Love, Sex, & Liturgy – How Real Romance Will Save Your Parish

Keynote Speaker:  Rose Sweet

Description:  If parishes want effective ways to prepare, strengthen, and heal marriages and families, they must speak a new language that reveals ancient truth. The secret? A radical revolution away from stale systems of evangelization to those that set hearts on fire with authentic love! Sweet has worked in relationship strengthening and healing for over 25 years; she’ll motivate you to change your life—and your parishes—by exploring the “Seven Stages of Divine Romance.”

Click here for Video

You’ve seen and heard Rose Sweet on Catholic radio and TV; she’s a sparkling personality and author of ten books that help singles, married, divorced, and those in between find “Put RELIGION into RELATIONSHIPS.” She spoke at the 2015 World Meeting of Families, the 2016 USCCB Convocation of Catholic Leaders, and is featured in the “Doors of Mercy” video series as well as the “Surviving Divorce” parish program. She resides in Southern CA and is currently writing a four-book series called “Adventure into the Interior Life.”

We Can Change the World: Family Life as Ministry and Mission

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Greg and Lisa Popcak

Description:  It is time for a new approach to family ministry.  As domestic churches, families are not meant to be passive consumers of spiritual services.  They are called to be crucibles of intentional discipleship and agents of graceful, social change.  In this dynamic presentation, we will explore 3 simple but powerful action-steps that anyone can use to empower families to become what they are; prophetic witnesses to the love that comes from God’s own heart and instruments of his grace in the world.

Click here for Video

Dr. Greg and Lisa Popcak are the directors of the Pastoral Solutions Institute, a telephone-based, group, pastoral counseling practice providing Catholic integrated psychotherapy services to individuals, couples and families around the world.  Together they are the authors of more than 20 books addressing faith-based solutions to both emotional problems and the challenges of marriage and family life.  They are the hosts of More2Life Radio, airing Monday through Friday at 10am Eastern (9am Central) on the EWTN radio network and SiriusXM 130.



The A.R.T. of Evangelization: Attraction, Relationships and Trust as the Keys to Renewing Marriage Formation

Keynote Speaker: Mary-Rose and Ryan Verret

Description:  The Verrets will share key insights, critical tools, and recent developments in evangelization specifically for those involved in marriage and family formation. Mary-Rose and Ryan will propose the essential role that friendships play in evangelization, the psychology of conversion, and positive trends in diocesan and parish family ministry. Simply stated, the renewal of the church requires the renewal of the family. As a Church we do not need to fabricate new structures but we need to build on existing structures and relationships.

Mary-Rose and Ryan Verret will share with you their personal experience for parish renewal and equip you with the tools to accomplish the same within your own parish or diocesan community.

Click here for Video

The Verrets founded Witness to Love in 2012 which is now used in hundreds of parishes in 70 dioceses throughout the U.S. and Canada.  In creating Witness to Love they created a program, a movement, and a paradigm shift, that speaks to the everyday struggles and joys of newlyweds, while giving them parish lifelines of connection that last beyond their wedding day.

Together the Verrets speak nationally on issues regarding marriage, evangelization, faith and family. They have been interviewed by: The National Catholic Register, EWTN, The Catholic World Report, Catholic News Agency, The Gus Lloyd Show, Aleteia, and secular media outlets. They are the authors of Witness to Love: How to Help the Next Generation Build Marriages that Survive and Thrive.


The New Evangelization in the Family in Light of Evangelii Gaudium and the V Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry

Keynote Speaker:  Lucia Baez Luzondo, JD, MAPT

Description: Lucia will address how to bring into action our baptismal call to be missionary disciples, witnesses of God’s love life in our marriages, families and the culture, through the lens of New Evangelization and the experience of Hispanic/Latino families, all illumined by the spirit of Evangelii Gaudium and the V Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry. She will also address through pertinent data the impact of the Hispanic/Latino presence in the Catholic Church in the United States and how it can shape the future of Family Life Ministry in our nation.

Click here for Video

Lucia serves as Director of the Secretariat for Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth and as Director of the Office of the V Encuentro at the Archdiocese of San Antonio. She co-hosts, Creados para amar (Created to Love) a television series aired on EWTN Español and En el día a día con Ricardo y Lucía (In the Day to Day with Ricardo and Lucia), a weekly live radio programs that airs on the EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network in Spanish. With her husband Dr. Ricardo Luzondo, she co-founded and directs Renovación Familiar (Family Renewal Ministries), serving marriages and families in the United States, Latin America and Europe. She was a presenter at the World Meeting of Families-Philadelphia 2015 and the Convocation of Catholic Leaders-Orlando 2017. Lucia is mother of one son, Sebastian.

Called to the Joy of Love: USCCB Pastoral Plan on Marriage and Family Life Ministry and Advocacy

Keynote Speakers:  Bishop George Rassas & Julia Dezelski, USCCB

Description:  TIn his 2016 Apostolic Exhortation on the Joy of Love, Pope Francis observed, “we do well to focus on the concrete realities” of family life. In response to these realities which are at the center of the Church’s ministry, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is preparing a pastoral plan for marriage and family life ministry and advocacy.

Inspired by Evangelii Gaudium and Amoris Laetitia, the pastoral plan seeks to respond to the real situations of families today in the United States. The plan will be a comprehensive guide to assist those who minister to marriages and families – dioceses, parishes, and marriage or family directors – in their own pastoral planning and outreach under the direction of the local bishop. By providing building blocks for comprehensive marriage and family life ministry based on broad consultation, best practices, needs in the field, and Church teaching, it is hoped that this effort will contribute to a renewed phase of evangelization toward and with married couples and families in our country.

As a Catholic family life minister, what are the most pressing needs to be addressed in the pastoral plan? How do you suggest these needs be met?

Click here for Video

Bishop George Rassas is the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago and Episcopal Liaison to NACFLM. He was ordained as a priest in May of 1968 and ordained as a bishop in 2006 at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. Prior to joining the Archdiocesan offices in Chicago, he was the pastor of St. Mary Parish in Lake Forest from 1990 to 2004. Raised in Winnetka, he was the Vicar General of the Chicago Archdiocese from 2004 to 2006. Bishop Rassas holds a Bachelor’s degree from St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein and a Master’s degree from Loyola University of Chicago in counseling psychology.

Julia Dezelski is Assistant Director for marriage and family at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth. In her role, she oversees, a website to help couples at all stages of life to understand and live God’s plan for happy, holy marriages. She is a regular guest on the Eternal Word Television Network’s radio show, More 2 Life, hosted by Dr. Greg and Lisa Popcak. Prior to her work in marriage and family, Julia worked for and alongside consecrated women in their ministry worldwide and in the United States.

Ground Zero: The Family as the Center of a New Evangelization

Keynote Speaker:  Dr. Tom Neal

Description:  The Second Vatican Council renewed the ancient Christian sense that the family “house church” was the most natural home base of operations for the unfolding of God’s plan to consecrate the world to His Kingdom and wed heaven and earth. We will explore this mission of consecration, how it affects the family, and the kind of sanctity it requires. It will blow your mind.

PDF Version of Presentation

Dr. Tom Neal presently serves as Academic Dean and Professor of Spiritual Theology at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, Louisiana and has a particular passion for exposing the unlimited potential of theology to offer the faithful a deeper sharing in the mind and heart of Jesus Christ.  While he loves to continue his work on general topics of spiritual theology, especially inasmuch as they relate to priestly formation, Tom has dedicated much of his energy more recently to theological reflection on the vocation and mission of the lay faithful to be “secular saints” whose essential labor is to consecrate the world itself to God by faithfully living out their personal vocations in the world.