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Register Now for 7th Annual Divine Mercy Conference

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Attendees of the Marian Fathers' upcoming 7th Annual Divine Mercy Conference in Bronx, N.Y., will have the opportunity to listen to the Church's man of the hour: Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York.

Jovial, self-effacing and respected even by many Church detractors, Cardinal Dolan will join a revered line-up for the country's preeminent Divine Mercy conference, Saturday, March 24, at Cardinal Spellman High School. The conference is co-sponsored by the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception and the community of Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.

Registration is underway.

Speakers also include:

• Scott Hahn
, author and theologian
• Linda Santo, mother of Little Audrey
• Father Benedict Groeschel, CFR
, author and TV host on EWTN
• Abby Johnson, former director of Planned Parenthood, now pro-life advocate

• Msgr. James Lisante, Fox News commentator
• Susan Tassone, author and expert on the subject of Purgatory

• Joan and Dave Maroney of Mother of Mercy Messengers, an apostolate of the Marian Fathers 

• Divine Mercy Prayer Group of Perth Amboy Catholic School

The conference will include Holy Mass. The celebrant will be Fr. Joe Roesch, MIC, the Marians' vicar general in Rome, Italy.

The conference follows in the heels of Cardinal Dolan's elevation to the College of Cardinals on Feb. 18 at the Vatican. The day before the Consistory that created 22 new Cardinals, Dolan was chosen by Pope Benedict XVI to give an address on the Day of Prayer and Reflection of the College of Cardinals.

By all accounts, he wowed the audience.

Cardinal Dolan's address centered on the New Evangelization. A central pillar of the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI, the "New Evangelization" refers to the Church-wide effort to reawaken its historical role in evangelization. In this case, the Holy Father has charge Church leaders and the laity to evangelize in countries where the Gospel was announced centuries ago, but where its presence has diminished in the lives of the people and the culture at large — or, as Cardinal Dolan put it, "where the salt of the gospel had lost its tang."

In October, a Bishops Synod will be held in Rome on the theme of the New Evangelization. A proposal was submitted to the Holy See through the World Apostolic Congress on Mercy in Krakow, Poland, in October that Divine Mercy be placed at the center of such evangelization efforts.

In a theme he'll likely echo at the Divine Mercy Conference, Cardinal Dolan enunciated a seven-point evangelization strategy. Here's a summary, thanks to Zenit.org:

1) Remembering that even those who boast of their secularism have an innate longing for the divine; the first step of evangelization must be to keep the quest for God alive.
2) "Be not afraid" — confident, without being triumphalist, since it is the power of God who sends his people to evangelize.
3) Knowing that the New Evangelization is not about presenting a doctrine or belief-system, but a Person, whose name is Jesus.
4) Nevertheless, this Jesus is the Truth. Hence, evangelization is linked to catechesis.
5) An evangelist must be a person of joy — someone who smiles.
6) The New Evangelization is about love — the love of God made concrete in service.
7) Finally, martyrdom. A reminder that the Church is now peopled by those who are suffering persecution for their faith, and that these martyrs give impetus to the New Evangelization


Cardinal Dolan's talk energized the College of Cardinals, many of whom view him as a rising star and welcoming face in these trying times for the Church. View a video report of his talk from Romereports.com:

Raised to the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Dolan is now among the select few who may someday choose the successor to Pope Benedict XVI. Taking into account his larger-than-life personality, warmth and intelligence, coupled with his unapologetic defense of Church social teachings, Cardinal Dolan is considered among the shortlist for successor to Pope Benedict.

When asked about it in an interview with the CBS News magazine "60 Minutes," His Eminence demurred.

"Have you been talking to my mother?" he joked.

Elected on November 16, 2010, to the presidency of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Dolan, 62, has also been in the headlines recently in leading the Church's charge against the hotly disputed White House mandate that would require some religious institutions, like Catholic hospitals, to provide health coverage for contraception.

The conference will include Adoration and opportunities for confession. Music will be provided by Marty Rotella. A bookstore and exhibits by the speakers and the Marian Fathers will be open throughout the day.

If you're interested in attending the 7th Annual Divine Mercy Conference on Saturday, March 24, you can register now.

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