Johnnette Benkovic will serve as co-host of EWTN’s coverage of the historic convocation of Catholic leaders who are coming together in Orlando, Florida next weekend to come up with ways to bring the joy of the Gospel into the fabric of our nation.
For only the second time in the history of the Catholic Church in America, the U.S. bishops have called for a convocation of Catholic leaders from all walks of life and every corner of America to "convene, challenge, and motivate Catholic leaders” to embrace the full vision of what it means to be Catholic and to proclaim the Church's vision of the human person.”
The meeting will take place July 1-4 and will gather Catholic leaders from all over the United States to discuss ways to bring Evangelii Gaudium - The Joy of the Gospel - into our homes, parishes, and communities.
“This has been an ongoing initiative of the Bishops' Working Group on the Life and Dignity of the Human Person. The gathering will assemble Catholic leaders for a strategic conversation, under the leadership of the bishops, on forming missionary disciples to animate the Church and to engage the culture,” the USCCB states on a website dedicated to the Convocation.
“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. 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.”
Attendance is by invitation only and will include leaders within the Church such as those people occupying positions in diocese and parish offices, as well we those who exercise leadership in apostolic efforts outside the diocesan structure such as laity involved in higher education, business, and cultural leaders, as well as Catholic young adults and emerging leaders.
Johnnette Benkovic, founder and president of Women of Grace®, along with Dr. Jonathon Reyes, executive director, Department of Just, Peace, and Human Development at the USCCB will host EWTN’s live coverage of the event.
"It is a privilege to be part of the EWTN team who will be making the Convocation and its proceedings accessible to the Church at large,” Johnnette said. “This Convocation offers a unique opportunity to address the unprecedented cultural and social issues we face today with faith and hope, and to strive toward Godly solutions and responses to them. I ask everyone to pray for the Convocation, those who participate in it, and the light of the Holy Spirit to guide it."
The beauty of this convocation is that it will bring together groups of people who probably would never have encountered one another, or be involved in the same strategic conversations, if the bishops hadn’t called them together.
“So we’re going to have a conversation that could only be had by the bishops,” Dr. Reyes said. “That’s needed in this moment. I think everybody agrees we need this conversation. It’s not about the things that divide us. And the beauty is we have this document from Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium. There was unity around that document when it came out, a document that opens with ‘I invite all of you to a personal encounter with Christ,’ which is right where we want to start,” he told the Catholic News Service.
“So we’re going to encounter Christ together, converse together, pray together, encounter one another and talk very practically about what are the challenges, what’s it mean to be missionary disciples at this moment and how do we go out and do it,” Dr. Reyes said.
The Gospel is a pretty good thing to rally around,” he added. “You can build a lot unity out of it.”
Let us keep this historic endeavor in our prayers!
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