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Voices Online Edition
Summer 1997 : Volume XII, No. 2

The year of Jesus Christ
"Go and Tell What You Have Seen and Heard"

The 1997 WFF Conference theme observes The Year of Jesus Christ, and takes its title from our Lord's command to his disciples recorded in the Gospel of Luke, "Go and tell what you have seen and heard" .

Bishop Bruskewitz to Keynote

Bishop Fabian W. Bruskewitz, of Lincoln, Nebraska, will present the keynote address at the opening session on Friday evening, which begins with Vespers at 7:45 pm. St. Louis Archbishop Justin Rigali will introduce Bishop Bruskewitz.

Bishop Bruskewitz has been bishop of Lincoln since 1992, and has endeared himself to Catholics all over the country by his forthright fidelity to Church doctrine. Lincoln is also known for its many vocations to the priesthood and religious life. The bishop recently announced he will open a new seminary.

Bishop Bruskewitz studied at the North American College and the Gregorian University in Rome. Following ordination in 1960, he was assistant pastor at two Milwaukee parishes and a professor at St. Francis Major Seminary for two years. He was named Chaplain to Pope Paul VI, with the title of Monsignor, in 1976. From 1969-1980, Bishop Bruskewitz was an official of the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education.

Bishop Bruskewitz will celebrate Mass on Saturday morning at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. He will also be present for the Conference banquet on Saturday October 25.

DeMarco to give Banquet Address
Saturday will begin with Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, followed by a full day of sessions. The banquet speaker Saturday evening will the popular lecturer and author, Professor Donald DeMarco, of St. Jerome's College, Ontario, Canada. Among his many books is the recent Character in a Time of Crisis. Professor DeMarco's essay Women and the Problem of Place appeared in the Spring 1997 Voices, and he has addressed WFF conferences in the past.

Following the final session Sunday morning, the conference will conclude with Mass at the Basilica of St. Louis, King of France ("The Old Cathedral"), to be concelebrated by Father Paul Mankowski, S.J., and Father James Viall, pastor of St. Rose Parish, Cleveland, and moderator of WFF Cleveland. Father Mankowski will be the homilist.

Other Speakers

Father Paul Mankowski, S.J., a native of South Bend, Indiana, entered the Society of Jesus in September 1976, and was ordained in June 1987. Father Mankowski teaches Hebrew at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, and is presently preparing a book on the ancient Akkadian language for publication by Harvard University Press. Father Mankowski has published many essays in Catholic and secular journals (including Voices), and has been a favorite speaker at WFF conferences since 1989.

Ann Carey, a veteran writer for Our Sunday Visitor, wrote one of the earliest published stories about Women for Faith and Family in 1985. She is also the author of Sisters In Crisis: The Tragic Unraveling of Women's Religious Communities, reviewed on page 7.

Sister M. Timothea Elliott is a member of the Sisters of Mercy of Alma, and a professor of Scripture at St. Joseph's Seminary, Dunwoodie, in New York. She gave a memorable address on women in the New Testament at the 1995 WFF conference held in Arlington, Virginia.

Thomas Reeves is a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin, and the author of The Empty Church: The Suicide of Liberal Christianity, a book focusing on the decline in membership and influence of mainline Protestantism. A feature article on Dr. Reeves, an Episcopalian, was published in Our Sunday Visitor recently.

Mary Woodard is director of the Community Initiative for Cult Awareness, Douglasville, Georgia. This will be her first appearance at a WFF conference.

Helen Hull Hitchcock, director of Women for Faith and Family, a writer and lecturer on Catholic issues, is also editor of Adoremus Bulletin, a liturgical journal, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars.

Why Attend a WFFConference?
Are you looking for compelling reasons to attend the October 24-26 WFF Conference? With so many good activities, conferences, meetings and lectures, it's hard to choose. But we think there are special reasons you'll want to put WFF on your list.

First of all, like many others, WFF's annual conferences have provided not only an opportunity for deepening understanding of Catholic teaching on many current topics, but afford those who attend a genuine opportunity for fellowship with other Catholics men and women who share similar concerns and commitment to the Church.

One unique feature of the WFF conferences is that every one of them beginning with our first conference in 1985, has been addressed by at least one bishop. A partial list includes Alfonso Cardinal Lopez Trujillo, prefect of the Pontifical Council on the Family, James Cardinal Hickey, Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, Archbishop Elden Curtiss, Archbishop Charles Chaput, Bishop John Myers, and Bishop Austin Vaughan.

This year, Bishop Bruskewitz makes his second appearance. Each of our conferences has also received the Apostolic blessing of Pope John Paul II, and letters of greeting from many bishops.

One goal of WFF conferences is to find the very best women speakers many of them new voices. Among those who have become well-known for their intelligent defense of Catholic teaching since their first appearances at our conference are Donna Steichen, who later published her best-selling Ungodly Rage, theologian Joyce Little, author of The Church and the Culture War, and philosopher Janet Smith. Others, like Mother Angelica and Anne Roche Muggeridge, were much admired already; and some other recent "new voices", like Germaine Murray and Mary Meaney, you will be hearing more from in the future.

Of course, we do not limit our attention to women only and some of our favorite speakers are prominent Catholic men, clergy and lay, like James Hitchcock, Monsignor George Kelly, Father George Rutler, Ralph McInerny, and Kenneth Whitehead, to name a few.

Need Persuading?
If you need further assurance of the important contribution of WFF conferences to the Catholic Church in America, let us suggest you look at the book, Slouching Towards Gomorrah, by Judge Robert H. Bork. In his best-selling book, Judge Bork, who is not a Catholic, devotes an entire chapter, "The Trouble in Religion", to the same arguments that have so often been developed in our conferences and on these pages.

For example, he argues that (1) "the link between religion and morality can be demonstrated conclusively" and (2) the arrival of "trouble in our culture coincided with a decline in the influence of religion". Bork then lists and expands upon current problems in religion: elitist insistence on the privatization of religion (while elitist values remain ascendant in the public square); egalitarianism (particularly the confusion between identicality and equality); radical individualism; material ease brought about by technological progress; the intellectual prestige of science; and the current "strongest force seeking to destroy traditional religions" feminism.

Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Would it surprise you to learn that Judge Bork then mentions Joyce Little, Father Paul Mankowski ("a brilliant young Jesuit") and Donna Steichen? All are former WFF Conference speakers longtime friends of WFF! He might well have mentioned his own wife, Mary Ellen Bork, too, for she has also addressed Women for Faith and Family.

We invite you to keep in mind Judge Bork's comments as you make plans (and encourage others) to attend our 1997 Conference.

Recently, we have added an "ecumenical" dimension to our conferences. As it has become increasingly clear that true Christian belief is under vigorous attack in today's society, both from outside and from within the churches, we recognize the need for increased solidarity between believing Catholic and Protestant Christians who hold in common essential teachings of Christianity.

Among the Protestant Christians who have addressed WFF are Diane Knippers, director of the Institute for Religion and Democracy, Terri Schlossberg, of Presbyterians Pro-Life, Faye Short, of United Methodist Women, and family historian Allan Carlson, of the Rockford Institute. This year, historian and author Thomas Reeves joins this distinguished list.

We think you will agree that this is an impressive record. And this year's conference keeps up that tradition.

We do hope to see you in St. Louis in November!

Registration, Exhibitors Information

Forms for both conference and hotel registration are on page 15. The Holiday Inn Clayton Plaza provides free shuttle service to and from the airport. Parking is complimentary for the conference. All sessions will be audio-taped by St. Joseph Communication.

For further information, contact Sherry Tyree . Exhibitors should call Susan Benofy .

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