UDMC to feature papal advisory committee chair Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez

By Michele Baker

Correspondent

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Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, arrives for a Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI to mark the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in St. Peters Basilica at the Vatican in this Dec. 12, 2011, file photo. Cardinal Rodríguez was named the head of Pope Francis Council of Cardinals, a group of eight cardinals appointed to refrom the Roman Curia. He will be the keynote speaker at this years UDMC. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

The 2013 University of Dallas Ministry Conference (UDMC), one of the largest Catholic conferences of its kind in the United States, will take place Oct. 25-26 at the Irving Convention Center. Co-sponsored by the dioceses of Fort Worth and Dallas, the event is expected to draw nearly 5,500 participants, over 100 vendors and exhibitors, and will feature musical performances from up-and-coming Catholic artists.

Now in its seventh year, the annual conference offers an opportunity for Catholic liturgical ministers, school teachers, catechists, parish administrators, and other lay faithful to come together to learn and pray, as they live out their faith in various ministries. With a keynote address given in both English and Spanish and numerous breakout sessions offered in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese, this event is designed to serve the diverse faith communities that make up the universal Church in North Texas.

This year’s conference theme, “Walking Together in Faith,” seems most fitting as the “Year of Faith” enters its final weeks. Equally fitting is that one of the Holy Father’s closest advisors, Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, SDB, is slated to give the keynote address.

Cardinal Rodríguez, the first cardinal from Honduras, is the Chair of Pope Francis’ newly formed eight-member Council of Cardinals (nicknamed the “G-8”). The council is now a permanent advisory committee to help reform and restructure the Roman Curia.

Cardinal Rodríguez was ordained to the priesthood in 1970, named auxiliary bishop of Tegucigalpa in 1978, and became archbishop of Tegucigalpa in 1993. In 2001, he was named a cardinal by Pope John Paul II. Media savvy and charismatic, Cardinal Rodriguez is well known among Latin American Catholics as an outspoken interpreter of the Church’s teachings on social justice.

In a recent press release, Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas said, “How fortuitous that Cardinal Rodriguez will join us just after returning from the first meeting of the G8. As one of the most knowledgeable leaders of the Catholic Church today, I know he will bring a message that stresses Pope Francis’ important call for compassion and understanding to live out the full Gospel message in our daily lives.”

Cardinal Rodriguez will present an address entitled, “The State of the Church: The Importance of the New Evangelization,” in both English and Spanish. He has also agreed to hold a brief press conference as well.

Even so, the heart of the conference remains faith formation. In their joint letter of invitation for this year’s UDMC, Monsignor Stephen Berg, Diocesan Administrator for the Diocese of Fort Worth, Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas, and Thomas W. Keefe, president of the University of Dallas, encouraged all who are active in ministry to participate, saying, “The conference is a wonderful opportunity for ongoing formation that can rejuvenate those working in the Church today as we assist those we serve to more deeply understand their Catholic faith and grow in spirituality.”

 The registration fee is $75. For more information or to register, visit www.udallas.edu/udmc.

UDMC-Button.jpgThe 2013 University of Dallas Ministry Conference (UDMC), one of the largest Catholic conferences of its kind in the United States, will take place Oct. 25-26 at the Irving Convention Center. Co-sponsored by the dioceses of Fort Worth and Dallas, the event is expected to draw nearly 5,500 participants, over 100 vendors and exhibitors, and will feature musical performances from up-and-coming Catholic artists.

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