In an effort to inspire and challenge Catholic families across Alaska and beyond, the Fairbanks Diocese is hosting its Catholic family conference later this winter.
Open to Alaskans from across the state, the Feb. 9-11 conference is titled, “Families Fully Alive.”
The gathering will take place at Monroe Catholic High School with the aim to “engage family members of all ages to help foster Christ-centered families through a weekend-long vacation Bible school for children and nationally renowned speakers for teens and adults.”
In a statement on the conference Fairbanks Bishop Chad Zielinski noted that despite challenges to modern families they remain “the foundation for human life” and are established by God “to help us grow.”
“In an important and particular way, our membership in the Body of Christ comes to its fullness within the family,” he added. “It is particularly within and through the family that the new evangelization will take place. There is much to be done and God is with us.”
The Fairbanks gathering will include a presentation by Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, who hosted the 2015 World Meeting of Families with Pope Francis and who is a leading advocate for the family, marriage and life across the country.
Other featured speakers include: Father Leo Patalinghug — a television personality and chef who is featured on ”Grace Before Meals” and ”Savoring Our Faith”; Stephen Ray, a prominent Catholic convert and author of many Catholic books; Dr. Ray Guarendi, a clinical psychologist EWTN radio host and author of several books on strengthening families; Mary Rice Hasson, the director of Catholic Women’s Forum and member of Ethics and Public Policy Think Tank; and evangelist Meg Hunter-Kilmer.
Alaskan speakers include: Orthodox priest Father Michael Oleksa from Sitka, who will speak on cross-cultural communication; and Deacon and Mrs. George Bowder, who will conduct sessions on building strong marriages.
During the conference there will be opportunities for eucharistic adoration, the Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet and the celebration of daily Mass.
Registration is ongoing through Jan. 31. The cost for all three days is $65 for youth ages 11-17; $75 for adults; and $200 for an entire family (this includes daycare for ages 3-10).
Single day registrations are also available. Registration the day of the conference will be at a slightly higher fee.
For more information on the conference, hotel accommodations and transportation, go to dioceseoffairbanks.org.