CONFERENCE OVERVIEW

Mission

Standing for the Church with Boldness, Zeal, and Love

In a time where the Truth of the Catholic Church is under relentless and sinister attack by a culture of relativism, atheism, hedonism, and secularism, men and women of faith need to join together, rise up, and defend the Beauty of Mother Church.

In a time when the faith and love of many of our fellow Catholics have grown cold, the Church needs modern missionaries committed to rebuilding the faith through knowledge and holy witness.

This is the heart of the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Participants learn more than how to win arguments – they learn to win souls.  They learn not only how to speak the truth, but how to pass on the faith.  They are challenged and empowered to go and take the lead in the New Evangelization with holy boldness, zeal, and love.  If you feel called to transform the Church by bringing the strength to defend the Church and witness to the people in your parish, then you will not want miss this opportunity for training, fellowship, and empowering.


 2017 Conference Theme

Always Reforming: Authentic Renewal, Ongoing Conversion

“… I press on to make it my own because Christ Jesus has made me His own.” – Phil 3:12

The life of the Christian is to be marked by turning from sin and self to the new life in Christ. It requires persevering in prayer, ongoing conversion, and inward transformation. We need to respond to this call with the same depth of love that Christ experienced as He chose the cross for us. As we allow the grace of Christ to change us personally, we will become agents of authentic renewal for the broader Church. This summer, you are invited to come be a part of an amazing weekend of prayer and discovery that will inspire and equip you to deepen your life in Christ and prepare you to be a part of the renewal of the Church.

2016 Conference Theme: Speaking the Truth in Love –  Morals, Marriage, and Mercy

“Living the truth in love, we should grow in every way into Him who is the head, Christ.”  Ephesians 4:15

Registration opens November 7, 2016!

2017 Pricing Information

Price per person*: Early Bird $135 (by April 8th); Regular $160 (after April 8th); 18-30yr old/Religious/Deacons: $85; Priest registrations are free in gratitude for their willingness to hear confessions (meals plan and housing charges still apply)
Meal Plan (includes 6 meals): $67
Housing: Shared non-A/C $80; Shared A/C $100; Private non-A/C $110

2017 registration information coming soon!

*For those who need financial assistance for the summer adult conferences, the Christian Outreach Office has a limited number of tickets to offset registration, room and board. Interested parties, please click here.


