Convocation a dynamic day of education, fellowship, faith


SMITHFIELD — The 52nd annual Diocese of Providence Faith Formation Convocation, held Saturday, March 16, at Bryant University, welcomed nearly 800 people from Rhode Island and surrounding areas — ready to be inspired, renewed and live out the convocation theme of “Enlisting Witnesses for Jesus Christ.”
The day began with Mass, celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Robert C. Evans, followed by 40 optional workshop sessions (29 separate topics) on evangelization, apologetics, catechesis, moral issues and engaging youth in the Catholic faith, led by 26 national and local speakers. The event also featured a wide variety of exhibitors and vendors and the opportunity for confession.
In his homily, Bishop Evans thanked religious educators for their great work, adding that faith formation can be a daunting task.
“Often the only Gospel your students hear is in a religious education class or in a school religion class. Parents are the first and most important religious educators of their children, but when this obligation is not observed, it often falls to you to try to build a religious and moral foundation on rock and not sand. Do not concern yourselves with how successful you are. Holiness exists not in achieving perfection, but in simply trying. Recall our Lord’s promise, ‘Whoever teaches others to obey the commandments, will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’”
There was a great number of Hispanic faithful in attendance, learning from a variety of Spanish-speaking presenters discussing topics of evangelization, catequesis, family, youth ministry, respect life, vocations and liturgy.
Several national speakers gave talks this year, including Tim Staples from Catholic Answers who shared his journey from being a Protestant to entering the Catholic Church. Tom East from the Center for Ministry Development offered three talks focusing on how Catholics can invite young people to be involved in the life of the Church.

To learn more about upcoming events from the Office of Faith Formation, visit
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