A delegation from the Archdiocese of Portland traveled to Orlando, Florida, July 1-4 to help devise ways to best reflect the church’s missionary call in today’s world.
Part of the group of 3,000 at the “Convocation of Catholic Leaders: The Joy of the Gospel in America” were Archbishop Alexander Sample; Auxiliary Bishop Peter Smith; Deacon Kevin Welch, director of pastoral ministries; Todd Cooper, special assistant to the archbishop; Jason Kidd, director of the Office of Marriage and Family Life; Rolando Moreno, director of the Office of Catechesis and Faith Formation; and Clint Bentz, chair of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called on Catholic leaders from across the country to examine and figure out how best to live out Pope Francis’ call for all Catholics to be missionary disciples in today’s world as expressed in his 2013 apostolic exhortation, “Evangelii Gaudium” (“The Joy of the Gospel”).
The invitation-only convocation was meant to be a diverse gathering of experts who have ideas about how to carry on ministry in a nation with deep social divisions.
The gathering itself was meant to be a sign of unity in the church, says Jonathan Reyes, one of the organizers.
The convocation has been in the works since 2009 through the work of bishops’ committees on pro-life activities, evangelization, catechesis, religious liberty, domestic justice, human development, international justice and peace, laity, marriage, family life and youth.