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BOSTON CATHOLIC MEN’S & WOMEN’S CONFERENCES

ORGANIZERS RELEASE DETAILS FOR ANNUAL BOSTON CATHOLIC MEN’S & WOMEN’S CONFERENCES:
THOUSANDS OF CATHOLICS EXPECTED TO ATTEND

Fifth Annual Boston Catholic Men’s Conference To Be Held April 18th
&
Fourth Annual Women’s Conference To Be Held On April 19th

BOSTON, MA - Catholics from Greater-Boston and throughout New England will be gathering together at the 5th Annual Boston Catholic Men’s Conference taking place on Saturday, April 18 and the 4th Annual Boston Catholic Women’s Conference being held on Sunday, April 19.  Both Conferences will take place at the Conte Forum at Boston College. 

The Conferences, which are organized by lay leaders from throughout Eastern Massachusetts, are single-day events during the Easter season created to provide an opportunity for Catholic men and women to gather and celebrate their individual Catholic faith, as well as collectively work towards strengthening the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Boston and throughout New England.

With thousands already registered, organizers expect another festive day where Catholics will reinforce their love of their faith and support for parishes and the Archdiocese.   “Each year a terrific amount of effort goes into the planning and execution of our annual Conferences, and each year we find that the Holy Spirit creates an environment that exceeds our expectations.” said Bob Allard, one of the Conference founders.

Last year’s Boston Catholic Conferences attracted over 5,000 men and women, which coincided with the Pope’s visit to New York. “Catholic women of the Boston region received many blessings at the Conference,” stated Jennifer Schiller, Coordinator of the Women’s Conference. “The all-day Sunday program this year will include a tremendous group of speakers and the opportunity to share in the Faith with thousands of women who will gather to be spiritually nourished.”
                                                        
The two Conferences share similar objectives.  Each feature four keynote speakers, conduct forums regarding faith, family and work, have opportunities for Confession and hold discussions and exchanges tailored to refocus, recharge and renew participants’ “spiritual batteries.” There will also be sessions to share educational resources that contribute to the renewal of the Church and help to facilitate and strengthen participants’ Catholic faith.

To celebrate the 2,000th anniversary of Saint Paul’s birth and to encourage evangelization, a unique opportunity to receive Plenary Indulgences has been extended by Cardinal Sean for the 2009 Boston Catholic Men’s and Women’s Conferences. As part of the Pauline Year proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI, the indulgence is available to Catholics who attend the Conferences and fulfill the Church’s standard conditions for obtaining an indulgence: confession, reception of the Eucharist, prayer for the intentions of the Pope and interior detachment from sin.

Keynote speakers at the 2009 Men’s Conference will include:  

  • Jim Caviezel - Caviezel has starred in many movies, none larger than “The Passion of The Christ” in which he played the role of Jesus.  Caviezel will share how The Passion has informed and strengthened his
    faith.
  • Coach Jerry York - Coach York is college hockey’s second all-time winningest coach (first among active Division 1 coaches). He has won 3 national championships (2008, 2001, 1984).   As a player at
    Boston College, he earned first-team All-America honors, served as team captain and was awarded team MVP in 1966-67.  The Coach will speak on the theme, “Lessons from Sports for Catholic Men of
    Faith”.
  • Curtis Martin - Martin is the Founder of FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, one of the fastest growing movements in the Catholic Church. Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver
    state, “No one does a more dynamic job of reaching college students for Christ than FOCUS.” FOCUS was founded in 1998 as a national outreach to college campuses, both to secular and Catholic schools.
    In 2008-2009, FOCUS missionaries serve on 39 campuses in 21 states, including at U-Mass Amherst. Martin’s address is titled “Made for More, A Time for Action in a World of Trouble.”
  • Jim Stenson - One of the leading authors on Catholic Parenting, Catholic Leadership and Catholic Men’s Issues, Stenson’s address will aim to help each father at the Catholic Men's Conference to frame
    several key ideas about his God-given vocation:
    othink deeply about his partnership with his wife and his leadership role with their children
    oset high but realistic goals for himself and his children
    odeepen his spiritual life and see God’s will for his vocation as a father.
  • Cardinal Seán O’Malley - Cardinal Seán is the spiritual leader of more than 1.8 million Catholics in the Archdiocese of Boston. He will be the Mass Celebrant and Homilist.

