TACOMA – More than 600 Catholics from around the state will gather for the Cornerstone Catholic Conference October 18-19 at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center.
Organized by the Washington State Catholic Conference on behalf of the state’s bishops, Cornerstone seeks to connect, inspire and educate the faithful through workshops and keynote speeches by national Catholic leaders.
Tickets are still available for the event; online registration closes at 5 p.m. Thursday, October 17, but tickets will be available at the door.
Jim Thomas, senior policy analyst for the WSCC, told NORTHWEST CATHOLIC he hopes the conference will inspire Catholics “to see their lives, their everyday efforts, as part of the greater whole of the church’s mission in the world … to uphold and promote the life and dignity of every human being from conception to natural death.”
This year’s Cornerstone will include keynote talks from:
- Sister Norma Pimentel, whose work with migrants and refugees at the U.S.-Mexico border was highlighted earlier this year on a CBS “60 Minutes” report and earned her Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal. Sister Norma is executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley in the Diocese of Brownsville, Texas, and oversees the Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, Texas, which has served more than 150,000 people since 2014.
- Bishop Frank Caggiano of Bridgeport, Connecticut, one of a handful of U.S. bishops who participated in last year’s Synod of Bishops on young people at the Vatican and is known for his focus on youth and young adult Catholics.
- Sister Miriam James Heidland, who grew up in Woodland, north of Vancouver, and received her vocation while a college student-athlete. A nationally known author and speaker, she travels the country speaking to Catholic youth.
The conference will also include a panel of the bishops of the Archdiocese of Seattle and the Dioceses of Spokane and Yakima, including Seattle’s newly appointed Archbishop Paul D. Etienne.
Participants can also attend workshops on praying as a family, life issues, mental illness, the sin of racism, Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, and the Prepares ministry that supports parents from pregnancy through a child’s fifth birthday.
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