Year of Faith will be focus
Annual Social Ministry Institute set for Sept. 17
Bishop David Zubik will celebrate the opening Mass and offer the keynote address at the 21st annual Social Ministry Institute, which will be held from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 17, at St. Thomas More Parish in Bethel Park.
The conference is being sponsored by the diocesan Department for Human Dignity and Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. The theme of the event will be "The Year of Faith: Intensifying our Witness to Charity," which is based on themes presented in the "Porte Fidei" document by Pope Benedict XVI announcing the Year of Faith.
The conference will begin with Mass at 8 a.m. celebrated by Bishop Zubik. At 9:15 a.m., he will deliver the keynote address on the theme of the event.
"The Year of Faith is an opportunity for us to intensify our witness to charity," Bishop Zubik said. "Our love of God and neighbor is one way we witness to our faith. Life requires love. Love needs no explanation. It speaks for itself. For us to be 'The Church Alive,' the time is now for each of us to consider how we can live our faith in bold and courageous ways. The more we love the more we are 'The Church Alive.'"
Father Richard Infante, pastor of Our Lady of Grace Parish in Scott Township, will be the speaker during the plenary session at 10:15 a.m., and his talk will be "Our Witness is Rooted in the Word."
Following lunch, at noon Susan Rauscher, executive director of Catholic Charities, will talk about "Witnessing Together in Faith, Hope and Love."
At 1:15 p.m., three concurrent workshops will be held. One workshop will be "Witnessing With and to Our Immigrant Sisters and Brothers," and it will include a panel presentation with Dr. Yinka Aganga-Williams, executive director of Acculturation for Justice, Access and Peace Outreach; Greta Stokes Tucker, director of the diocesan Department for Black Catholics, Ethnic and Cultural Communities; and a representative from the Tri-Diocesan Sisters Leadership Conference.
A second workshop will be "Inviting Others to Witness with Us" and be presented by Barbe Fogarty. The third workshop will be "Witnessing to Life and Marriage," presented by Dr. Theresa Farnan.
The afternoon plenary session will be "Our Witness is Nourished by the Eucharist" by Msgr. Michael Begolly, pastor of Mount St. Peter Church in New Kensington, in the Diocese of Greensburg.
Helene Paharik, director of the Department for Human Dignity, who will become diocesan associate general secretary Sept. 1, said a passage from the "Porte Fidei" document reminds us "We must rediscover a taste for feeding ourselves on the word of God, faithfully handed down by the church, and on the bread of life, offered as sustenance for his disciple."
"Father Richard Infante will help us to rediscover a taste for feeding ourselves on the word of God," Paharik said. "Our charity is rooted in God's word. Msgr. Michael Begolly will recall with us that our charity is nourished by the sacraments.
"Dr. Theresa Farnan will encourage us to increase our witness to life and marriage. Susan Rauscher will share with us how with Catholic Charities we can increase our witness to charity in hope.
"Resources to assist in our understanding and appreciating the immigrants in our community will be shared by Greta Stokes Tucker, Dr. Yinka Aganga-Williams and PATH to Justice of the Tri Diocesan Sisters Leadership Conference. PATH to Justice will present a clip of their movie 'We Are All Immigrants,'" Paharik said.
The event will conclude with closing prayer.
Resources to enhance parish social ministry will be displayed and available. Catholic Charities staff members will be on hand to answer questions about available programs. And opportunities for networking will be available throughout the day.
The cost of attending the event will be $20 per person before Sept. 1 and $25 per person after Sept. 1. Group rates of $15 per person are available for three or more people.
The conference will provide five continuing education credits for priests, deacons, catechists, teachers, parish social ministers, pastoral associates and youth ministers from the diocese.
For additional information or to register, visit the Department for Human Dignity's social ministry page on the diocesan website at www.diopitt.org, or call the department at 412-456-3157.
|2012 Social Ministry Institute Sept. 17 flyer.pdf||1.31 MB|
|2012 Social Ministry Institute REGISTRATION Sept. 17 brochure.pdf||1 MB|