Final preparations underway for Diocesan Ministry Day

Categories: Around the Diocese,DMD

“The Great Diocesan Get-Together” is almost here.

Diocesan Ministry Day Aug. 31 at the River’s Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud is an opportunity to learn, network and meet others with an interest in the church.

“Anyone can come experience this day,” said Linda Kaiser, director of the diocese’s Catholic Education Ministries office. “This day is for anyone who’s a Catholic, it doesn’t matter if you are a DRE or a catechist. A mom could come to this day, a grandma or grandpa could come to this day — anyone who wants to enhance their Catholic faith can come to this day.”

The keynoter will be Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The archbishop will speak on “Pope Francis: Prophet of Hope and Mercy,” an extension of the DMD theme “Voice of Hope.” He also will offer a learning session on next October’s Synod of Bishops on the family.

There will be 19 breakout sessions following the keynote address covering such topics as young adult ministry, catechetics, liturgical music, intentional discipleship, the new evangelization, parish record keeping, using StrengthsFinder and Pope Francis.

“We are ecstatic to have that kind of quality at an event in our own diocese,” Kaiser said.

5 thavis[1]

John Thavis

John Thavis, a journalist and author, has covered the Vatican for 30 years and served as the Rome bureau chief for Catholic News Service from 1996 to 2012. He will present two sessions. In his first session, he will talk about papal trips and share some of his experiences traveling with popes, as well as his thoughts on Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to the United States.

Jackie Johnson[1]

Jackie Johnson

“Given the notoriously extemporaneous Pope Francis and the enthusiasm of Catholics in this country, his U.S. visit promises to be a series of real encounters and not just going through the motions,” he said.
His second session will be on Pope Francis as a Vatican II pope.

“I want people to understand that Pope Francis is going beyond the old debates about Vatican II,” Thavis said. “Instead, he’s implementing the council’s basic teaching: that to evangelize today, the church has to be active in all areas of modern life and build bridges to those outside its borders.”

Jackie Johnson, mission and ministry coordinator at Sacred Heart Parish in Sauk Rapids, will offer a session on using the StrengthsFinder assessment tool.

“I will use some hands-on techniques that introduce the concept of strengths and get people thinking about how to build upon their talents,” Johnson said.

“Most importantly, I want people to learn to love their talents because they are gifts from God,” she said. “People are created uniquely for a reason and everyone has a responsibility to use their gifts wisely.”

In his session about young adult ministry, Jeffrey Kaster will talk about the large numbers of young people who are raised Catholic but are no longer affiliating with their Catholic faith. For the past 16 years, Kaster has been director of the Youth In Theology and Ministry Program for St. John’s University School of Theology/Seminary.

“From this experience with youth I’m convinced that the young church has some important lessons to teach the church about renewal and revitalization,” Kaster said.

Patrick Trueman, CEO and president of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (formerly called Morality in Media), will present an afternoon session as well as a talk for the general public titled “The Multimedia Assault on Our Nation’s Youth” from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 31 at the convention center.

DMD begins with a continental breakfast at 7:30 a.m., with the keynote address beginning at 9 a.m. The schedule includes Mass with Bishop Donald Kettler, two rounds of breakout sessions and lunch. Exhibitor booths will be open all day.

Bishop Kettler will round out the day with a state-of-the-diocese address and a short missioning service.

“Bishop Kettler will send each of us forth to be the voice of hope in the coming year,” Kaiser said. “It will call attention to the mission of the diocese, and the prayer will be about how we can do that,” she said.

To register, visit The cost is $60 before Aug. 21.


Diocesan Ministry Day sponsors, exhibitors

Catholic Charities – Diocese of St. Cloud
Catholic United Financial
Central MN TEC
College of Saint Scholastica
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Liturgical Press Minnesota Catholic Conference
North Risk Partners/Johnson McCann

In-Kind Sponsors
Catholic Relief Services
Gabriel Media – Spirit 92.9/KYES
Our Sunday Visitor

Center for Family Counseling
Central Minnesota REC
Central MN Council /Aging/Senior Linkage
Crosier Fathers & Brothers Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls
Just Faith Ministries
Loyola Press, Inc
Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Lay Carmelites
Pacem in Terris
Partnership for Youth
RCL Benziger
Resource Training and Solutions
Saint John’s Abbey – Vocation Office
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Secular Franciscans
Serra Club of St. Cloud
St. Benedict Monastery
St. Cloud Bookshop
St. Cloud Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting
St. John’s School of Theology•Seminary
St. Mary’s Press
St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity
Superkids by Zaner-Bloser
William H. Sadlier, Inc.