Statewide conference to focus on Christ; local meetings in July

By Anne Marie Amacher

Two informational meetings about a regional fall event, “Christ Our Life Conference,” will be held in the Diocese of Davenport. Our Lady of Victory Parish in Davenport will host a meeting at 7 p.m. July 14. St. Mary of the Visitation Parish in Ottumwa will host the second meeting at 7 p.m. July 28. Additional meetings throughout Iowa will be held in Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Creston, Des Moines, Dubuque, Fort Dodge, Mason City and Sioux City.

The Oct. 16-17 conference will be held at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines and has been approved by Bishop Richard Pates of the Des Moines Diocese and 14 other Midwest region bishops and archbishops.

Information about the conference has been distributed to priests of the Diocese of Davenport, said Mary Wieser, diocesan liaison for the event.

“I’m hoping this conference will offer another opportunity for all to experience Christ in their lives,” said Marilyn Lane, co-chair of the conference. It was inspired by two Catholics from the Des Moines Diocese who felt moved to create a conference for those searching and those passionate about their faith, a press release stated.

“This conference is a wonderful opportunity to step away from the busy world of work and other obligations to focus on believing, living and celebrating your faith,” said Ellen Miller. “We are all strengthened by others on our journey as we come together to experience God’s infinite love for us.”

Speakers include:

• Cardinal Francis Arinze: The first African considered for the papacy in more than 1,000 years. He will speak about the power of the holy Eucharist and how to live the faith in your family.

• Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow: Founder of Scottish International Relief and Mary’s Meals. He will speak of the joy of service and how to impact the world through Christ.

• Renee Bondi: An inspirational speaker and singer. She will talk about her experience as a quadriplegic and how to hold on to hope, even in the darkest times.

• Matthew Kelly: Through humor and storytelling, he will encourage all to become the “best version of themselves.”

• Marino Restrepo: After being held for more than six months by Colombian rebels, he will share how his faith was profoundly changed.

• Father Rick Wendell: Pronounced clinically dead for nearly three hours, he will share the experiences that have led him to state that he not only believes in Christ; he knows Christ.

Additionally, Dave and Dawn Kinsman of Shepherd Ministries will provide music for the conference.

Bishop Pates will celebrate Mass on Saturday and Cardinal Arinze will celebrate Mass on Sunday.  The sacrament of reconciliation also will be offered both days.

Advance tickets for the event are $48 for adults and $30 for youth and students. After Oct. 1, ticket prices increase to $58 for adults and $35 for youth and students. Group rates and fundraising opportunities are also available and explained online at www.Christourlifeiowa.com.

For more information or to register for the conference visit www.Christourlifeiowa.com or call toll free 1-888-326-8033.

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