2017 Ministry Team
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Dr. Scott Hahn, Host, is the author or editor of over 40 books; his most recent titles include Evangelizing Catholics, Angels and Saints, and Consuming the Word. He holds the Father Michael Scanlan Chair of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization at Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he has taught since 1990. He is also the founder and president of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. Dr. Hahn graduated from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with his master’s in divinity and received his PhD in theology from Marquette University. Dr. Hahn has been married to Kimberly since 1979. They live in Steubenville, Ohio, and have 6 children and 13 grandchildren.  Dr. Hahn will be hosting and presenting at the Applied Biblical Studies Conference and the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Michael Hernon, Co-Host, is the Vice President of Advancement at Franciscan University of Steubenville. This role oversees the University’s Development, Alumni, Community Relations, and Pilgrimages. Michael is also the host for Franciscan University Presents on EWTN with regular panelist Dr. Scott Hahn and Dr. Regis Martin.  Prior to this, he used his talents in politics as the director of the Catholic Outreach for the Republican National Committee and as campaign manager for Ken Blackwell’s campaign for governor of Ohio. He also served as councilman at large on the Steubenville City Council. In January 2007, he became founding president of The Catholic Association, a Washington, D.C. based non-profit organization that represents lay Catholics and organizes them into an effective advocacy movement, responding to the call of the Catholic Church to apply Catholic teaching, wisdom, and principles to the issues of the day.  Michael and his wife, Alicia, are proud parents of ten children.  He will be co-hosting the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Father Andrew Apostoli, CFR, is a member of the Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. He was ordained a priest by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen in 1967. He has been active in teaching, preaching retreats and parish missions, and in giving spiritual direction. He is an adjunct faculty member of Saint Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie, Yonkers, New York. In his community, he has served as Community Servant and Novice Director. He was instrumental in 1988 in helping to found the Community of the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal. Currently, he is serving as a Vice-Postulator for the Cause of Canonization for Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. He will be presenting at the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Jeff Cavins returned to the Catholic Church after serving as a Protestant minister for 12 years. He received his MA in theology from Franciscan University and then developed The Great Adventure: A Journey Through the Bible, a Bible study program that enables students to understand the chronological flow of Scripture. A former radio and television host, he’s a prolific author and the co-editor of the Amazing Grace series, which includes Amazing Grace for Those Who Suffer, Amazing Grace for the Catholic Heart, and Amazing Grace for Married Couples. Jeff currently works as director of the Archbishop Harry J. Flynn Catechetical Institute in St. Paul and resides with his wife, Emily, and their three daughters in Minnesota.  He will be presenting at the Applied Biblical Studies Conference and the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Dr. Bryan Cross was raised in the Pentecostal tradition, then became Reformed shortly after completing his bachelor’s degree in cellular and molecular biology at the University of Michigan. He then received an M.Div. from Covenant Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Saint Louis University. In 2003 he and his wife and two daughters became Anglican. In 2006 he and his family were received into full communion with the Catholic Church. He has previously taught at Saint Louis University, Lindenwood University, and Kenrick-Glennon Seminary. He co-founded and contributes to the website CalledToCommunion.com. He is presently an assistant professor of philosophy at Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and has published articles on St. Thomas Aquinas and Alasdair MacIntyre.  Dr. Cross will be presenting at the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Kimberly Hahn has been married to Scott since 1979 and became a Catholic during the Easter Vigil of 1990. She completed a book with Scott on their journey to the Catholic Church, titled Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism. Kimberly’s other books include Life-Giving Love: Embracing God’s Beautiful Design for Marriage and the four-book and DVD series on Proverbs 31 that includes Chosen and Cherished, Graced and Gifted, Beloved and Blessed, and Legacy of Love. She holds an MA in theology from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Kimberly and Scott have 6 children and 13 grandchildren.  She will be presenting at the Applied Biblical Studies Conference and the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Mark Hart serves full time as executive vice president of Life Teen. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Mark is a best-selling Catholic author and popular speaker. His weekly audio podcast Sunday, Sunday, Sunday (available through iTunes) is heard worldwide, and three DVD study series, Encounter, T3, and Altaration, are currently utilized by middle school and high school youth groups and in parochial classrooms across the country and beyond. Mark and his wife, Melanie, have three daughters, Hope, Faith, and Trinity, and one son, Josiah. They live in Phoenix, Arizona. He will be presenting at the Applied Biblical Studies Conference and the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Dr. Reinhard Huetter teaches systematic and philosophical theology and has a special interest in Thomas Aquinas and John Henry Newman. He has taught for seventeen years at Duke Divinity School, held visiting professorships at the University of Jena, Providence College, the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary and presently at The Catholic University of America. He has been president of the Academy of Catholic Theology, is a Distinguished Fellow of The St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, and an Ordinary Academician of the Pontifical Academy of Saint Thomas Aquinas. He is married, has four children, and five grandchildren.  Dr. Huetter will be presenting at the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Patrick Madrid hosts the new Patrick Madrid Show on Immaculate Heart Radio and previously hosted the top-rated Right Here, Right Now show. He is a frequent guest and occasional guest host on the Catholic Answers Live radio program and has authored or edited 22 books, including the acclaimed Surprised by Truth series. Patrick worked at Catholic Answers for eight years, where he served as vice president. He is currently working toward a doctorate in Church history. Formerly an adjunct professor of theology at Franciscan University, he is now an adjunct professor of theology in the graduate theology program at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Patrick and his wife, Nancy, have 11 children and 16 grandchildren and reside in the Diocese of Columbus.  He will be presenting at the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Curtis Martin is the President and Founder of FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, one of the fastest growing movements in the Catholic Church. FOCUS brings the fullness of life and truth in the Catholic Church to college students and equips them with the tools to help them share this good news with their friends. Whether he is on college campuses or on television,speaking at conferences or working with corporate America, Curtis is an award-winning and proven dynamic speaker who has the ability to help his audience discover a vision for life. Curtis Martin holds a Masters degree in Theology, is the author of the best-selling book Made for More, and co-host the new ground-breaking show on EWTN, Crossing the Goal. In 2004, Curtis and his wife Michaelann were awarded the Benemerenti Medal by Pope John Paul II for their outstanding service to the Church. In 2011, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Curtis as a Consulter to the Pontifical Council of the New Evangelization. In addition to his work with FOCUS, Curtis serves as the Vice Chairman of the Augustine Institute in Denver, a Catholic graduate school dedicated to the New Evangelization. Curtis and his wife, Michaelann, live in Westminster, CO with five of their nine children.  He will be presenting at the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Father Louis Merosne is in love with Jesus and his Mother. Born in Haiti, he moved to Boston in 1993. He studied French, philosophy, and theology at Franciscan University from 2002 to 2007. Soon after completing his master’s in theology at Franciscan, he co-founded Haiti180 with Sean Forrest and team. Ordained in 2011, Father Louis now serves as a missionary priest in the Diocese of Anse-a-Veau and Miragoane in Haiti. The priesthood is to him a tremendous gift and the preaching of the good news of Jesus his duty and love. He will be presenting at the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Bob Rice, Worship Leader, desires to share the love of God using every talent with which he has been blessed. He is an internationally known speaker, acclaimed musician, inspirational teacher, and innovative writer. Bob teaches at Franciscan University in Steubenville, where he lives with his, wife, Jennifer, and their seven children. He will be leading worship at the Power and Purpose Conference; the Priests, Deacons, and Seminarians Retreat; the Applied Biblical Studies Conference; the Defending the Faith Conference; and all Main Campus Youth Conferences. In addition, Bob is a presenter at the St. John Bosco Conference.

