The Amazing Parish Conference held April 21-22 drew over 450 participants to a two-day conference filled to capacity to hear from nationally known Catholic speakers about how to create dynamic parishes focused on Evangelization and Discipleship.
We are seeing a tremendous hunger among pastors and parish leaders from across the United States, said author Pat Lencioni, who helped organize the conference and provide one of the keynotes. Our goal is to build a national movement so that every parish that wants to be amazing will know there is a community of other parishes who want the same thing.
Conference participants came from 98 parishes as well as 10 non-parish church organizations. Parishes were required to bring a team of 3-5 leaders, including their pastor. These parish teams participated in interactive exercises to help them identify a vision and plan for creating an amazing parish.
The conference featured Fr. Michael White and tom Corcoran, Fr. James Mallon, Jeff Cavins, Lisa Brenninkmeyer, Curtis Martin, Sr. Regina Marie Gorman, and Matt Manion. Attendees were also treated to a concert by Grammy-nominated recording artist Matt Maher. Over 1300 participants from more than 250 parishes have now participated in these conferences.
St. Andrew’s Conference Attendees Comments from:
Fr. Jacek: Two years ago on March 13, 2013, something amazing happened in the Catholic Church. We all witnessed the election of a new Pope, Pope Francis. And at the same time, Patrick Lencioni (consultant), Curtis Martin (FOCUS the president and Founder of the Fellowship of Catholic University of Students), and John Martin (entrepreneur) met in Denver to discuss the newly-founded Amazing Parish movement. They were seeking to provide resources to pastors and parish leaders so they can create a thriving parish life. The first conference was held in Denver in August, 2014, and was very successful with more than 500 participants from 90 parishes from different states.
A couple of weeks ago, I invited a few parishioners to go with me to the second Conference in Denver, Colorado, on April 21-22. Along with me, were Philp Wroblewski and Katie and Bob Fredericksen. We wanted to learn and have an extraordinary opportunity to experience the movement of parishes who want to provide amazing ministries to those they serve. We left the conference filled with the Holy Spirit and with many new ideas and strategies.
Phil Wroblewski: The conference was informative, exciting and uplifting. We learned a lot about ourselves and gained knowledge on how to improve our Weekend Experience and to grow our parish. The speakers were not only informative but entertaining, keeping everyone excited and motivated. There were many opportunities for us to speak with other parish leaders about their struggles and successes. One of the key points for me was how everyone is being formed in our society. Some are being formed by television, others by social media, but all people need Catholic Formation.
As a parish, we need to become the place people want to be on the weekends and not just if they are not busy. Just as the early Christians went out and told the people about Jesus, we too, must spread the word. New ministries need to be developed for our parish to draw people to Christ and His Church, and to reach out to our communities and invite people back to the true faith. We must be light to the world.
Katie & Bob: The Amazing Parish Conference was Ahhhmazing, just as the title suggested! There were many people from many different parishes, from all around the United States in attendance. All came together for one purpose: How do we become a thriving, great parish, which people want to be a part of, want to come back to, and want to invite others to be a part of? In other words, how do we go from a perpetual state of maintenance to a state of mission?
This conference featured many dynamic Catholic speakers who lead talks and small groups focusing on prayer, evangelization, and discipleship. Also, priests from around the country shared what successful things they were doing to grow their parishes, many who were in a situation much like ours. baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. Matthew 28:19-20
This conference addressed so many of the needs we have as a parish and ways we can improve, engage, and help bring people back to the Church!