July 19 and 20, 2016

8:30 AM – 4:30 PM with mid-day break

Click a Pre-Conference course title to view the description for it.

Ministry with Families 101: English

Tuesday & Wednesday – July 19th and July 20th

Note: This course is a two day program, held on both Tuesday, July 19 and Wednesday, July 20.

A Formation Program for All Those Who Minister to Families. An introductory course for participants new to ministry with a family perspective or those seeking review and renewal. This course will provide a solid foundation which draws on systems theory, theology, Scripture and practical models for ministry. Participants will become more confident in their ministerial role as they are provided with opportunities to integrate and apply innovative theory and approaches to ministry.

Participant Cost: $75 Individual $100 Couple

Note: This course is a two day program

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Speaker(s): Steve Beirne and Susan Vogt

Vogt Photo

Bio:  Susan Vogt is an international speaker and award winning author of 5 books. She is committed to helping couples enrich their marriages, parents inspire their children, and everyone to deepen their faith and simplify their lives.
Susan has worked in diocesan family ministry for over 30 years. Most recently she has facilitated symposiums on environmental sustainability, social justice, and spiritual fulfillment for the Pachamama Alliance.
Occupation: Giving things away, living lightly

Bio:  Steve Beirne is the publisher of Foundations Newsletter for Married Couples and the co-author of Catholic and Newly Married. He has worked in family ministry for over 40 years as a teacher, religious education director, diocesan director of family ministry in the Missouri and Maine.

Steve has served on the NACFLM Board and as president of the association as well as an advisor to the USCCB committee on Marriage and Family. Steve and his wife Kathy have been married for 49 years have seven children and five grandchildren.

Ministry with Families 101: Spanish

Tuesday & Wednesday – July 19th and July 20th

Una Introducción a una Clase de Formación Para Quienes a Través del Ministerio se Esfuerzan por llegar a las familias. Esta experiencia de formación esta diseñada para aumentar el proceso de transformación de los participantes en como ellos ven la relación entre la familia y el ministerio, profundizar y comprender el impacto del ministerio en la Iglesia y el Hogar, proveer habilidad y perspicacia a los participantes para que vivan la visión de Ministerio de Familias más intensamente tanto en sus vidas personales como en los esfuerzos del ministerio, y incrementar y entender las dinámicas de la familia y de la parroquia como sistemas que crecen y cambian.

Participant Cost: $75 Individual $100 Couple

Nota: Este curso es un programa de dos días, celebrada el tanto Martes, 19 de julio y Miércoles, 20 de julio

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Speaker(s): Debbie Gonzales and Lydia Pesina


Bio:  Debbie Gonzales is the Family Life Director at St. Ann parish in Coppell, TX (Diocese of Dallas). She has over 15 years of experience working with couples and families through her work in counseling and Family Ministry.

Debbie Gonzales es la Directora de Vida Familiar en la Parroquia St. Ann en Coppell, TX (Diocese of Dallas). Debbie lleva mas de 15 años trabajando con familias y matrimonios por medio del pastoral y consejeria familiar.


Bio:  Lydia Pesina serves as Director of the Family Life Office for the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville, Texas. She has worked as a Lay Ecclesial Minister full time for 34 years (August 1982- present) including serving in the Diocesan Offices of Family Life and Catechesis and as a parish Director of Religious Education.  Lydia holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University of Texas Pan American in Edinburg, Texas; a Certificate in Religious Education from the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas; and a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University in New Orleans, Louisiana. She has been married for 41 years and resides in Edinburg, Texas with her husband Mauri. They have one daughter and one grandson. Lydia serves as co-chair of The Formation and Resource Commission for NACFLM  and  received the 2011 NACFLM  Award.

Ministry with Families 201: English

Tuesday & Wednesday – July 19th and July 20th

Ministry with Families 201: Building the Partnership between the Domestic & larger Church. An advanced course that takes a deeper look at marriage and family through the life cycle and forming bridges between the Institutional and Domestic Church. This course will provide a solid foundation which draws on systems theory, theology, Scripture and practical models for ministry. Participants will become more confident in their ministerial role as they are provided with opportunities to integrate and apply innovative theory and approaches to ministry.

Participant Cost: $75 Individual $100 Couple

Note: This course is a two day program

Register Now!

