Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron will be the keynote speaker at the 15th Call to Holiness (CTH) Conference on Saturday, September 13, 2014. There is also a dinner on September 12th (see details below). It will all be taking place at the Sterling Inn in Sterling Heights, Michigan, where conferences were originally held in the early years of the apostolate.
As a member of the Board of the Call to Holiness, I would first like to explain that it has been about one year since I first suggested this kind of conference theme to my fellow board members. I am most grateful that they found it worthy to pursue. In fact, the board, with the thoughts and ideas that flowed in our many meetings, surpassed the vision I had for such a conference. This dedicated group of volunteers, under President, Christopher Kolomjec, and Spiritual Director, Father Charles White IV continues to work tirelessly to make this conference possible. Father Eduard Perrone, the original and now Emeritus Spiritual Director, remains an advisor whose guidance has been very helpful.
Before I get into the details of the conference, I would like to offer this commentary which hopefully gives greater understanding of the theme.
Commentary: Evangelization starts with evangelization of the self
The theme of the 15th Call to Holiness Conference surrounds the question: Is Sainthood Possible Today? Its aim is to help us to discover the need for holiness and personal sanctity as part of our evangelization efforts. Conferences can give us information, but retreats make us dig deep within ourselves. This conference, to my mind, is more of a day of recollection - one that is intended to make us look inward at the one person we can change the most - ourselves.
We can know the Catechism of the Catholic Church well; and be proficient in things like Church history; and be capable of recalling many documents of the Church, and still not be holy. We can go to daily Mass, pray our Rosary every day, spend time before the Blessed Sacrament, and pray the Divine Office, and still not be holy. We can be active in the pro-life movement, work in various apostolates, and work in the parish office or sing in the choir, and still yet, not be holy.
Holiness is not automatic or something that comes from our own actions; it is a grace that comes from God. We must learn how to predispose ourselves for this grace. We learn from the saints that holiness is fundamental for evangelizing others. Our conduct, whether it is at home, in the work place, or at a mall, at the ball park, or online, is the witness we provide, for good or for bad.
We must mirror the love of Christ at all times - in season and out of season; in good times, and in times of great persecution. Catholics have been faced with adversity from the beginning of the Church, but what separates ordinary Catholics from the saints, is not the sword of our tongue, but heroic virtue.
While some Catholics will die for the faith in red martyrdom, the rest of us must die to ourselves in white martyrdom. It is holiness others see in us which makes Catholicism attractive to discerning souls and it is this holiness for which there is so much hatred by the Powers and Principalities behind evil in the world (Ephesians 6:12). With holiness, we become pure conduits for the actions of the Holy Spirit who is trying to reach others through us. No amount of human strength or force can equal the power of the Holy Spirit working in soul. Our Lord taught us to follow him, not because he flipped tables, but because he was meek and humble of heart (Matthew 11:29). And, as Fr. Hardon taught, meekness is not weakness.
In recent years many of us have taken an interest in our faith, getting to know the nuts and bolts of it better, and talking about them. But, without practicing some of the more difficult virtues, we risk becoming noisy gongs and clanging cymbals in our zeal to bring others to Christ. If we are to be countercultural, then we must learn how to counter the culture of vice, with the practice of virtue. While there is no charity without truth; truth must be conveyed with charity.
Conferences on Friday, September 12
The Friday evening before the main conference will feature a dinner with Dr. Ray Guarendi, who will talk on Friday Night Laughter: The Sanity of Family; and, Dale Ahlquist whose talk is entitled, G.K. Chesterton and Wholeness of Holiness.
Conferences on Saturday, September 13:
Here are the speakers for Saturday. You can find the schedule of talks and more details at the Call to Holiness homepage.
Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron, Archbishop of Detroit - The Charity of the Heart of Christ: the Living Soul of Christian Virtue
Sr. John Dominic, O.P. - Children Learn From What They See: Why Education in Virtue is Necessary
Fr. William Casey, C.P.M. - Humility, the Foundation of All Virtues
Dr. Peter Kreeft - Roller Coaster Down to Hell or Patient Climb to Heaven; Your Choice
Dr. Ray Guarendi - The Family as a Pathway to Sainthood: Standing Strong as a Parent
Call to Holiness also has a youth conference with many of the same speakers Saturday, including Archbishop Vigneron. It will MC'd by Father Anthony Kathawa, who was a hit at the last youth conference.
Sunday Mass at Assumption Grotto
As is customary following the Call to Holiness Conference, on Sunday, Father Perrone is preparing an orchestral Mass for which he will be conductor. Those commuting may want to take this into account in their travel plans.
Place and Registration
15th Call to Holiness Conference
In collaboration with Ave Maria Radio
Best Western Sterling Inn • 15 Mile & Van Dyke • Sterling Heights
Friday & Saturday, September 12 - 13, 2014
Register Online By Credit Card At: cthconference2014.eventbrite.com (early bird prices in effect through August 15th, after which, the prices will go up). Note the various options for either just the Friday night event, or just the Saturday event, and the combos. Also note, that you can offer a donation to help sponsor a seminarian, priest or religious. No amount is too small.
This event is taking place at a hotel and conference center, the Best Western Sterling Inn. We have blocked in a number of rooms for participants of the conference, so if you register for the conference, contact the hotel and let them know you are staying for the Call to Holiness conference. Also let them know if you plan on staying through Sunday, for the Mass.
Help with advertising and getting the word out
Like many non-profit apostolates made up of volunteers, Call to Holiness relies on donations and other assistance. This includes advertising. Brochures will be available for placement in parishes and I will post on that when I have information on how you can get them. We always ask that you get permission of the pastor to place any material in a parish.
If you own a publication, blog or website, or use other new media with video or audio, and would like to inform others of this opportunity in Sterling Heights, please email me and I will assist you (click on my profile in the sidebar for contact info). We have graphics which can be used conveniently on websites in development now, but don't hesitate to make a simple blogpost, for example, linking to this post, especially if you have readers within driving distance of this great conference.
We would also appreciate any donations. I will ask that a category be added for general donations to Call to Holiness eventbrite page to assist with this conference and others. Here again, a donation of just $5 when multiplied by many can add up. You can also contact me and I will put you in touch with our treasurer, James Kortes II.
Call to Holiness Online:
You can also follow Call to Holiness on Twitter for updates.
The main website, which will soon be updated with the latest graphics and info, can be found at calltoholiness.com
For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog
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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church;
it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!
- Diane M. Korzeniewski
it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!
- Diane M. Korzeniewski
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