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CONFERENCE OVERVIEW

Mission

Renewed in Mind and Spirit

Come and receive a fresh outpouring of God’s love and grace upon your heart, mind and ministry with brothers who have set their life apart for Christ and the Church.  Go forth refreshed and strengthened to build the kingdom.

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 2017 Retreat Theme: The Gift of God 

“…Rekindle the gift of God that is within you…a spirit of power and of love…” 2 Tim 1:6-7

We have been given the Holy Spirit as our Teacher, Advocate and Consoler. Yet, too often in the midst of the demands ministry, the concerns of the world, and the busyness of life, we can neglect His living presence in our lives. We let the flame of His life in us to start to fade. If St. Paul and St. Timothy knew their need to rekindle the fire of the Holy Spirit in their lives, how much more do we need the same experience? This summer, come to the beautiful campus of Franciscan University for a time of renewal, rekindling, fraternity, and love with men who share your passion and hunger for the Holy Spirit. Be strengthened and sent forth ablaze with a new zeal for your vocation and the people you serve.

Registration opens November 7, 2016!

2017 Pricing Information

Price per person*: Priest and Deacon Registration: $215; Seminarians: FREE for 2017
Meal Plan: $144; Seminarians: FREE for 2017
Private A/C Housing: $190 (priest and deacons); Seminarians: FREE for 2017
Transportation: Airport to Campus Shuttle (6/20/17 only): $35; Campus to Airport Shuttle (6/24/17 only): $35

2017 pricing 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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Father Dave Pivonka, TOR, Host, has been saved by the love of God as revealed by the death and resurrection of Jesus. The focus of his ministry is to proclaim the saving love of God for each of us. An evangelist who speaks at conferences, retreats, and parish missions around the U.S. and world, Father Dave is the director of Franciscan Pathways, an evangelistic outreach of his Franciscan community. He helps others come to know God’s love for them through his preaching, writings, CDs, and other spiritual outreaches. Father Dave’s most recent book is Breath of God – Living a Life Led by the Holy Spirit. He also produced The Wild Goose, a 14-part video series about living a life animated by the Holy Spirit. He will be presenting at the the Priests, Deacons, and Seminarians Retreat.

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Most Reverend Christian Riesbeck, CC, is one of the youngest bishops in North America. He was born in Montreal, Quebec (Canada) and grew up in Ottawa. Bishop Riesbeck became a priest with the Companions of the Cross and obtained a Master of Divinity degree from St. Augustine’s Seminary in Toronto. He was ordained in 1996 and served as the Assistant General Superior of the Companions of the Cross from 2012 until 2014. In early 2014, he was named Auxiliary Bishop of Ottawa by Pope Francis. He now serves as the Auxiliary bishop of Ottawa, while continuing as Vicar General, Moderator of the Curia, and Vicar for the National Language Parishes, Communities and Faithful. His Episcopal motto is Evangelii Gaudium, the joy of the Gospel.

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Deacon Craig Anderson is a lifelong resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, excluding the time he spent at Franciscan University, where he received a master’s degree in theology and Christian ministry. He met Mary Therese, his wife, at Franciscan. They have five adult children, some of whom have also attended the University. Deacon Craig serves the Byzantine Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the pope. In recent years, much of his focus has been men’s ministry. Deacon Craig works as a fire investigator and fire prevention officer with a municipal fire department. He will be presenting at the Priests, Deacons, and Seminarians Retreat.

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Father Derek Anderson, SOLT, was ordained a priest for the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity in 2003 and served as a parochial vicar in the Diocese of Rome for the first five years of his priesthood. Upon completion of his STL in dogmatic theology at the Angelicum, where he is also a doctoral candidate, Father Anderson was appointed academic dean of the SOLT Theological House of Studies in Rome. He currently serves as the director of Catechesis for the Diocese of Paterson, New Jersey, as well as pastor of Saint Mary’s Parish in Dover, New Jersey. He will be presenting at the Priest, Deacons, Seminarians Retreat and the St. John Bosco Conference.

