President of U.S. bishops’ conference to keynote Diocesan Ministry Day

Categories: Around the Diocese,DMD

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, will be the keynote speaker for Diocesan Ministry Day Aug. 31 at River’s Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud.

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.

This year’s event will feature several other speakers of national and international distinction as well as some changes from past years.

“The day will have something for everyone,” said Linda Kaiser, director/superintendent of the diocese’s Catholic Education Ministries office and a DMD co-chair with Deacon Mark Barder. Kaiser is pleased with the slate of prominent people participating as well as the variety of offerings.

The day will include Mass with Bishop Donald Kettler.


Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Learning sessions

Other speakers slated for DMD include Caroline Brennan, Father Larry Snyder, Willow Sweeney Flaherty, John Thavis and Patrick Trueman.

Brennan is senior communications officer for Catholic Relief Services. Father Snyder is the former executive director of Catholic Charities USA and Willow Sweeney is a motivational speaker.

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. Trueman, an attorney, formerly served as chief of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Each presenter will focus on how hope is an important part of their experience. For example, Brennan, who recently traveled to the Middle East, will speak on “Hope in the Face of Violence.” Father Snyder will present on poverty and how it affects parishes and schools. Sweeney Flaherty will discuss “Living Above the Line: How Our Thinking Governs Our Experience.”

Deacon Barder described a new format for the breakout sessions. “We used input from our speakers to change the format of the sessions,” he said. “The new format has only two sessions, which are longer. The additional time in larger groups allows for deeper discussion of the topics. We think the longer sessions with nationally known speakers will be of greatest interest to a broad group of people in regard to their faith.”

Thirteen hour-long workshops are being planned to follow the keynote; in the afternoon, six longer capstone or core sessions will allow more in-depth discussion.

Sessions will consider ministries for young adults, practical catechetics, liturgical music, intentional discipleship, the new evangelization, parish record keeping, using StrengthsFinder, pornography and local panels on racism and diversity and communication and technology.

A “State of the Diocese” address by Bishop Kettler and a commissioning service will end the day.

To provide updates on DMD, a monthly multimedia e-newsletter is being created to highlight speakers, workshops and news updates. In future editions, The Visitor will highlight speakers and presentations and include information on early DMD registration and how to subscribe to the e-newsletter.

Cost for DMD is $60; registration will open by the end of March.