Breakout Sessions

A) A Culture of Encounter: Living in Solidarity with Africa
Aniedi Okure, Africa Faith & Justice Network

Justice ministry as an integral part of mission in Africa challenges us to reexamine our approach to Gospel witness and solidarity with our African sisters and brothers. A cursory look at Africa shows one land mass of a continent and a people; yet a closer look presents a people fragmented by boarders, languages, diverse linkages and different ideologies. How does one approach this from the perspective of mission? Is it national, regional, or continental? What is the appropriate way of witnessing to the Gospel in such a context? How can we, as missionary disciples address the new scramble for Africa and issues of land grabbing, human dignity, illicit financial flows, human trafficking and militarization of the continent in relation to the rest of the world?


C) Discernment and Spiritual Formation for Short Term Missions
Jesuit Volunteer Corps

In approaching discernment, St. Ignatius of Loyola emphasizes the magis – a Latin word meaning “more” and connoting a spirit of generous excellence. For both coordinators and participants, there are numerous opportunities for discernment and decision-making – before, during, and after a short term mission experience. This session will explore specific methods for discernment in the Ignatian tradition. In addition, the session will offer resources for integrating Ignatian contemplation into a formation process which is ultimately directed to a culture of encounter as witnessed by Jesus in the Gospels.

D) Engaging Parish Families in Missionary Work: How to Contribute to a Missionary Church / El Llamado a la Obra Misionera a Familias: Cómo contribuir a una Iglesia Misionera
Ms. Marilyn Santos, Director of Education & Mission Corps, Pontifical Mission Societies
The mission of the Church is the mission of every disciple and every Christian family. Mission is our baptismal call to share God’s love. This session will explore the animation of mission ad intra; within the family itself as a place of first evangelization where education in the faith and values happens first and mission ad extra; the family as an agent of the new evangelization for society and Church. Please note this session will also be offered once in Spanish.

Descripción de la sesión: La misión de la Iglesia es la misión de cada discípulo y cada familia cristiana. Misión es nuestro llamado bautismal a compartir el amor de Dios. Esta sesión explorará la animación de la misión ad intra; dentro de la familia como espacio de la primera evangelización., donde la educación en la fe y en los valores sucede primero que nada y la misión ad extra; la familia como agente de la nueva evangelización para la sociedad y la Iglesia.

E) Global Solidarity: How to Keep People Returning from Immersion Experiences Involved
Dr. Kim Lamberty, D. Min – Catholic Relief Services

This workshop will suggest a framework for how to keep participants in short-term mission programs engaged in global discipleship after they return from their mission trip. It will provide guidance on how to prepare participants for the trip to maximize their potential for continued engagement once they return. It will also provide suggestions for concrete actions and activities.

F) How Racism Hinders Mission in the Indigenous and Black Communities (Panel)
Lorna DesRoses, Donna Grimes, Sr. Kateri Mitchell, and Fr. Henry Sands

G) Immigration: A Catholic Policy Perspective
Dr. Todd Scribner Ph.D. – USCCB Office of Migration and Refugee Services

Migration has been a defining feature in the Christian experience, with roots as far back as the Old Testament and as recent as migration flows in Latin America, Asia, and elsewhere in the first decades of the Twenty First century. Understanding the Catholic church’s response to migration in the modern world require us to grapple with the theological, institutional, and cultural phenomena that have helped to define this response. Such an understanding is particularly important as we grapple with the complex debates that are currently taking place in the United States. This workshop will highlight some of these factors and look to shed light on some of the conflicts within the Church that have emerged as a consequence.

H) Living Aparecida: Missionary Discipleship / Llamados a ser Discipulos Misioneros: Danto Testimonio
Rev. Juan Molina, OSST, Ph.D. – USCCB Church in Latin America

In this session, participants will take a closer look at the Final Document from the 5th Conference of the Latin American Bishops in Aparecida. Then Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was the chief editor of the document. Having become the foundation of Pope Francis’ Encyclical The Joy of the Gospel, the document of Aparecida contains familiar language to the Church in Latin America. Participants will look at how the Document of Aparecida has served for pastoral planning and action in Latin America and will look at ways in which the pope’s encyclical can enlighten pastoral planning and action in the Church everywhere. Please note this session will also be offered once in Spanish.

En esta sesión, los participantes leerán más de cerca el documento final de la V Conferencia de los Obispos de Latinoamérica en Aparecida. El entonces cardenal Jorge Mario Bergoglio sirvió de editor principal del documento. Al convertirse en la fundación de El Gozo del Evangelio del Papa Francisco, el documento de Aparecida contiene lenguaje conocido para la Iglesia en América Latina. Los participantes verán como el Documento de Aparecida ha servido para la planeación y acción pastoral en Latinoamérica y buscarán maneras sobre como la encíclica del Papa podría iluminar la planeación y acción pastoral de la Iglesia en todos los lugares.

I) Mission Landscape in the United States (Panel)
Sr. Judy Gomilla, MSC, Sr. Madge Karecki, SSJ-TOSF, Mr. James Lindsay, Jessi Poré, Ms. Terry Witherell, and Ms. Amy Woolam-Echeverria (facilitator)


J) On Missionary Discipleship in the Global South (Spanish only, One session will be simultaneously translated into English)
Most Rev. Alvaro Leonel Ramazzini Imeri, Bishop of Huehuetenango


K) One Hand Washes the Other: Sharing the Missionary Outreach of Small Christian Communities (SCCs) in Eastern Africa

Rev. Joseph G. Healey, M.M., Maryknoll Society
How the 180,000 SCCs in nine countries in Eastern Africa are a new way of being (becoming) church and a new pastoral model of church in Africa today. How they are responding to Pope Francis’ challenge to be small communities of missionary disciples. SCCs’ involvement in missionary outreach and New Evangelization. How Eastern Africa SCCs can partner with different kinds of small groups in North America to revitalize and energize their mission awareness and outreach.

L) Short-Term Mission: From Preparation to Integration
Julie Lupien – From Mission To Mission

Each year thousands of Christians participate in short-term mission or immersion experiences. These experiences can be transformative and lead to a greater commitment to mission and service. Quality experiences don’t just happen. This session will focus on what can be done before, during and after the experience to make it a mutually beneficial experience for all.

M) Sustaining Your Mission: Fundraising for Missionary Activities
Alicia Bondanella, Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities (FADICA)

N) United in Christ: Parish Twinning Today
Dr. Mike Gable, Archdiocese of Cincinnati Mission Office

Pope Francis encourages parishes to out beyond themselves! Why? Because parishioners grow in their love for Christ and in solidarity with his people when they share their faith and learn from Christians of other cultures. Partners become more joy filled and socially committed as they become missionary disciples to each other. Parish twinning partners from Ohio and Honduras will share their life-giving experiences and challenges while inviting your questions and insights. Definitions and guidelines for parish twinning with some theological and historical foundations will be provided that will enliven your new evangelization efforts.

O) “Unity is Greater than Conflict”: Relationships, Resolution, Community
Fr. Frank Donio S.A.C., Catholic Apostolate Center

Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium, teaches that “unity is greater than conflict” (228). Conflict does occur regularly within relationships, communities, and even in whole societies. This session will explore ways toward greater unity in diversity through collaboration, co-responsibility, and mercy.