HARTFORD, Conn. (June 12, 2017) – Guided by the missionary vision of the Holy Father’s Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Guadium or Joy of the Gospel, the Archdiocese of Hartford is sending delegates to participate in the Convocation of Catholic Leaders. The purpose of the national meeting is to discuss the issues facing Catholics in the 21st Century, and to ultimately equip delegates with tools and resources they can use to evangelize in their respective dioceses.
The convocation will take place in Orlando, FL from July 1-4. Archbishop Leonard P. Blair, who as the chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis played an important role in planning the historic gathering, will lead a delegation of 25 people from throughout the Archdiocese.
Members of the delegation from the Archdiocese contribute to the local church in a variety of capacities. The delegation includes catechists and educators, parish leaders, staff members and volunteers, clergy and religious, as well as archdiocesan directors of various ministries and offices. The delegation represents a diverse cross section of the Archdiocese, and delegates represent a wide-range of ages.
According to the United States of Catholic Bishops, the idea to organize a national group came about five years ago when the bishops decided to “convene, challenge, and motivate Catholic leaders to embrace the full vision of what it means to be Catholic and fully engaged in the Church’s mission of evangelization and to proclaim the Church’s vision of the human person.”
The delegation will have the opportunity to participate in daily prayer, liturgy, dialogue led by bishops and other distinguished speakers, and attend seminars on diversified topics including: “The Church in the Current Political and Cultural Climate,” “Addressing and Understanding the ‘Throw Away Culture,’” “Violence and Unrest in Our Communities,” “The Impact of Immigration on Catholic Life in the United States,” “The State of the Family and Human Sexuality: Struggles and Opportunities,” “The Landscape of Popular Culture,” “Social Media and Digital Media: Their Impact on the Church Today,” “The Landscape of Parish Life and Catholic Ministry Today,” “The State of Catholic Education and Catechesis in the United States,” and “Discerning Vocations, Charisms, and Gifts for Mission in the Church and in Society.”
Archbishop Blair says the convocation has come at a very opportune time for the Archdiocese of Hartford. On May 7th, he announced the details of an archdiocesan pastoral plan that addresses changes that have occurred within the Archdiocese in the last 50 years including: shifts in demographics, the decline in Mass attendance and sacramental activity, economic sustainability, and priest availability.
“As our parishes merge and reorganize to address these issues, it is important that they receive as much support as possible. My hope is that these delegates will bring back to the Archdiocese innovative and creative ideas to share with parishioners,” he said. “For a parish to grow and thrive, the challenge is for every parishioner to realize that being Catholic also means being evangelical, a missionary, and a witness for the faith. This is what Pope Francis is asking of all of us.”
The Archbishop asks everyone to pray for the success of the convocation and for the Archdiocesan delegation who will be participating.
For more information about the Convocation of Catholic Leaders visit: usccb.org.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Maria Zone
Director of Communications
Archdiocese of Hartford