Next summer, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will be convening an unprecedented gathering of key leaders from dioceses and Catholic organizations from all across the country in order to assess the challenges and opportunities of our time, particularly in the context of the Church in the United States. 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. 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.

This is an invitation-only event through your diocese or as a member of a Catholic organization. NCCW is one of the sponsors and has a number of slots available for registration. The registration fee is $455 and five hotels have rooms available. The officers of NCCW have registered to attend as well as a few board members. Some Council members may be attending as part of their diocesan delegation. We hope to convene a time for Council members to get together while there. If you want to register to attend in one of our slots, please contact Jean Kelly, NCCW Secretary, at jeanakelly@hotmail.com. She will give you our organization number to register and the information to get you to the site for registration and hotel. If you register or will be attending with a diocesan delegation, please let Jean know so we can schedule a time to get together in Orlando. NCCW will also have an exhibit table. Over 3,000 Catholics are expected to attend the Convocation, an historic gathering for the Catholic Church. 

I dream of a "missionary option," that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything so that the Church's customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today's world rather than for her self-preservation. (Evangelii Gaudium 27)