Witness for Christ Conference

Annual Conference

When: August 10-11, 2018

Where: Blessed Sacrament Parish  |  130 Losey Blvd S.  |  La Crosse WI

Cost: $70 by July 20, $80 by July 31 – includes Friday lunch and buffet, Saturday breakfast and lunch and materials.  Hotel arrangements, if needed, are your responsibility.  Please see Hotel Accommodations list.

Susan Skemp at 608-791-2658 or email sskemp@diolc.org .




This annual Conference is for EVERYONE:  Catechetical leaders, catechists, Catholic School teachers and administrators, clergy and any interested adult.  Every parish needs to be represented and is encouraged to send at least two people.

Beyond Sit, Stand, Kneel: Encountering God
Teach children, and their parents, to see Jesus at Mass

Dr. James Pauley – James is deeply concerned about the widespread decline in the number of people receiving the Sacraments in the Church. He feels the call to help turn the tide so strongly that he even authored a helpful new book on the topic. He has a passion for communicating the deep roots and meaning of the Mass – especially to those who are indifferent and unengaged – so that it can be a transformative encounter with God. Dr. Pauley has worked as a parish catechetical leader as well as at the diocesan and university level for more than twenty-five years and he currently serves as a Professor of Theology and Catechetics at Franciscan University. He is a frequent speaker in dioceses and parishes nationwide. James is married to Katrina and they are blessed with three beautiful daughters.

From Atheist to Catholic

Dr. Holly Ordway – Holly called herself an “antagonistic atheist” until God met her in the writings of C.S. Lewis where she began to understand that the Resurrection of Christ is historical and believable and has personal implications. It was then through her fencing coach where God met her again through respectful and informative conversations that allowed her to ask questions with complete freedom. Dr. Ordway is the author of the best-selling book, Not God’s Type. In describing her transformation from a secular-minded, atheistic English professor to a devout Catholic, Holly will help us better understand the worldly mindset from which she was rescued, and consider simple ways we can help lead others to Christ.

Encounter Christ in the Sacraments


  • 11 a.m. – Welcome and Opening Prayer:  Ann Lankford and Chris Rogers
    • 3 things they didn’t teach you about parish work: Fr. William Dhein
    • How to Involve Parents: What’s working well in Parishes? Jennifer, Ann W., & Joan
    • How to effectively use Social Media / Pitfalls of Electronic Communication: Kristin Johnson & Chris Rogers
  • 12:30 p.m. Lunch
  • 1:15 p.m. – Dr. Holly Ordway gives her testimony: Atheist converts to Catholicism
    • Dr. Holly Ordway: How God works in the imagination to stir faith 
  • 3:30 p.m.  – New Prayer Initiative: Ann Lankford
    • How to engage Children and Youth: What’s working well in Parishes
      Michael, Kristin & Dave
    • Online Learning System
  • 5 p.m. – Confessions, networking, bookstore, check in at motel
  • 6 p.m.  – Social at Moxies / AmericInn Hotel (formerly River Jacks/Best Western)
  • 7 p.m. – Dinner Banquest at Moxies/AmericInn Hotel (formerly River Jacks/Best Western)

Saturday, August 11

  • 8  a.m.  – Mass celebrated by Bishop Callahan 
    • Continental Breakfast
  • 9:30 a.m.  – Dr. James Pauley: Keynote speaker for the day
    Cultivating a Desire for God
  • 10:45 a.m.  – The Sacraments: Empty Ritual or Life-Changing Encounter
  • 12 – 12:45 p.m.  – Lunch
  • 12:45 p.m.  – Participating Beyond Sit, Stand, Kneel: Teaching the Art of Transformative Participation
  • 2:15 p.m.  – Personal Mentoring: The Best Way Forward
  • 3:30 p.m  – Close

Hosted by: Office for Catechesis and Evangelization and
Office for Youth and Young Adult Ministry