The United States Catholic Mission Association (USCMA) Announces the 2011 Mission Conference "Push out into the deep... Communion and Missionary Discipleship"
Washington, DC - "Miami is waiting to welcome you to the 2011 Mission Conference 'Push out into the deep... Communion and Missionary Discipleship,'" said Archbishop Thomas Wenski of the Archdiocese of Miami. Capturing the message of the he said, "Inspired by the Gospel of St. Luke, Chapter 5, this call to communion and missionary discipleship is a call to put out into the deep and like the promise of the deep, be surprised by God's bounty."
The USCMA 2011 Mission Conference, "Push out into the deep... Communion and Missionary Discipleship" will be held on October 28-30, 2011 in Miami, Florida. "There is a lot of excitement from USCMA members to gather in Miami - a very fitting location for the theme chosen this year," said Rev . Michael Montoya, MJ, Executive Director of the USCMA. He also noted the enthusiasm of the members of the Mission Network of Miami who have been involved in planning to welcome the delegation.
Fr. Montoya announced today the three Keynote speakers of the 2011 Mission Conference. "We are honored and privileged to have with us three world renowned speakers and authors," said Fr. Montoya. "The Ambassador to the Holy See, Miguel H. Diaz, PhD, who many in the U.S. have known through his work as a theologian and his involvement in the formation of future ministers in the church. He gained the respect of his peers as he became President of the Academy of the Catholic Hispanic Theologians in the U.S. Also, this marks the first time that a sitting US Ambassador to the Holy See is invited to speak," said Fr. Montoya. Rev. Steve Bevans, SVD, PhD, Professor of Mission and Culture at Catholic Theological Union at Chicago, Illinois and Sr. Madge Karecki, SSJ-TOSF, DTh, Director of the Office for Mission Education and Animation in the Archdiocese of Chicago are the two other keynote presenters. Both Fr. Bevans and Sr. Karecki are highly respected worldwide for their contribution to mission education.
Fr. Montoya also noted that aside from the Keynotes, Mission Conference 2011 will have several workshops focusing on the creativity of mission needed to "Push out into the deep..." Other speakers to the Conference include: Rev. Allan Figueroa Deck, SJ, PhD - USCCB Director of Cultural Diversity in the Church; Sr. Fran Cunningham, SSSF- Mission Director of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee; Vic Doucette, Director of Volunteer Missionary Movement; Anthony Vinciguerra of St. Thomas University; Rev. Alphonse Quesnel, smm, Pastor in Port au Prince, Haiti; Sr. Jane Ann Slater, CDP, General Superior of the Congregation of Divine Providence; Rev. Bob Mosher, SSC, a Columban missionary; Dr. Alicia Marill, DMin of Barry University. Topics for the workshops will range from spirituality to formation, from intercultural competencies to creative responses to current realities in mission, from looking into the creative tension between maintenance and mission to looking at immigrants as missionaries. And there will also be a focus on Haiti and its implications to missionaries.
A special feature for the delegates is a celebration of the Holy Eucharist at the Notre Dame d' Haiti in Miami. Last year, as we watched in horror the devastation of the earthquake in Haiti, the Church of Notre Dame d' Haiti in Miami was filled with the tears and prayers of the Haitian community - a window to a people that have suffered so much. "We would like to join our prayers with theirs as they continue to struggle to rebuild their country and their lives," said Fr. Montoya. The Eucharistic Celebration on October 29 will be presided by Archbishop Thomas Wenski at this sacred pilgrim place for the Haitian communities in the US.
For past 30 years, USCMA's Annual Mission Conferences have been the occasion for missioners from across the country and around the world to come together for the purpose of analyzing developments in our world and reflecting on their implications for mission. The USCMA Annual Mission Conferences gather people committed to mission and helps put "mission" on the agenda of the US Church.
"The USCMA Annual Mission Conference is probably the only national Conference that brings missioners (religious men and women, lay people, diocesan directors, clergy) together in the same room to dialogue about mission, deepen their mission perspectives, and promote collaboration and networking," says Fr. Montoya.
As Archbishop Wenski said in his statement, "The South Florida, Miami community with its rich diversity, faith and hospitality, welcomes you."
For more information, go to www.uscatholicmission.org or contact the offices of the United States Catholic Mission Association at 202-832-3112.