I just received word from the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests that the final touches are being put on the group’s third annual conference which will be in St. Louis June 23-26. The association has prepared an impressive lineup of speakers and workshops.
The highlight of the event no doubt will be words from Archbishop Emeritus John Quinn of San Francisco, whom the association is honoring with this year’s John XXIII Award. (Quinn last year published a book, Ever Ancient, Ever New: Structures of Communion in the Church, on church reform. Quinn offered an outline of his ideas in a talk at Stanford University last year just ahead of the conclave that would elect Pope Francis. See Former San Francisco archbishop calls for papal reforms ahead of conclave.)
Formed in late 2011, the AUSCP has a membership of about 1,000 priests from more than 120 dioceses. The organization's inaugural assembly in June 2012 drew more than 240 delegates from 55 dioceses to St. Leo University, northeast of Tampa, Fla. About 150 priests attended the second conference last year at Seattle University.
For the St. Louis, the association has several well-known speakers to address the conference theme, “Reclaiming the Gospel Proclaimed by the Incarnate Dei Verbum.”
- Passionist Fr. Donald Senior, a scripture scholar and former president of Chicago’s Catholic Theological Union, will speak Tuesday (June 24) morning on the theology of the word and the church’s mission.
- Author and lecturer Capuchin Fr. Michael Crosby will speak that afternoon on reclaiming the gospel proclaimed by the Jesus of history and St. Paul.
- Sister of St. Agnes Dianne Bergant, a distinguished professor emerita in Old Testament Studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago will speak Wednesday morning (June 25) on “Sacred Scriptures: The Very Source of Evangelization.” Her focus will be Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Gadium” (The Joy of the Gospel).
- Fr. James Bacik, a retired priest and campus minister from Toledo, Ohio, who will talk about effective homilies on Wednesday afternoon.