By Linda Andrade Rodrigues, Anchor Correspondent
NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. — Faithful from far and wide will gather at St. Julie Billiart Church tomorrow for the Proclaim & Magnify Conference 2015.
Sponsored by Catholic Radio CorMariae, 88.5 FM, the first annual event will feature renowned author and philosopher Peter Kreeft who will present “What’s New about the New Evangelization?” and “Why Are We Losing the Culture War?”
A professor of philosophy at Boston College, Kreeft said on his website (www.peterkreeft.com) that he loves his five grandchildren, four children, one wife, one cat, and one God.
In his two presentations he will speak about the current culture war and the role New Evangelization plays in a winning strategy.
“The master heresy of our civilization, our culture, our times, is basically the loss of the supernatural,” said Kreeft. “Christianity isn’t static; it’s a living thing. It’s growing where it’s persecuted. It’s growing in China. It’s growing in, of all places, Islamic countries, always the hardest to evangelize; but for the first time in a thousand years, there are significant Muslim conversions — almost all of them due to miracles and visions. What is God doing? God always raises up new answers in the Church to new problems in the world.”
Kreeft’s 75 books include four titles which will be available at the luncheon book signing: “Practical Theology: Spiritual Direction from St. Thomas Aquinas,” “A Refutation of Moral Relativism: Interview with an Absolutist,” “Jesus-Shock” and “How to Win the Culture War: A Christian Battle Plan for a Society in Crisis.”
The Proclaim & Magnify Conference 2015 also will feature Allison Gingras, Radio CorMariae host of Catholic 24/7, which airs Wednesdays at 7 p.m. She will speak about “Radio, the New Evangelization and the Gospel.”
Gingras founded Reconciled To You ministries (www.reconciledtoyou.com) in 2009 to share her love of the Catholic faith and the many ways it can be lived out in our everyday, ordinary life. Her enthusiasm, passion and sense of humor open hearts and minds to explore the beauty and blessings of Catholicism.
“Catholic radio gives us a personal connection that other mediums do not,” said Gingras. “In my work I really desire to connect in an honest conversation and encounter to inspire people to seek a deeper relationship with Jesus and the Catholic faith. We are literally reaching into people’s cars, homes, phones and computers and bringing this into their lives in such a beautiful way. Catholic radio can play such an important role in evangelization, bringing people back to the Church and inspiring them to learn more about their faith.”
An official affiliate of the EWTN Radio Network, Radio CorMariae (Heart of Mary) is a nonprofit Catholic broadcasting station operated by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate in New Bedford. Its core mission is to bring all hearts to Jesus and Mary.
“We’re very excited about this event,” said Anita Taylor, outreach director of Radio CorMariae.
“I think that the radio station has a responsibility — not just to those of the Catholic faith but to the whole community — to educate and to connect with God,” said Taylor. “We came up with the intent that the Proclaim & Magnify Conference will be held yearly offering the option to hear tremendous speakers. Peter Kreeft is very dynamic and will reach out to a broad section of the community, not only Catholics. We can connect our brothers and sisters to bring wisdom and understanding, simply because it relates directly to Mary alone with the Magnificat. It’s connected to her, and that’s going to resonate with other people.”
Friar John Mary also stressed the importance of the Blessed Mother to the New Evangelization.
“The way our culture is now, we need answers,” he said. “The Church’s response in this period of history is to spread the truth of the Gospel, and Our Lady magnifies this truth.”
“Radio CorMariae is of the Immaculate, and the work of Our Lady is to bring people to Jesus Christ,” added Father Guardian Maximilian Mary. “This event is part of the station, and it’s her work to make it known.”
The Proclaim & Magnify Conference 2015 program will begin at 9 a.m. on February 28, with the Rosary, led by Friar Gabriel, followed by the welcome and program overview by Father Roy and David Wroe, a longtime benefactor of the station. Gingras will speak about Catholic radio from 9:35 to 10:25 a.m., and Kreeft will talk about the New Evangelization from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. There will be two lunch periods with book-signings.
Kreeft will make his second presentation on the culture war from 1:15 to 2:50 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer period. There also will be opportunities throughout the day for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Tickets to the conference cost $25 and are still available by calling 508-996-8274 or registering online at www.proclaim2015.brownpapertickets.com. Lunch will be provided. St. Julie Billiart Church is located at 494 Slocum Road in North Dartmouth.