By Anne Marie Amacher
Columnist, author and speaker Father Ron Rolheiser, OMI, will make a return appearance in Iowa this April.
President of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas, and columnist for The Catholic Messenger, Fr. Rolheiser last spoke at a faith formation statewide conference in 2006.
This year’s statewide, day-long conference will be held April 14 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Hiawatha.
“Living the Ups and Downs of our Faith: Dark Nights and Doubt, A Failure of Faith or a Failure of Imagination?” is the event’s title. The topic may sound dark, but it’s meant to be uplifting, said Mary Wieser, the Diocese of Davenport’s faith formation director.
Through his talk, Fr. Rolheiser will help participants put into perspective what it means to have doubts and weaknesses. “It’s good to question and doubt,” Wieser said. “Doubts and frustration with our faith show genuineness of faith.” There is light at the end of the tunnel, she noted.
Faith formation staffs from the Archdiocese of Dubuque and the dioceses of Davenport and Des Moines have been working on this event for the past two years.
She said the topic isn’t too narrow, so all are welcome to attend. “We chose a nationally known speaker who challenges us in thinking. If you are not challenged, you cannot grow in your faith. We also have kept the cost down and made it a one-day event,” she said.
The event is being held just outside Cedar Rapids and is easily accessible, especially to the Davenport and Dubuque dioceses. The day begins with coffee, rolls and juice at 9 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m. A Mass in the church will be held at 5 p.m. for those who wish to stay. Cost is $25 per person and includes breakfast, lunch and materials.
Vendors with various faith formation materials will be on hand, and Fr. Rolheiser’s books will be available for purchase. Registration deadline is April 9. Walk-ins will be welcome, but lunches may not be available for on-site registrants.
For more information, registration form, map, area hotels that offer a group rate, visit the website: www.davenportdiocese.org/faithform.