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John Beaulieu has worked in the Christian Outreach Office of Franciscan University since 2003 and is the director of Marketing and Engagement. A graduate of Franciscan University, John has worked in youth ministry for over 20 years. He spent two years serving with NET in his youth and more recently has been a featured speaker at the National Catholic Youth Conference and the National Conference for Catholic Youth Ministers. John speaks on topics including the Holy Spirit, media and teen culture, and Christian evangelization. He has served as an adjunct professor, teaching youth ministry in the Catechetics Department at Franciscan University. John and his wife, Lisa, live in Steubenville with their five children. He will be presenting at the Power and Purpose Conference and the Priests, Deacons, and Seminarians Retreat.

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Dr. John Bergsma is a professor of theology at Franciscan University and served as a Protestant pastor for four years before entering the Catholic Church in 2001. Dr. Bergsma holds a PhD in theology from the University of Notre Dame, where he specialized in the Old Testament and the Dead Sea Scrolls. He speaks regularly at conferences and parishes nationwide and has appeared on EWTN’s The Journey Home and Life on the Rock, as well as Franciscan University Presents and Relevant Radio’s Drew Mariani Show. He and his wife, Dawn, reside with their eight children in Steubenville. His new book is New Testament Basics for Catholics from Ave Maria Press. He will be presenting at the Priests, Deacons, and Seminarians Retreat and the Applied Biblical Studies Conference.

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Father Joseph Espaillat II was raised in Manhattan and was ordained a diocesan priest in 2003 for the Archdiocese of New York. Prior to priesthood, he obtained a Masters of Divinity degree in Theology and His Master of Arts degree in Theology (specializing in Church History) from St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, NY. Father Joe has served as a Parochial Vicar, Pastor, and the Director of Youth Ministry for the Archdiocese of NY. Currently, he is a pastor, the Director of the Hispanic Catholic Charismatic Renewal, and the Hispanic Catholic Charismatic retreat house in the Bronx. Father has led numerous missionary trips to the Dominican Republic (his parent’s homeland) and Haiti and is the founder of the ministry “Messengers of Christ.”  He will be presenting at the Priests, Deacons, Seminarians Retreat.

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Dr. Andrew Minto and his wife, Pamela, have been married since 1978 and have four children. In the early 80’s, he left his position as an Account Executive with Merrill Lynch to obtain theological training. He obtained a PhD in Biblical Studies with a specialization in New Testament from the Catholic University of America. He’s taught courses in Old/New Testament literature and biblical Hebrew and Greek at Franciscan University since 1987. He’s a co-founder of a Task Force, which studies John’s interpretation of the Old Testament. His current research and writing includes the interpretation of Scripture in the Catechism of the Catholic Church’s teaching on liturgy. He’s the author of numerous articles and was recently commissioned to write fourteen articles for Liguorian Magazine on the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.

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Patti Mansfield participated in the Duquesne Weekend, which marked the beginning of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. For the past fifty years she has preached the Gospel on all five continents. Patti is a pioneer the New Evangelization, sharing the grace of the baptism in the Spirit.  She has ministered to priests and bishops at worldwide priests retreats.  Pope Francis acknowledged Patti as “the first to experience the Spirit in an intense way.”  She and her husband have four children, ten grandchildren and live near New Orleans, Louisiana.  Her new book, As By A New Pentecost: Golden Jubilee Edition, has been translated into many languages. The Mansfields received the papal medal, Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice from Saint John Paul II.

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Deacon Ralph Poyo has been in ministry for over 30 years, serving the Church as a youth minister and DRE, and he became a deacon in 2004. He founded New Evangelization Ministries, equipping pastors and parish staff with training, resources, and strategies to help parishes become more effective in evangelization and discipleship. He has produced the first two booklets in the NEM Discipleship Formation Series and has also co-authored a book with Father Dave Pivonka, TOR, titled Encounter Jesus: From Discovery to Discipleship. Deacon Ralph will soon release a video evangelistic conversion process for parishes, titled Common Sense Catholic. He and his wife, Susan, have five daughters, three sons-in- law, and three grandchildren. He will be presenting at the Priests, Deacons, and Seminarians Retreat.

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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 will be presenting at the St. John Bosco Conference.

