Thursday Sessions

Leadership Roundtable

From Crisis to Hope: Towards a New Culture of Leadership

Emerging Best Practices for Responding to Abuse of Children and Vulnerable Adults

Emerging Best Practices in Accountability and Leadership Co-responsibility

Kathleen McChesney
Tim O’Malley
Dominic Perri
Michael Brough
Together with a panel of local diocesan leaders. 

Clergy Formation

Preaching in the New Millennium
Thursday December 5, 2019
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Fr. Thomas Scirghi, SJ

Homilies in the context of Sunday Eucharist and Sacramental celebrations are privileged opportunities to evangelize and inspire all who are present. Fr. Scirghi will explore homiletic approaches and technique to more effectively preach to congregations of the new millennium.

Wives of Deacons

Celebrating Women in the Scriptures For the Wives of Deacons
Thursday December 5, 2019
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Sr. Carol Dempsey, OP, Ph.D.

Who are some of the prominent biblical women in the Bible? Who are those who are less known? How are we to understand them? Who has shaped their stories, their voices? On the one hand, how do the descriptions, stories, and portraits of biblical women contribute to oppression, patriarchy, discrimination in our globalized world today, and on the other hand, serve as sources for liberation for women today? This workshop is an invitation to explore these and other topics as we read biblical texts “against the grain” in a time when women everywhere continue to struggle with inequality, essentialism, and discrimination. Come and enjoy new avenues of thought as we move forward together in this Twenty-first Century.


Discernment in Christian Initiation
Thursday December 5, 2019
10 AM – 4 PM

Donna Steffen, SC,
Michael Ruzicki

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults invites several moments of discernment as those contemplating a major step attempt to discover the direction to take. Beneath the liturgical celebrations of embracing Catholicism,
catechumens and candidates, adults and children, wrestle with personal questions:

Is God truly calling me?
Am I called to join this community?
What in my attitude and behaviors is holy,
and what needs to change?
How am I being invited to let go
and open myself to God’s love?

In this workshop, participants will come to a better understanding of the process of discernment, how it is experienced, and how it facilitates conversion. Together, we will consider listening skills and learn more about the right questions to be asked at the right time. During the day, the presenters will give concrete suggestions for interviews during the four stages of the catechumenate, and offer a format for a discernment day before the Rite of Election.

Social Justice

Is Social Justice an ‘Impossible Dream?’ 
Thursday December 5, 2019
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Ann-Louise Nadeau, SNDdeN

If Catholic Social Teachings are based on the Gospel mandate to love, why are so many of our sisters and brothers on the margins and on the outside, excluded and ignored by the People of God? What would our Catholic community look like if we were faithful to the principles of Catholic Social Teaching? What concrete steps can you take in your parish, diocese, to more closely become the Beloved Community envisioned by Jesus? Using contemplative listening and dialogue, we will attempt to answer together the above questions.

Young Prophetic Voices for the Church of Today…Building the Church of Tomorrow

Going, Going, Gone: The Dynamics of Disaffiliation in Young Catholics … Now what?
Thursday December 5, 2019
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Bob McCarty, D. Min
John M. Vitek

Now that we know the dynamics of disaffiliation among young Catholics, we need to identify the practical pastoral responses and strategies that can enhance affiliation and engagement with the faith community.

Sponsored St. Mary’s Press

The Young Church Has Spoken, Let Us Listen
Thursday December 5, 2019
1:15 PM – 2:30 PM

Brenda Noriega

In recent years, young people have participated in two major processes that have and will continue to shape the topic of youth and young adults: The V Encuentro and Christus Vivit. Let us heed their voices and find
new ways of accompanying them.

Sponsored Diocese of San Jose I Youth & Young Adults

Is Your Parish Growing Young?
Thursday December 5, 2019
2:45 PM – 4:45 PM

Leisa Anslinger

Ready to grow young as a parish? A research team at Fuller Youth Institute led a qualitative study of “growing young” faith communities. They identified six core commit­ment parishes can adopt to better involve and retain young people.

Sponsor Diocese of San Jose I Youth & Young Adults