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Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch, a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and the author of sixteen books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Truth About Muhammad and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) (both Regnery). His latest book is The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Free Speech (and Its Enemies) (Regnery). Spencer has led seminars on Islam and jihad for the FBI; United States Central Command; United States Army Command and General Staff College; the U.S. Army’s Asymmetric Warfare Group; the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF); and the U.S. intelligence community. He has discussed jihad, Islam, and terrorism at a workshop sponsored by the U.S. State Department and the German Foreign Ministry.  Robert will be presenting at the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Dr. Ted Sri is a theologian, author, and nationally known Catholic speaker who appears regularly on EWTN. The author of several Catholic best-selling books, he is the host of a new 20-part video series on the Catholic faith called Symbolon: The Catholic Faith Explained (Augustine Institute) and is the program director for a new marriage preparation and enrichment program called Beloved: Finding Happiness in Marriage (Augustine Institute). He serves as professor of theology and vice president of Mission and Outreach at the Augustine Institute in Denver. Dr. Sri is a founding leader with Curtis Martin of FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students). He holds a doctorate from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome and resides with his wife, Elizabeth, and their seven children in Littleton, Colorado.  Dr. Sri will be presenting at the Defending the Faith Conference.


2016 Ministry Team
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Dr. Scott Hahn, Host, is the author or editor of over 40 books; his most recent titles are The Creed, Evangelizing Catholics, Angels and Saints, and Consuming the Word. He holds the Father Michael Scanlan Chair of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization at Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he has taught since 1990. He is also the founder and president of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. Dr. Hahn graduated from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with his master’s in divinity and received his PhD in theology from Marquette University. Dr. Hahn has been married to Kimberly since 1979. They live in Steubenville, Ohio, and have 6 children and 13 grandchildren. He will be presenting at the Priests, Deacons, and Seminarians Retreat, the Applied Biblical Studies Conference, and the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Michael Hernon, Co-Host, is the vice president of Advancement at Franciscan University of Steubenville, overseeing the University’s Development, Alumni, Community Relations, and Pilgrimages offices. Michael is also the host of Franciscan University Presents on EWTN with regular panelists Dr. Scott Hahn and Dr. Regis Martin. Michael previously used his talents in politics on the local, state, and national level. Additionally he was the founding president of The Catholic Association, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., that represents lay Catholics and organizes them into an effective advocacy movement. Michael and his wife, Alicia, are the proud parents of 10 children and host a weekly podcast at messyparenting.org. He will be a co-host at the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, was ordained to the priesthood in 1982 and was appointed judicial vicar for the Diocese of San Diego, serving as assistant to the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. He was appointed auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of San Diego in 2002, where he served until his appointment as bishop of Oakland in 2009. In 2012, he was appointed archbishop of San Francisco. He chairs the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage and sits on the Committee for Canonical Affairs. He is a member of the governing board of the International Theological Institute and the Subcommission on the Liturgy for the Anglican Ordinariates. Archbishop Cordileone holds bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and theology and a doctorate in canon law. He will be presenting at the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Bishop Michael Byrnes is an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Detroit. He has served in a variety of capacities through 20 years of priesthood: parochial vicar, graduate student at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, vice rector and assistant professor of Scripture at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, and pastor of Presentation Our Lady of Victory Parish. He will be presenting at the Applied Biblical Studies Conference and the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Jeff Cavins returned to the Catholic Church after serving as a Protestant minister for 12 years. He received his MA in theology from Franciscan University and went on to become the founding host of Life on the Rock on EWTN. Jeff created The Great Adventure: A Journey Through the Bible, a Bible study system that enables students to understand the chronological flow of Scripture. A former radio and television host, he leads pilgrimages to the HolyLand and is a prolific author. His most recent books are Praise God & Thank Him: Biblical Keys for Joyful Living and When You Suffer: Biblical Keys for Hope & Understanding. Jeff resides with his wife, Emily, and their three daughters in Minnesota. He will be presenting at the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Kimberly Hahn has been married to Scott since 1979 and became a Catholic during the Easter Vigil of 1990. She has completed a book with Scott on their journey to the Catholic Church, titled Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism. Kimberly’s other books include Life-Giving Love: Embracing God’s Beautiful Design for Marriage and the four-book and DVD series on Proverbs 31 that includes Chosen and Cherished, Graced and Gifted, Beloved and Blessed, and Legacy of Love. She holds an MA in theology from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Kimberly and Scott have 6 children and 13 grandchildren. She will be presenting at the Applied Biblical Studies Conference and the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Allen Hunt, while serving as an evangelical megachurch pastor, Dr. Hunt began a remarkable journey that culminated in his conversion to Catholicism. He brings a fresh voice and appreciation to the Church, inspiring “everyday” Catholics to recognize more fully the relevance of Catholicism and the role it’s meant to play in their lives. He also partners with Matthew Kelly at The Dynamic Catholic Institute. Dr. Hunt earned a BBA from Mercer University, an MDiv from Emory University, and a PhD in New Testament and ancient Christian origins from Yale University. Dr. Hunt and his wife, Anita, live in Georgia and have two married daughters and a new grandson. He will be presenting at the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Dr. Andrew W. Jones is the vice president of Research at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology and is the publisher at Emmaus Road Publishing. He holds a PhD in medieval history from Saint Louis University and is an expert on the Church in the High Middle Ages. Dr. Jones has two books forthcoming and is the editor of the first-ever English translation of St. Thomas Aquinas’ commentary on the prophet Isaiah, to be completed in 2016. Dr. Jones has published articles on various aspects of the medieval Church and has presented papers at numerous academic and popular conferences. He will be presenting at the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Patrick Madrid hosts the new Patrick Madrid Show, a three-hour morning show broadcast nationally on Immaculate Heart Radio. He is a frequent guest and occasional guest host on the Catholic Answers Live radio program and has authored or edited 24 books, including the acclaimed Surprised by Truth series. Patrick worked at Catholic Answers for eight years, where he served as vice president. He earned a BA in philosophy and an MA in dogmatic theology from the Pontifical College Josephinum. Formerly an adjunct professor of theology at Franciscan University, he is now an adjunct professor of theology in the Graduate Theology Program at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Patrick and his wife, Nancy, have 11 children and 18 grandchildren. They reside in the Diocese of Columbus. He will be presenting at the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Father Louis Merosne Father Louis Merosne is in love with Jesus and his Mother. Born in Haiti, he moved to Boston in 1993. He studied French, philosophy, and theology at Franciscan University from 2002 to 2007. Soon after completing his master’s in theology at Franciscan, he co-founded Haiti180 with Sean Forrest and team. Ordained in 2011, Father Louis now serves as a missionary priest in the Diocese of Anse-a-Veau and Miragoane in Haiti. The priesthood is to him a tremendous gift and the preaching of the good news of Jesus his duty and love. He will be presenting at the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Bob Rice desires to share the love of God using every talent with which he has been blessed. He is an internationally known speaker, acclaimed musician, inspirational teacher, and innovative writer. Bob teaches at Franciscan University in Steubenville, where he lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their seven children. He will be leading worship at the Power and Purpose Conference; the Priests, Deacons, and Seminarians Retreat; the Applied Biblical Studies Conference; the Defending the Faith Conference; and all Main Campus Youth Conferences. In addition, Bob will be presenting at the St. John Bosco Conference.

