Ministry Formation Conference to form disciples of Word, Sacrament, and Mission

By Elizabeth Wilson, The Florida Catholic – July 14, 2017

ORLANDO | On September 16 hundreds of leaders in ministry and members of the faithful seeking to grow in their faith will gather at Bishop Moore Catholic High School for the annual Ministry Formation Conference: Disciples of Word, Sacrament and Mission. This conference is ideal for anyone serving in parish and school ministry, such as catechists, educators, youth ministers, social justice advocates, pastoral care volunteers, staff members, pastoral and finance council leaders, and all Catholic faithful as an inspiring keynote address and a variety of learning sessions will teach participants to grow as disciples and to joyfully share that mission with those they minister to.

“This year’s conference will highlight the importance of the Eucharist in our life, spirituality, and practice as Catholics,” explained Dennis Johnson, Jr, secretary for laity, family, and life for the Diocese of Orlando. “As we begin a year-long jubilee celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the diocese this Advent season, Bishop Noonan has asked that we recommit and renew ourselves as a Eucharistic people. Father Frank DeSiano’s keynote address, coupled with his subsequent workshops in English and Spanish, are aimed to help us do just that.”

Father DeSiano’s keynote will kick-off the conference with a keynote address on the relationship evangelization and catechesis. As the former consultor for the US Bishops’ Committee on Evangelization for over a dozen years and current president of Paulist Evangelization Ministry, Father DeSiano brings a wide-range of knowledge on this topic.

Following the keynote, participants will be able to attend 4 workshops offered on a variety of topics and in multiple languages including: English, Spanish and Creole. Each workshop will expand on a different aspect of discipleship or catechesis.

Exploring how to be disciples of the Word, David O’Brien, director of faith formation at St. Timothy Parish in The Villages and an adjunct theology professor St. Leo University, will present, “The Bible is God Talking to You: Why Am I So Bored?” His workshop will help attendees bring the stories and truths of the Bible into their everyday lives and give tools to effectively teach others to do the same.

Speaking on Sacraments, Sal Solo, a nationally known Catholic speaker and musician, will present on, “How to Change the World: A New Approach to Teaching the Sacraments.” His multimedia presentation is designed to help catechists and teachers guide young people in discovering God’s purpose in their lives using seven steps to changing the world relating to the seven Sacraments.

“What is our purpose in teaching the Sacraments – to throw out the Good News and hope some of it sticks? Or to plant the truth so as to change their lives, that they may go on to change the world?” asked Solo. “We can equip our young people to turn the world on its head, just as Jesus and the apostles did!”

Over 80 other workshops will cover topics such as family life, marriage, parenting, forgiveness, Catholic social teaching, evangelizing through social media, prayer, service, leadership, Church history, liturgy, and many more.

“All parish and school professional team, staff, catechists, volunteers, liturgical and pastoral care ministers, educators, associations of the faithful, and interested adults in the pew are invited to take full-advantage of this ministry formation opportunity,” said Johnson. “In addition to the learning opportunities, networking, exhibitors, food, and fun, is the satisfaction of knowing that there are practical takeaways that can impact your parish community for years to come.”

For more information, a full list of workshops and presenters, and to register, visit: www.orlandodiocese.org/MFC.