2017 Convocation of Catholic Leaders

Small Group Study of Plenary Sessions & Key Homilies


Opening Mass of the Holy Spirit: Unity, Joy and Evangelical Discernment

Principal Celebrant/HomilistTimothy Cardinal Dolan (Archdiocese of New York)

Principal ConcelebrantsDaniel Cardinal DiNardo (Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston), Seán Cardinal O’Malley (Archdiocese of Boston), Donald Cardinal Wuerl (Archdiocese of Washington) with Bishop John Noonan (Hosting Ordinary)

Discussion Questions: The focus of the Opening Mass was unity, joy, and evangelical discernment.

  • What are your thoughts about these three components of the Convocation?
  • What did you learn from the homily?


Plenary Session 1: Charting the Landscape and Mission Field

What is the landscape and mission field in which Catholic leaders in the United States live and are called to work? This session will explore the landscape of the Catholic Church in the United States and the U.S. culture, using findings from the USCCB Right Brain Research Project together with data from sociologists and researchers on culture and Catholic life in the U.S. today, in a spirit of “evangelical discernment” (EG, no. 50). (See EG, nos. 14-18 and 50-109.)

EmceesBishop Edward Burns (Diocese of Dallas) & Julianne Donlon Stanz (Diocese of Green Bay)

Bishop IntroductionArchbishop Thomas Wenski (Archdiocese of Miami)

Brief Keynote PresentationDr. Hosffman Ospino (Boston College, School of Theology and Ministry)

Reaction/Conversation: A multi-ethnic group of cultural leaders who can comment on trends and challenges from the 30,000-foot perspective; recommended members include:

Moderator: Gloria Purvis (EWTN Morning Glory Radio)

Participants: Dr. Helen Alvaré (George Mason), Fr. Tom Gaunt, SJ (CARA, Georgetown), Brian Johnson (Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston), Fr. Agustino Torres, CFR (Corazon Puro), Kerry Weber (America, Mercy in the City)

Discussion questions: This plenary was on the landscape and mission field.

  • Was any of the information presented new to you?
  • What caught your attention?
  • How can these facts help inform your mission in Regnum Christi? 


Plenary Session 2 : The Radical Call to Missionary Discipleship

Who is a “missionary disciple” and what are they called to do? This session explored the understanding of missionary discipleship as described by Evangelii Gaudium and other pertinent Church documents, setting a foundation for advancing the call to be and to form missionary disciples across the United States. (See EG, nos. 19-49, 110-134, 160-175, et al.)

EmceesBishop Edward Burns (Diocese of Dallas) & Julianne Donlon Stanz (Diocese of Green Bay)

Bishop IntroductionArchbishop Leonard Blair (Archdiocese of Hartford)

Brief Keynote PresentationDonald Cardinal Wuerl (Archdiocese of Washington)

Reaction/Conversation: A multi-ethnic panel of bishops and other leaders involved in forming missionary disciples; recommended members include:

Moderator: Gloria Purvis (EWTN Morning Glory Radio)

Participants: Bishop Frank J. Caggiano (Diocese of Bridgeport), Fr. Rafael Capó (Southeast Pastoral Institute), Sr. Mariam James Heidland, SOLT (Loved As I Am), Curtis Martin (Founder and CEO, FOCUS), Sherry Weddell (Forming Intentional Disciples)

Discussion Questions: This plenary was on the call to missionary discipleship.

  • How do the bishops who presented the topic embody this call?
  • How do you hope to implement this call in Regnum Christi?


Plenary Session 3 : Going to the Peripheries

Who is missing from the table? As evidenced by the research, there are so many men and women on the peripheries: those disengaged from the Church, those who are in poverty and who struggle, those with disabilities, those who are hurt, angry, and uncertain. This session looked at ways to go beyond “our own comfort zone,” to reach all people in need of the Gospel. (See EG, nos. 20, 23-24, 48-49, 176-258.)

EmceesBishop Edward Burns (Diocese of Dallas) & Julianne Donlon Stanz (Diocese of Green Bay)

Bishop IntroductionBishop Oscar Cantú (Diocese of Las Cruces)

Keynote PresentationsArchbishop José Gomez (Archdiocese of Los Angeles) & Carl Anderson (Knights of Columbus)

 Reaction/Conversation: A multi-ethnic panel of cultural and ministerial leaders who can comment on their work at the peripheries; recommended members include:

Moderator: Gloria Purvis (EWTN Morning Glory Radio)

Participants: Fr. Paul Check (Rector, St. John Fisher Seminary), Kim Daniels (GP Catholic), Dr. Ansel Augustine (Archdiocese of New Orleans), Sr. Norma Pimintel, MJ (Catholic Charities, Rio Grande Valley), Dr. Carolyn Woo (formerly Catholic Relief Services)

Discussion questions: This plenary focused on going to the peripheries.

  • How do you go to the peripheries in your Regnum Christi mission?
  • What can you do better?


Fortnight for Freedom Mass: Witness and Celebration 

On the eve of Independence Day, we took a moment to celebrate and pray for our freedom to witness, to serve, to act with justice, and to celebrate the faith that compels us to missionary discipleship, and especially to pray for all Christians around the world and those suffering from violence and persecution because of their faith. (See EG, nos. 61 and 255-258.)

Principal Celebrant/Homilist: Archbishop William Lori (Baltimore)

 Discussion questions: Watch the homily from the Mass for the Fortnight for Freedom.

  • How aware are you of the challenges to religious freedom in America today?
  • How does our witness as a Church depend on this freedom?


Plenary Session 4: Spirit-Filled Evangelizers Equipped for Excellence

This plenary focused on helping Catholic leaders become better equipped for success in their evangelization efforts and in their work of forming missionary disciples, to truly become missionary disciples at work in the world. At the same time, the shared mission of discipleship and evangelization depends on personal prayer and on one’s openness to the Holy Spirit. This session offered a reminder that ministerial excellence is only possible when one’s work for the Kingdom is an expression of and nourished by one’s daily reliance on the Lord. (See EG, nos. 19-49, 110-134, and 259-288.) 

EmceesBishop Edward Burns (Diocese of Dallas) & Julianne Donlon Stanz (Diocese of Green Bay)

Bishop IntroductionBishop Richard Malone (Diocese of Buffalo)

Capstone PresentationPatrick Lencioni (Amazing Parish)

Closing Keynote AddressBishop Robert Barron (Archdiocese of Los Angeles)

Discussion questions: The final plenary focused on equipping Spirit-filled evangelizers for excellence.

  • How have you experienced the Holy Spirit through the convocation and discussion of it?
  • Do you feel better equipped for your mission as a missionary disciple in Regnum Christi?

Mass of Sending: Mission and Going Forth

Principal Celebrant/HomilistDaniel Cardinal DiNardo (Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston)

Message from the PopeArchbishop Christophe Pierre (Apostolic Nuncio to the United States) see video below beginning at 37:45)

Discussion questions:

  • What message from the Convocation of Catholic Leaders resonated most deeply with you?
  • How will you live it more deeply and more concretely in your life as a missionary disciple?

Tell us what you think! Send your thoughts, reflections and questions about how Regnum Christi should live the mission proposed by the 2017 Convocation of Catholic Leaders to communicationsna@regnumchristi.org