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Father Thomas J. Valenti just celebrated his 40th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood of Jesus Christ, ministering in the Diocese of Rochester and the Archdiocese of New York . He served for 13 years in diocesan vocation ministry until 1993, when he left the position of assistant to the bishop for Vocations to become Catholic chaplain of Ithaca College . In 1997, he became a Catholic chaplain to the undergraduates of Columbia University . He maintains the position of chaplain for Columbia’s Athletic Department . For the past year he has also served as the pastoral administrator of four parishes that comprise all of New York State’s Tioga County . Since the 1980s, Father Valenti has been a yearly speaker at Franciscan University’s conferences and retreats . This year he will host the seminarians participating in the Priests, Deacons, and Seminarians Retreat.


2016 Ministry Team
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Father Dave Pivonka, TOR, Host, has been saved by the love of God as revealed by the death and resurrection of Jesus. The focus of his ministry is to proclaim the saving love of God for each of us. An evangelist who speaks at conferences, retreats, and parish missions around the U.S. and world, Father Dave is the director of Franciscan Pathways, an evangelistic outreach of his Franciscan community. He helps others come to know God’s love for them through his preaching, writings, CDs, and other spiritual outreaches. Father Dave’s most recent book is Breath of God – Living a Life Led by the Holy Spirit. He also produced The Wild Goose, a 14-part video series about living a life animated by the Holy Spirit. He will be presenting at the Power and Purpose Conference and the Priests, Deacons, and Seminarians Retreat.

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Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger is the bishop of Albany, New York. Born in Brooklyn, he was ordained a priest in 1973. Throughout his priesthood he has served as a judicial vicar, pastor, and professor. He began his education with a degree in English, followed by theology and law degrees, both pontifical and professional. In 1991 he was admitted to the New York State Bar. He will be presenting at the Priests, Deacons, and Seminarians Retreat.

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Deacon Craig Anderson is a lifelong resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, excluding the time he spent at Franciscan University, where he received a master’s degree in theology and Christian ministry. He met Mary Therese, his wife, at Franciscan. They have five adult children, some of whom have also attended the University. Deacon Craig serves the Byzantine Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the pope. In recent years, much of his focus has been men’s ministry. Deacon Craig works as a fire investigator and fire prevention officer with a municipal fire department. He will be presenting at the Priests, Deacons, and Seminarians Retreat.

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John Beaulieu has worked in the Christian Outreach Office of Franciscan University since 2003 and is the director of Marketing and Engagement. A graduate of Franciscan University, John has worked in youth ministry for over 20 years. He spent two years serving with NET in his youth and more recently has been a featured speaker at the National Catholic Youth Conference and the National Conference for Catholic Youth Ministers. John speaks on topics including the Holy Spirit, media and teen culture, and Christian evangelization. He has served as an adjunct professor, teaching youth ministry in the Catechetics Department at Franciscan University. John and his wife, Lisa, live in Steubenville with their five children. He will be presenting at the Power and Purpose Conference and the Priests, Deacons, and Seminarians Retreat.

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Dr. John Bergsma is a professor of theology at Franciscan University and served as a Protestant pastor for four years before entering the Catholic Church in 2001. Dr. Bergsma holds a PhD in theology from the University of Notre Dame, where he specialized in the Old Testament and the Dead Sea Scrolls. He speaks regularly at conferences and parishes nationwide and has appeared on EWTN’s The Journey Home and Life on the Rock, as well as Franciscan University Presents and Relevant Radio’s Drew Mariani Show. He and his wife, Dawn, reside with their eight children in Steubenville. His new book is New Testament Basics for Catholics from Ave Maria Press. He will be presenting at the Priests, Deacons, and Seminarians Retreat and the Applied Biblical Studies Conference.

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Father Francis A. Black was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Brooklyn in 1980. He was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and attended seminary at Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington on Long Island. He served in various parishes until late 2000, when he was assigned as the pastor of St. Laurence Parish in Spring Creek, Brooklyn. He became pastor of St. Matthew, in Crown Heights, in 2012. Father Black has served on various committees in the Brooklyn Diocese, is currently the clergy coordinator of the Caribbean Apostolate, and serves on the Presbyteral Council and College of Consultors in the Diocese of Brooklyn. For the past 10 years he has joined Franciscan students in Jamaica on the annual mission trip and has worked with the local Steubenville mission. He will be presenting at the Priests, Deacons, and Seminarians Retreat.

