V.M, Veterinarian, Horton Animal Hospital, Columbia, MO


Prison Blues: The Impact of Incarceration on Families

More than two million children in America have a parent behind bars today. This session will discuss what research tells us about these children and their caregivers, resilience factors, positive interventions and community resources.   Personal stories of those who have lived this experience will be shared.

Presenters: Jackie Toben, SSND, former Executive Director, Let’s Start, St. Louis and participants in the Let’s Start program

Strengths, Challenges and Resiliencies in Contemporary Black Families

In 1965 the Moynihan Report focused on the crumbling urban black family. This workshop will look at the historical structure of the Black family, including the newly released, Moynihan Report Revisited. It will explore the social issues and resiliency factors related to family structure and stability, trends in health status and violent death rate within social, historical and political contexts. Various social and public policy implications for the Black family will be discussed.

Presenter: Tashel C. Bordere, PhD, CT, Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, State Extension Specialist in Youth Development, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO


Strengthening Families through Responsible Father Engagement

Fathers are essential to the family unit. This workshop will discuss one model developed to strengthen families, through the engagement of the father, and to re-connect fathers with their children. The workshop introduces effective parent skills that strengthen fathers and families.

Presenters: Halbert Sullivan, Founding President/CEO, Fathers’ Support Center and Sr. Carol Schumer, D.C. Parenting Specialist, Father’s Support Center, St. Louis, MO


Zombies, Tattoos and Surrogate Motherhood: 45 Years after Humanae Vitae

In essence, Humanae Vitae warned of the consequences that would come from the attempt to separate the soul and the body. Pope Paul VI was able to foresee some of the particular consequences of that separation. Others he could not have guessed. But we live in the midst of the consequences—foreseen and unforeseen. This workshop will examine what did Humanae Vitae warn would happen, how have predictions—and more—come to pass and most importantly, where do we go from here?

Presenter: Ed Hogan, PhD, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, Kenrick-Glennon Seminary and Director, Pontifical Paul VI Institute of Catechetical and Pastoral Studies, Archdiocese of St. Louis



Insta-World: Growing Up Digital

In a world that wants to be “liked”, we are hard-wired to share our lives at the click of a button. But do you know the difference between your virtual identity, and your actual reality? This workshop will explore the good, the bad, and the ugly of social media, and give you some tips on staying smarter than your smartphone!

Presenter: Laura Thomson, Interactive Media Specialist, Communications Office, Archdiocese of St. Louis, St. Louis




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