Bishops’ conference and banquet expands to three-day Omaha event

The annual conference and pro-life banquet of the Nebraska Catholic Conference (NCC) conference and the Bishops’ Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities, generally held in Lincoln, is coming to Omaha this year with an expanded program and additional sponsors.

Titled "Made in His Image: Human Dignity in a Secular World," the Sept. 22-24 conference at Creighton University’s Harper Center in Omaha will explore ethical questions affecting Catholics today.

Other co-sponsors are the Catholic Medical Association, Creighton University Health Sciences Continuing Education, the Thomas More Society, and the archdiocese’s Catholic Schools Office, Center for Family Life Formation, and Office of Evangelization and Catechesis.


Conference highlights

Sept. 22 – A 7 p.m. reception and plenary session on the anthropology of the human person by Mark Rohlena, director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Office of Domestic Social Development, opens the conference.

Sept. 23 – An 8 a.m. Mass celebrated by Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln begins the day. Morning presenters include Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk, director of education for the National Catholic Bioethics Center and frequent Catholic Voice columnist, speaking on transgender issues, and Rohlena discussing human dignity.

After lunch, Father Pacholczyk will speak on reproductive technologies and Dr. Peter Martin, psychologist with Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska, will speak on psychotherapy practice. And Jonathan Reyes, executive director of the USCCB’s Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development, will join Father Pacholczyk and Martin for an afternoon panel discussion.

The Nebraska bishops’ reception and banquet will feature a keynote address by Vicki Thorn, founder and director of Project Rachel.

And Greg Schleppenbach, former NCC executive director and now associate director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities in Washington, D.C., will receive the "Gospel of Life" award.

Sept. 24 – Archbishop George J. Lucas will celebrate the traditional White Mass for healthcare professionals at 8 a.m. Morning talks are planned on dignity, virtue and neuroscience by Dr. David Hilger, radiologist with Methodist Hospital in Omaha, and the biology within St. John Paul II’s theology of the body by Thorn.

Afternoon speakers include a panel of local attorneys, Andrew Bath, Matt Heffron and Ed Morse, members of the Thomas More Society, and Schleppenbach, discussing legal coercion and human dignity.


More Details

The Sept. 23 and Sept. 24 portions of the conference will be eligible for a combined 10.25 CEUs for healthcare professionals. To register, go to

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