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Father Paul N. Check was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut, in 1997. He holds an STB from the Gregorian University and an STL from the University of the Holy Cross, both in Rome. He teaches fundamental moral theology and sexual and medical ethics to seminarians and permanent deacon candidates in the Bridgeport Diocese. Since 1999, Father Check has taught a two-week course in moral theology in the “Gift of Faith” syllabus for Blessed Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta. At the direction of Bishop William E. Lori in 2002, he established a Courage chapter in his diocese and serves as its chaplain. He became the executive director of Courage International in 2008 and frequently talks to clergy about the Church’s teaching on homosexuality and her pastoral response. He will be presenting at the Priests, Deacons, and Seminarians Retreat.

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Caroline Gambale-Dirkes is a dynamic and passionate evangelist, active in evangelization and youth ministry for over 20 years. A former eastern regional director for Life Teen and diocesan director of Youth Ministry for the Archdiocese of Newark, she is a member of the National Service Committee for the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Caroline speaks internationally at diocesan and national conferences through 2Tim4 Ministries, which she co-founded with her husband, Dan. They were recently featured on EWTN’s The Choices We Face, highlighting their unique and dynamic approach to parish missions. Caroline is a 1993 graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville. Her greatest achievement by far is raising her four children, Catherine, Daniel, Therese, and Gianna. Dan and Caroline currently live in New Jersey and enjoy being a missionary family. She will be presenting at the Priests, Deacons, and Seminarians Retreat.

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Dr. Scott Hahn 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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Fr. Jonathan Morris studied business administration at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. He entered the seminary at the age of 21 and went on to complete separate degrees in classical humanities, philosophy, and theology. In 2004, he graduated magna cum laude with a licentiate graduate degree in moral theology from Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University in Rome. Father Jonathan was ordained a Catholic priest in Rome on December 24, 2002. His foray into mass media was as a theological advisor and marketing consultant for Mel Gibson’s religious epic, The Passion of the Christ. From 2009-2013, Father Morris served as parochial vicar of the historic St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral. He currently serves as pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Bronx, New York He will be speaking at the Priests, Deacons, and Seminarians Retreat.

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Deacon Ralph Poyo has been in ministry for over 30 years, serving the Church as a youth minister and DRE, and he became a deacon in 2004. He founded New Evangelization Ministries, equipping pastors and parish staff with training, resources, and strategies to help parishes become more effective in evangelization and discipleship. He has produced the first two booklets in the NEM Discipleship Formation Series and has also co-authored a book with Father Dave Pivonka, TOR, titled Encounter Jesus: From Discovery to Discipleship. Deacon Ralph will soon release a video evangelistic conversion process for parishes, titled Common Sense Catholic. He and his wife, Susan, have five daughters, three sons-in- law, and three grandchildren. He will be presenting at the Power and Purpose Conference and the Priests, Deacons, and Seminarians Retreat.

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David Prosen, MA, graduated in 2006 with an MA in counseling from Franciscan University of Steubenville. He has provided counseling for a variety of issues including depression, anxiety, gender wounds, co-dependency, obtaining and maintaining chastity, and more. Leader of the Steubenville chapter of Courage from 2004 to 2011, David has had several articles published in Lay Witness and Crisis Magazine and has given numerous presentations across the country on same-sex attraction from a Catholic perspective. In addition, David recently gave his testimony in Rome at a conference sponsored by Courage, Ignatius Press, and the Napa Institute, titled “Living the Truth in Love.” David can also be seen in the documentary The Third Way: Homosexuality and the Catholic Church (Blackstone Films). He will be presenting at the Priests, Deacons, and Seminarians Retreat.

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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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This year marks Father Thomas J. Valenti’s 40th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood of Jesus Christ, ministering in the Diocese of Rochester and the Archdiocese of New York . He served for 13 years in diocesan vocation ministry until 1993, when he left the position of assistant to the bishop for Vocations to become Catholic chaplain of Ithaca College . In 1997, he became a Catholic chaplain to the undergraduates of Columbia University . He maintains the position of chaplain for Columbia’s Athletic Department . For the past year he has also served as the pastoral administrator of four parishes that comprise all of New York State’s Tioga County . Since the 1980s, Father Valenti has been a yearly speaker at Franciscan University’s conferences and retreats . This year he will host the seminarians participating in the Priests, Deacons, and Seminarians Retreat.


CONFERENCE VIDEOS

2016:

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