Speakers: George and Judy Clark


Bio:  George and Judy Clark have served in the fields of family ministry and community development for over 30 years. Since 1994, they have been the Co-Directors of Family & Adult Ministry and Counseling Services for St. Mark the Evangelist Parish in Plano, Texas. They previously served as Directors of Adult & Family Ministry for the Diocese of Dallas from 1980-1994 with Father Gale White. Judy is a former president of the National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers (NACFLM) and served on its Education and Formation Commission for eight years. She holds a Masters in Adult Christian Community Development from Regis University and a Masters in Counseling Education from University of North Texas. She is a licensed professional counselor and specializes in family systems theory and marriage and family health. George holds a BA in Psychology and a Doctorate in Dentistry. He also has served in various positions of NACFLM leadership. Both George and Judy are adjunct instructors at the University of Notre Dame and are facilitators of the NACFLM Ministry With Families leadership formation series. George and Judy have been married 52 years. They have been blessed with three children and eight grandchildren.

FOCCUS Trainer Training

Speaker(s): Marianna Flores-Chaves

Wednesday, July 20

The FOCCUSTM Pre-Marriage Inventory is used within many dioceses and organizations around the world. This interactive workshop is offered for current FOCCUS facilitators who are or soon will be eligible to train facilitators. Requirements include: a minimum of two years or facilitation of sessions with ten couples, two recommendation letters, application and application fee.

Participant Cost: $150 for the training which includes the FOCCUS Manual, REFOCCUS Manual and REFOCCUS Packet. $50 for participants who provide their own manuals.

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PREPARE/ENRICH Facilitator Certification Training

Speaker(s): Bill Boomer, Family Life Director, Cleveland Diocese & Tony Anderson, PREPARE/ENRICH

Wednesday, July 20

PREPARE/ENRICH Catholic Version is a valuable tool for marriage preparation and enrichment. Online inventory tailors to the stage, faith and relationship structure (cohabitating, remarrying, step-family) of couples. Customized facilitator & couple’s reports as well as Catholic Workbook with 25 exercises to enhance your marriage program. (Materials & 1 free scoring included)

Participant Cost: $95.00

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To Welcome and To Witness: A Vision and Strategies for Catholic Marriage Preparation

Wednesday, July 20

Dr. Healy will address foundational issues regarding marriage preparation, as well as specific concerns such as cohabitation and couples who are “spiritual but not religious.” This pre-seminar applies to all marriage preparation programs. Along with the conference materials, participants will receive over $90 of Dr. Healy’s best-selling marriage preparation materials.

Participant Cost: $89.00 per person, $119 per couple

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Speaker: Dr. Jim Healy, Director of the Center for Family Ministry, Catholic Diocese of Joliet, IL

Healy web

Bio: Dr. Healy has spoken in over 85 dioceses on marriage preparation and enrichment. Recently he was asked to travel to the countries of England and Wales as well as to Trinidad and Tobago to consult on Catholic marriage preparation programs and policies. His marriage preparation materials, including When the Cake is Gone: How to Be Married and Stay EngagedLiving Together and Christian Commitment, and Spirituality and Religion in Your Marriage, have been used broadly throughout the United States.

A counseling psychologist by training, Jim has been the Director of the Office of Family Ministry for the Diocese of Joliet in Illinois since 1989. He and his wife Madonna have four adult children.

Witness to Love Marriage Prep Renewal Training

Wednesday, July 20

This training equips attendees to transform their existing programs of marriage preparation into opportunities for dynamic marriage discipleship. Participants will become familiar with the psychology of effective mentoring, the “Marriage Catechumenate” model, and practical tools for using marriage preparation as a tool for evangelization. The cost of the training includes personalized follow-up, $60 worth of Witness to Love materials and free access to Witness to Love’s online classroom with downloadable resources.

Participant Cost: $75 per person, $95 per couple (scholarships are available, please ask)

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Speaker: MaryRose Verret, founder of Witness to Love, Marriage Preparation Renewal Ministry

Verret Photo

Bio:  MaryRose Verret, together with her husband Ryan, are the founders of Witness to Love, a not for profit marriage preparation renewal ministry which fosters dynamic marriage discipleship that leads to integration into Parish life. The Verrets are authors of Witness to Love: How to Help the Next Generation Build Marriages that Survive and Thrive. Together Ryan and MaryRose Verret speak on issues regarding marriage, mercy, faith, family and fertility. MaryRose has been quoted by or interviewed by: The National Catholic Register, EWTN, The Catholic World Report, Catholic News Agency, The Gus Lloyd Show, Aleteia, and secular media outlets. They reside in the heart of Cajun Country with their three beautiful children. Their passion is teaching couples to share their marriage witness with other.