Convocation of Catholic Leaders: FAQs
What is the inspiration for theconvocation?
Over 5 years ago, the full body of bishops in the United States called for a "National Convocation" that would "convene, challenge, and motivate Catholic leaders to embrace the full vision of what it means to be Catholic and fully engaged in the Church's mission of evangelization and to proclaim the Church's vision of the human person."
Who Will Be Attending?
This is an invitation-only event.
Unique to this convocation will be the large number of bishop leaders and the hand-picked nature of the diocesan delegation chosen by each bishop. (See below for more information on the diocesan delegations.)
Others will be attending as key organizational leaders of Catholic organizations, apostolates, missions, congregations, institutions, and agencies as identified by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.
"Leaders" are both official leaders within the Church – people occupying diocesan or parish offices, educators and directors – but also those who exercise leadership in apostolic efforts outside of the diocesan structure (both local and national), for example: Catholic leaders from various segments of the laity – such as those in higher education, business and cultural leaders, as well as Catholic young adults and emerging leaders.
So it's just a professional development conference?
Definitely not. With a central focus on mission and evangelization, the Convocation will not be a trade show for professional development of Church staff. It will provide an opportunity for a new encounter with Christ and with the Church through prayer and through the liturgy. Catholic leaders will discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the Church in the U.S. in this historical moment and will make the connections to expand their efforts in forming Missionary Disciples.
While conversations like this are already happen on a local level, a national conversation led by the bishops will deepen and widen the conversation for the whole Church, at the service of these local efforts.
How can I attend?
There are two ways to attend:
- The first is to be part of a diocesan delegation, whose
members are chosen by the local bishop. Each delegation will be spending
critical time together with their bishop, while also building
relationships with other delegations participating in the Convocation.
(Bishops, for suggestions to help you form your diocesan delegation, see Forming Diocesan Delegations.)
- In addition to the diocesan delegations, the Convocation plans call for the participation of key representatives of Catholic organizations, especially those who see evangelization as integral to their missions. Those Catholic leaders will receive their invitations directly from the USCCB.
What are the costs for diocesan delegations?
- Each diocese will be responsible for covering the travel, registration, and lodging costs for the members of their delegation.
- The average per-person registration fee (covering the majority of meals) will be $450. Early bird and late registration fees will apply, and registration will open in the fall of 2016.
- A very affordable room rate of $119 per night has been negotiated with the five hotels hosting the Convocation.
I am ordained (as a priest or deacon) in the Church--how do I participate in liturgical and sacramental celebrations?
Priests are invited to concelebrate the Masses of the Convocation, and Deacons who wish to vest and sit in a special section for the Masses are also welcome to do so. Please bring your own alb and stole to vest, as the organizers cannot accommodate requests due to volume. If you wish to participate in this way or any other sacramental opportunities that may arise, you and your local ordinary will need to complete the Certificate of Aptitude for Priestly Ministry (for Priests) and the Certificate of Aptitude for Diaconal Ministry (for Deacons). Once the form is completed, (all signatures and the seal) return the form to Ms. Christine Shields at the Diocese of Orlando. Unfortunately, the organizers of the Convocation will not be able to provide special accommodations for private Masses.
Ms. Christine Shields
Administrative Assistant for Chancellor of Canonical Affairs
Secretary for Leadership & Parish Life
Diocese of Orlando
50 East Robinson Street
Orlando, Florida 32801
If you have any further questions, you may contact her either via phone or email.
What kind of activities will take place during the convocation?
Bishops will lead presentations, workshops, and discussions in their areas of expertise to form missionary disciples for 21st-century. Bishops and priests will celebrate Mass and lead other liturgies, bringing together Catholic leaders in worship and allowing for a prayerful encounter with Christ. The entire convocation will participate in a Eucharistic Procession, expressing our joint following of Christ. Our networking opportunities will allow delegates from across the country who are engaged in similar work to network with each other, but also for delegates engaged in diverse ministries to share best practices and brainstorm regarding future collaboration. Diocesan delegations will have time to pray and strategize with their own bishops on forming missionary disciples back home.
Is there any way to participate if someone is not invited to come to Orlando?
We hope to make important addresses and liturgies viewable online. When diocesan delegations return to their diocese, they will bring home both the tools and the spirit to influence parish and diocesan communities, forming a Church of the "missionary option" envisioned by Pope Francis.