Skip to main content

National Speakers and Mass with Bishop Deeley to Highlight Parish Life Conference in Lewiston

LEWISTON---Hundreds of parish leaders, teachers, volunteers, and representatives of other ministries will gather together to learn from nationally-known speakers and engage with their counterparts from around Maine at the 2017 Parish Life Conference scheduled for Saturday, October 14, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ramada Inn in Lewiston. The conference will begin with a Mass, celebrated by Bishop Robert P. Deeley, at 9 a.m.

A variety of presenters from around the country will offer workshops, addresses, and new ideas, many with a special focus on the conference’s theme: “A Family of Families.” Earlier this year, the Diocese of Portland launched the “Joy of the Family” initiative to help protect, promote, and strengthen marriage and families (

The conference’s two keynote speakers are Leisa Anslinger, the director of Catholic Life and Faith in Loveland, Ohio, who will present “One in the Lord: Building Bridges of the Heart of Discipleship,” and Rory Cooney, a speaker, singer, and composer who will present “All Are Welcome---Now Get Out.”

Workshops presenters and themes include:

  • “Engaging Parents in Faith Formation: Take Advantage of Opportunities”
    John Collins, a national religion consultant for William H. Sadlier, will share ideas and suggestions for engaging parents in their child’s faith formation.
  • Sunday Celebration of the Liturgy of the Word with Children”
    Mary Sellars Malloy, who has nearly 40 years of experience in diocesan, parish, and Catholic school ministry, will show participants effective ways to present Scripture, song, and prayer to children.
  • “Do What Matters: Creating Faith Forming Culture for the 21st Century”
    Leif Kehrwald, who has over 30 years of experience in local, regional, and national family ministry, will explore five key factors that truly matter for effective faith formation today: relationships, generations, adults, family/home, and digital enablement.
  • “Welcoming the Stranger to Maine”
    Hannah DeAngelis, the director of refugee and immigration services for Catholic Charities Maine, will cover a broad range of topics including personal stories of refugees in Maine, the refugee resettlement process, and how communities can help.
  • “Connecting this Generation with the Eucharist as Source & Summit”
    Kevin Down, a doctoral candidate in theology and education at Boston College, discusses how evangelization works best when we pay attention to this generation’s commitment to justice, service, equality, and human rights, and make an explicit link between good works and participation in the Eucharist.
  • “Adolescent Thriving…Not Just Surviving”
    Leif Kehrwald will also present a session on exploring the power of developmental relationships in kids’ lives and how they can empower youth to thrive, not just survive the turbulent years of adolescence.
  • “The RCIA with Children & Youth: Keeping the Vision”
    Mary Malloy will also host a workshop reminding participants of the vision that guides us as we welcome, mentor, and celebrate children and youth on the journey to becoming Catholic.
  • “Leading for Change”
    In addition to delivering one of the keynote addresses, Leila Anslinger will host a session exploring the principles of leading and managing change in parishes.
  • “Turn Around and Believe in the Gospel”
    Rory Cooney, who is also one of the keynote speakers, will use song and Scripture to illustrate the spirituality of liturgy.

In addition, Silvio Cuellar, the coordinator of Hispanic Ministry for the Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island, will offer multiple workshops in Spanish.

The cost is $50 before/on September 22 ($40 per person for groups of five or more), $55 between September 23 and October 12 ($45 per person for groups of five or more), and $60 after October 12 at 4 p.m., including walk-ins on the day of the conference. For more information, including the complete schedule or to register online, click here.