The Down and Connor diocesan Faith and Life Convention will take place in Our Lady and Saint Patrick’s College, Knock, Belfast on Saturday 30 September. This year’s convention will focus on ‘Faith in the Family’ and will welcome Cardinal Kevin Farrell, head of the new Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life as keynote speaker.
Cardinal Farrell was recently appointed by Pope Francis to lead the newly-created Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life. It was shortly after his appointment to the Dicastery that he accepted the invitation to be in Belfast for the fourth annual Faith and Life Convention.
Cardinal Farrell was born in Dublin and was ordained to the Priesthood in Rome on Christmas Eve 1978. Much of his Ministry has been in America where he led the Spanish Catholic Centre in the Archdiocese of Washington and in 2001 became the auxiliary Bishop. Pope Benedict later appointed him as Bishop of Dallas, Texas. As Bishop he held numerous roles such as consultant to the Committee on Migration, chancellor of the university of Dallas and the president of the New Evangelisation of America.
Last January Cardinal Farrell welcomed the Irish Bishops on their Ad Limina visit to the new Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life. At that visit the topics discussed were concern for the transmission of the faith, for which the family is the most privileged place; raising awareness and deepening understanding of Pope Francis’ Exhortation Amoris Laetitia; the faith of young people and the testimony of the laity in public life.
The Faith and Life Convention is a forum for people from across the diocese, and beyond, to gather together and to take part in a range of conversations about the meaning of faith and its relevance to every area of our lives.
As the Diocese of Down and Connor prepares for the World Meeting of Families 2018 next August they are hopeful that this convention will be an opportunity to pick up the themes from the Ad Limina visit and to prepare for the WMOF2018 together as they explore the theme ‘Faith in the Family’.
Discussions at the Faith and Life Convention will be picking up on all the topics reflecting on how the Church, and people of faith, position themselves in current debates and engage more readily in the public square. An essential element of the Convention will be the afternoon workshops which will explore the place of faith in many different areas of our lives. Each participant can attend two workshops which will be booked on a first come, first served basis.
Early booking is advisable. For more information on this year’s Faith and Life Convention and to access online booking see www.faithandlifeconvention.org.