Diocesan Faith Formation Convocation to be day of faith and learning for all Catholics


PROVIDENCE — The diocesan Office of Faith Formation will hold its 50th annual Diocesan Faith Formation Convocation on Saturday, March 18, at Bryant University in Smithfield. All Catholics are invited to attend this opportunity to grow in faith and learning, which will include workshops and general sessions on various topics within Catholicism.

According to Edward Trendowski, director of the Office of Faith Formation, the event is designed to provide opportunities for a wide audience, including catechists, clergy, teachers, seminarians and parishioners.

“There will really be talks for everyone no matter where they are on their faith journey,” he said. “Some people in the past have used it as a retreat day because it is during Lent.”

The day will begin with Mass celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Robert C. Evans followed by general sessions and workshops featuring speakers from New England and beyond. Sessions will be held in both English and Spanish and the sacrament of reconciliation will be available. The day will also feature music by Revive Ministry and Ryan and Elizabeth Tremblay and close with Eucharistic adoration in the campus Interfaith Center.

This year’s program will include a special focus on evangelization, a topic that Trendowski says is close to the heart of Bishop Thomas J. Tobin as well as foundational to the mission of the Church. Msgr. Stuart Swetland, host of Relevant Radio’s “Go Ask Your Father,” will offer a general session on “Bringing our Catholic Faith into Everyday Life,” while Hector Molina, CEO of Casting Nets Ministries and a guest on Catholic Answers Live Radio, will speak on the topic “Woe to Me If I Do Not Evangelize.” A third general session, presented by Michael Gaitley, author of “33 Days to Morning Glory,” will address “Our Relationship with the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Marian Year.”

Other topics addressed during the day will include religious education, personal enrichment, serving those with disabilities and ministering to youth. Trendowski said he hopes to increase attendance this year by young adults, an important group in the Church’s evangelization mission.

“If parents have young adult children, they can invite them to come to something like this,” he said. “Really because of the talks and in the season of Lent, I think any Catholic can benefit from coming.”

Last year’s Faith Formation Convocation drew about 1,000 participants, including participants in a Men of St. Joseph conference held concurrently with the event. Though the Men of St. Joseph conference will not be held concurrently with the convocation this year, Trendowski noted that the Office of Faith Formation will sponsor separate men’s and women’s conferences to be held in April and October of this year, respectively.

For more information about the Faith Formation Convocation or to register, please visit www.discovercatholicfaith.org/convocation or contact the Office of Faith Formation at 401-278-4646. Pre-registration is required and must be completed by March 8.