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August 16, 2009

Gearing up for third Festival of Faith All in archdiocese are invited to two-day gathering in Rosemont

By Catholic New World staff

Catholics from all corners of the Archdiocese of Chicago are invited to celebrate their faith, and their relationships with one another, at the third Catholic Festival of Faith Oct. 16- 17 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.

Father Richard Hynes, director of the Office of Evangelization, Catechesis and Worship, said said he and the committees planning the fest hope that the participants can take what they learn about unity, diversity and Catholic identity back and use it as the basis for ongoing conversations.

They have also tried to make it more school- and parishfriendly, with events and workshops scheduled for everyone from young people to married couples and families.

The breakout sessions are all aimed at showcasing successes, around topics like sharing parishes, RCIA and other programs.

Also, for the first time, festival organizers are making an effort to invite people who have become Catholic through the RCIA program in the last 10 years.

As at previous festivals, the workshops and activities on Friday’s schedule lean heavily toward ongoing education and formation for Catholic school teachers, many of whom attend as part of their annual in-service training.

The Mass that day will be at 11:15 a.m. instead of the end of the day, in hopes more teachers will be there, Hynes said, with a keynote speech by Father Louis J. Cameli set for the early afternoon.

His talk is on “Religious and Spiritual Identity: The Catholic Difference and the Difference It Makes.”

Bishop George Murry, S.J., of Youngstown, Ohio, who was once an auxiliary bishop here in Chicago, will offer the Friday morning keynote. Saturday’s English keynote will be given by ValLimar Jansen, and Spanish keynotes will be given by Father Guillermo Compuzano Velez and Bishop Gustavo Garcia- Siller and Father Claudio Diaz.

Compuzano’s talk will focus on the nature of immigration as a spiritual journey, and also look at how some immigrant families get caught up in the American emphasis on “having,” and end up with the parents holding two or three jobs to have a nice house, two or three cars, the latest electronics, but not having enough time to spend with their families.

There will be special tracks for families, youth and young adults. Mass on Saturday will be at 5 p.m., and fulfills Sunday obligations.

Following Mass, married couples will gather for a event Hynes calls “date night” with a dinner and a talk by Ambassador James Nicholson and his wife, Suzanne. James Nicholson served as U.S. ambassador to the Holy See from 2001 to 2005. There will also be an evening event for young adults.

“If we can walk away with the sense that we belong to the church of Chicago, it would be a lot of fun,” Hynes said.