Sunday, August 03, 2014

Highlights from the Midwest Catholic Family Conference

This past weekend, my husband and I had a great time at the Midwest Catholic Family Conference in Wichita, which we attend every year. Our dear friend, Br. Isaiah Viotte, CSJ (above), opened the conference by leading an hour of Eucharistic Adoration in the chapel from 6 - 7 p.m.

The conference got off to a swinging start with Cajun fiddle tunes, swamp pop and New Orleans inspired R&B from L'Angelus (pronounced LAWN JAY LOOSE). The four family member group is originally from Lafayette, Louisiana, but currently reside in Nashville, Tennessee.  Four musically talented younger siblings joined the group in a couple of the numbers, demonstrating their amazing skills (They are from a Catholic family of 12). This is their second appearance at the Wichita conference and the crowd went wild over their music, singing along and dancing to their tunes. They have to be my all-time favorite band! It doesn't surprise me one bit that they have an international fan base.

Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC, Director of the Association of Marian Helpers in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, gave a wonderful talk on Friday night on "The Deeds of Mercy." Fr. Gaitley is the author of  Consoling the Heart of Jesus and 33 Days to Morning Glory, which are published by Marian Press. He was articulate, spiritually inspiring, humorous, and personable.

Our favorite speaker at the conference was the dynamic Tim Staples.  If you have never heard Tim speak, I would strongly encourage you to do so, because you are in for a real treat!  His talk was entitled "What's Love Got to Do With It?"  In it, he explored what 1 John 4 means when it says, "God is love." These three words separate Christianity from all other religions in the world. He explained the theological consequences of these words and provided concrete ways we can manifest God's love in our lives.

I met up with Matthew Leonard, internationally known speaker, author, and executive director at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology.  I love this site and have referred people there, who later returned to the Church or converted to the Catholic faith.

Here is the speaker panel. From left to right they include: Matthew Leonard, Jesse Romero, Terry Barber, Br. Isaiah, Tim Staples, Michael Barber, Chad Justice, Susan Swafford (who spoke to the youth), Barbara McGuigan, Lisa Popcak, Gregory Popcak.

On late Saturday afternoon, the speaker panel, answer questions from the audience. This is my favorite part of the conference, as you get a variety of answers from the speakers. They did a fantastic job this year.

Praise God for the graces that he bestowed upon us at this year's Midwest Catholic Family Conference! I hope to see you there next year!!!

~ copyright Jean M. Heimann August 2014

Here is a slideshow of of many of the activities and events at the Midwest Catholic Family Conference held Aug. 1-3 at the Century II convention center in Wichita, Kansas.

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