Archdiocese hosts ‘Together in Holiness’ marriage and family conference Sept. 24
September 20th, 2016
By Valerie Schmalz
The Archdiocese of San Francisco is hosting a daylong “dynamic” marriage and family conference to help Bay Area Catholic couples “grow together in holiness and learn to form their children in the Catholic faith.”
Engaged couples and individuals are also welcome at the Sept. 24 “Together in Holiness” conference at Immaculate Heart of Mary parish in Belmont, said Ed Hopfner, director of the archdiocesan Office of Marriage and Family Life. Free child care begins at 8 a.m., but registration is required in advance by organizers. The conference is 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
“We want to give busy Catholic families practical tools they can take away from the conference, to help them become a ‘domestic church’ as Pope Francis and Pope St. John Paul have called us to,” Hopfner said.
St. Dominic parishioner Kathy Folan, who with her husband is among the organizers, agreed, saying, “We want to help give spouses and parents and future parents the tools to raise their families centered on Jesus Christ, which starts with each person’s relationship with God, and their relationship with him as a married couple.”
“Together in Holiness” is a marriage conference series for dioceses, an initiative of the Texas-headquartered St. John Paul II Foundation for Life and Family, a lay apostolate founded in 2013.
The foundation takes to heart what St. John Paul II said, “As the family goes, so goes the nation and the whole world,” noted Christopher J. Stravitsch, a founding vice president of the organization, in a YouTube video.
Witchita, Kansas hosted a “Together in Holiness” conference Sept. 10, and the dioceses of San Antonio, Houston and Orlando, Florida, have scheduled “Together in Holiness” conferences in the coming months. Each conference brings to life a theme from St. John Paul II’s teachings on marriage and family life.
The first talk will be given by former America’s Top Model participant, Leah Darrow, titled “Prodigal Daughter. How a Dad Got His Little Girl Back.” Then men and women will separate and Darrow will talk to the women about reclaiming their beauty, while Arland Nichols, president of the St. John Paul II Foundation will talk to the men about being the spiritual leaders of their households, Folan said.
Mass will be celebrated by Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone.
“We hope we have created a holy, inviting atmosphere rich with content to take home and create holy families. We are all called to be saints, and we work together to bring this to fruition,” Folan said.
For more information, togetherinholiness.org
From September 22, 2016 issue of Catholic San Francisco.