The Women’s Conference will feature:

  • Johnnette S. Benkovic is Founder of Living His Life Abundantly® International, Inc., a Catholic evangelization apostolate with outreaches in television, radio, print, and internet communications. She is also Founder of Women of Grace®, a Catholic apostolate for Christian women that features a number of outreaches including conferences, curricula, study groups and more. She is a popular conference speaker, retreat conductor, and seminar presenter, and has been published in major Catholic magazines. She will be speaking on the theme: God’s Mercy is for All: a Personal Testimony on My Conversion
    Back to the Catholic Faith.
  • Kerri Caviezel - Caviezel has served many years as a teacher and basketball coach.   About 12 years ago, Kerri started counseling at the Pregnancy Counseling Center in Mission Hills, California.  With her teaching experience, speaking on issues concerning the Sanctity of Life became a natural outgrowth to spread a preventative message of help, hope, and truth. Kerri is married to actor Jim Caviezel and has two children.
  • Dr. Mary Healy is a professor of Scripture at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit and senior fellow at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. She is the author of ’Men and Women Are from Eden: A Study Guide to John Paul IIs Theology of the Body and co-editor of three books on biblical interpretation.  She will be speaking on: Becoming Women of Peace. 
  • Sister Nancy Kellar, S.C. is an international leader in the Charismatic Renewal movement of the Church.  She also founded the Saint Elizabeth Seton House of Prayer in Scarsdale, New York. She has spoken at Conferences and given retreats in more than 50 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and South America as well as the U.S.
  • Cardinal Seán O’Malley will be the Mass celebrant and homilist. 
    “I look forward to being the celebrant and homilist at the Men’s and Women’s Conference,” stated Cardinal Seán.  “My prayer is that these conferences will draw men and women closer to Christ and strengthen their respective vocations.  The New Evangelization calls for a deeper holiness of life.  The Conferences will lead the Church in Boston towards a deeper renewal in serving Christ.  Now is the time for men and women of all generations to rise up to the challenge for the mission of the Church.”

Schedules:

Boston Catholic Men’s Conference - Saturday April 18, 2009 - “In the Footsteps of Christ.”
9:00am:  BC Hockey Coach Jerry York - Lessons from Sports for Catholic Men of Faith
10:00am:  Curtis Martin - Made for More: A Time for Action in a World of Trouble
11:00am: Presentations of the Priest of the Year, Layman of the Year and Deacon of the Year Awards
1:15-2:15pm:  Talk Closed to the Media --- Jim Caviezel - The Passion: What I Learned about Our Lord that all Catholic Men Should Know
2:30pm:  Jim Stenson - Successful Fathers in the Eyes of God
3:45pm:  Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament & Facilitated Prayer/Worship
4:30pm:  Mass - Cardinal Seán O’Malley, Celebrant and Homilist

Boston Catholic Women’s Conference - Sunday April 19, 2009 - “Trust in the Lord with All Your Heart.”
9:00am:  Sister Nancy Keller, SC - Put your Life in His Hands, Surrender Leads to Hope
10-11:00am:  Talk Closed to the Media --- Kerri Caviezel - Defending the Faith in Tough Environments
1:00pm:  Doctor Mary Healy - Becoming Women of Peace
2:00pm:  Johnnette Benkovic - God’s Mercy is for All: A personal testimony of my conversion back to the Catholic Faith
3:00pm:  Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament & Facilitated Prayer/Worship
4:00pm:  Mass - Cardinal Seán O’Malley, Celebrant and Homilist

Tickets are available at the door and are $44 for adults and $20 for students.  Additional information about the Conferences can be found at www.CatholicBoston.com 

All media are required to check-in upon arriving via the Beacon Street entrance of Conte and will be issued a media pass.