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Father Michael Schmitz, the director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Duluth and chaplain for the Newman Center at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, inspires and educates through his priesthood and preaching. His work at the Newman Center focuses on helping students to be fed through the sacraments and to grow in knowledge about the teachings of the Church. Ordained in 2003 at St. Paul Seminary, he has preached across the country about the love of God and the call of Jesus Christ for saints to be raised up in the Church. Father Mike’s hope is that these saints will redeem the entire world for Christ. He will be presenting at the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Dr. Ted Sri is a theologian, author, and nationally known Catholic speaker who appears regularly on EWTN. He is the author of several Catholic best-selling books, including A Biblical Walk Through the Mass and Walking with Mary. He is the host of the acclaimed film series, Symbolon: The Catholic Faith Explained (Augustine Institute), which is being used in over 5,000 parishes. He serves as professor of theology and vice president of Mission at the Augustine Institute in Denver. Dr. Sri is a founding leader with Curtis Martin of FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students). He holds a doctorate from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome and resides with his wife, Elizabeth, and their eight children in Littleton, Colorado. He will be presenting at the Applied Biblical Studies Conference and the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Sherry Weddell is the author of the best-selling book Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus and editor of Forming a Parish of Intentional Disciples (2015). Sherry created the Called & Gifted discernment process, the first charism discernment of gifts program designed especially for Catholics. She also co-founded the Catherine of Siena Institute with Father Michael Sweeney, OP. Sherry and her international team of collaborators have worked in over 500 parishes in 130 dioceses on five continents. When Sherry is not on the road, she enjoys living in and exploring the Colorado Rockies and tending her high altitude Tuscan garden. She will be presenting at the Defending the Faith Conference.


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“Go, Rebuild My Church”

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