Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, celebrates the Mass for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 23, 2020. He will be the keynote speaker at the Nebraska Catholic Conference’s pro-life banquet Sept. 17 in Lincoln. PETER ZELASKO/CNA

Commentary

Register now for Bishops’ Pro-Life Banquet and Conference

Right around the corner – on Sept. 17 and 18 – the Nebraska Catholic Conference (NCC) will host our annual Bishops’ Pro-Life Banquet and Conference at the Embassy Suites in downtown Lincoln. We are thrilled to return to an in-person event.

As usual, the banquet will be Friday evening. The conference will be Saturday. If you are already sold on attending and don’t need to read anymore, visit www.necatholic.org and register to attend!

This year’s theme is “A People of Life and For Life: The Next 25 Years of ‘Evangelium Vitae’.” Building on last year’s 25th anniversary of St. Pope John Paul II’s encyclical “The Gospel of Life,” we will look ahead and envision how the Gospel of Life can be renewed into the next 25 years. 

The Friday night banquet will feature a variety of festivities. There will be a social hour beginning at 5:30 p.m., a wonderful opportunity for pro-lifers to gather in a laid-back atmosphere to share a drink and meet friends old and new. During the dinner, we will honor a few pro-lifers from across the state with our Gospel of Life Award, recognizing their courageous contributions to the pro-life cause. We will also honor our junior high and high school statewide pro-life essay contest winners.

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann will give the banquet keynote address. He is the archbishop of Kansas City, Kansas. He also serves as the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities. A great friend to the three bishops here in Nebraska, Archbishop Naumann is a tremendous shepherd and witness to the Gospel of Life. 

Archbishop Naumann finds himself in leadership at an important time in the history of the pro-life cause in America. We face unprecedented attacks on life, such as recent attempts by Congress to force taxpayers to fund abortions. We also face serious questions of identity regarding the Eucharist and its worthy reception by public figures and officials who espouse pro-abortion ideologies. Archbishop Naumann is at the helm for this and more, helping Catholics across the country navigate these difficult waters. You won’t want to miss his incisive and prophetic insights.

The Saturday conference will be chock-full of invaluable learning opportunities that attendees can use to build up the pro-life cause in their communities. As mentioned earlier, the conference will focus on how we can live the Gospel of Life going into these next 25 years. If we are to win this cause for life, we must be visionaries. 

The morning talks at the conference will hit on three crucial themes: (1) renewal of the self, (2) renewal of the family, and (3) renewal of the political community. These talks will address how each of us, our families and the whole political community need to be renewed for us to properly build a culture of life moving forward. These talks will be heavy hitting and examine the theological, philosophical and cultural problems we face. They will help us diagnosis the problems so as to provide solutions.

The afternoon talks will be a series of “lightning round” mini-sessions. These mini-sessions will be about 20 minutes each and will address a wide variety of practical topics, such as preparing for the overturning of Roe v. Wade, caring for the sick and dying in a nation that kills its own through assisted suicide, staying on the cutting edge with pro-life messaging in a digital and social media world, how the family can provide a pro-life witness to the world, and other great topics. 

As usual, the banquet and conference are reasonably priced. The banquet is $50; the conference is $40. Those who attend both get the NCC bargain of $80! And there are special rates for priests, religious and students. Buy a ticket for yourself, your loved ones, and bring some friends along with you.

As I mentioned, visit www.necatholic.org to register or call our office at 402-477-7517. Be there … or be square!

Tom Venzor is the executive director of the Nebraska Catholic Conference. Email him at tvenzor@necatholic.com.