At a time when divorce rates are on the decline and marriage rates rising it timely to see a conference titled “The Renaissance of Marriage” on the church calendar. “Despite the continuing negative attitudes to marriage in our culture, we see many signs of hope regarding marriage,” say conference convenors, Francine & Byron Pirola. “Since we convened the first Renaissance of Marriage in 2008, the desirable trends in relation to marriage and divorce are increasing. These conferences are a bold call for Catholics to rejoice in the gift of marriage and to live it abundantly”.
The event, convened by the Pastoral & Matrimonial Renewal Centre (PMRC) is open to all Catholics with an interest in marriage: bishops, priests, lay leaders, professional marriage educators and couples. Places in the three-day event are filling rapidly. “Having over 60% of the maximum two hundred places already registered at this early stage is pleasing but not surprising given that this is such a unique event”, says Byron. “It will draw together an unprecedented group of marriage experts in a spirit of faith to further the mission of the Church in its ministry of marriage formation.”
The Conference offers a range of keynotes, workshops and preconference seminars aimed at tackling the difficult issues confronting Catholic couples today. Featuring contemporary content and innovative educational methods, the conference will focus on strengthening Catholic marriages so that they remain meaningful and loving despite the pressures of a modern life. A wide range of marriage-related resources will be showcased and marriage education registrants are encouraged to apply for display space in the Expo.
The impressive line up of guest speakers will showcase initiatives from around the globe, innovations in Catholic Marriage Formation and insight into trends such as why couples are delaying marriage. Special Guest Speakers Dr Geoffrey and Lisa Popcak , (Pastoral Solutions Institute, USA) are the authors of seven books and hosts of a weekly talk-back radio programme on all matters related to marriage. Among other topics they will be addressing the topic of sex as part of the Theology of the Body focus.
A number of the Bishops throughout Australia are providing grants for couples and volunteer marriage educators in their diocese to attend. Recipients of one of ten Broken Bay grants, Margaret and Darryl Moore (Pennants Hills Parish) said, "We are excited about attending this conference again because there are so many knowledgeable speakers both local and international and we have so much to learn".
With the canonisation of Bl. Mary MacKillop set for later in October, Josephite facilities at the Baulkham Hills Centre will be especially appreciated by delegates. As a champion of faith-based education, Mary MacKillop makes a very fitting patron. The tranquil surrounds of the Spirituality Centre offers a reflective environment that will be complimented by PMRC’s signature hospitality.
Baulkham Hills, Sydney | 1- 3 October 2010
Single $440 | Couple $540 | Priests/religious $250
Grants of $100 are available from PMRC for delegates who work as unpaid volunteers in marriage ministry.
Francine & Byron Pirola
02 9319-1111 | Francine.firstname.lastname@example.org