Witnesses for Christ Conference 2019

You probably have children, relatives and friends who have not yet developed a friendship with Jesus and some may not necessarily be interested in pursuing one. You may also feel afraid or unsure how to open up a discussion about your own relationship with Christ.

Learn simple skills to accompany others on their journey to Jesus

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.

When: August 9-10, 2019
Where: Blessed Sacrament Parish  |  130 Losey Blvd S.  |  La Crosse WI
Cost: $70 by July 19, $85 by July 30 – includes Friday lunch and buffet, Saturday breakfast and lunch and materials.  Hotel arrangements, if needed, are your responsibility.

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


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The art of intentional accompaniment requires some specific skills, such as

  • Extending an invitation to friendship with Jesus
  • Knowing how to make the invitation personal
  • Presenting the First Announcement – the Kerygma– in a few sentences that tug at the heart of the person with the reasons why they would want to encounter Jesus
  • Providing an opportunity to make a decision for Christ
  • Having simple conversations about Jesus


Keynote Speakers

Father Lou Molinelli, SDB
Father Louis Molinelli, SDB, made his first profession as a Salesian in 1981 and was ordained a priest in 1990. He graduated from Don Bosco College with a BA in philosophy and a teaching certificate in mathematics. He received an MA in Sacred Scripture, a master of divinity and a master’s in education (school administration). He has been a teacher, assistant coordinator of youth ministry, academic dean, and principal. He served as the principal for six years at St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg, Florida, and he was the director and president of the Don Bosco Preparatory High School in Ramsey, New Jersey. Since 2011, Father Lou has been the director of Archbishop Shaw High School in Marrero, Louisiana. Fr. Lou is very practical and has a great sense of humor.

Michael Hall
Michael Hall is the director of Training for Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO), a university student movement dedicated to evangelization serving on campuses across Canada, and has been a missionary with CCO since 2003. He also serves as a co-director of the Summer Institute in the New Evangelization, a joint initiative between CCO, St. Paul University, and Mission of the Redeemer Ministries. Michael lives in Ottawa, Ontario, with his wife, Amy, and their four children.

Schedule for Friday, August 9

  • 10 a.m. Break-out Sessions
  1. Middle and High School Relational Ministry as effective Faith Formation – Jacqueline & Michael Van Hemert & Kristin Johnson
  2. From Safe Haven Sunday to Safe Haven Home: Limiting the Influence of Pornography with Dan & Christy Kitzhaber
  3. Responding to young children and youth about difficult cultural issues – Ann Lankford & Chris Ruff
  • Michael Hall: Keynote speaker for the day Theme – Intentional Accompaniment
    11:30 a.m. Teaching to reach hearts; Leading people to Christ is more than just conveying information
  • 12:30 p.m. Lunch
  • 1:15 p.m. Michael Hall:  Offering the First Announcement – the Kerygma. The First Announcement is a few sentences that tug at the heart of the person with the reasons why they would want to encounter Jesus
  • 2:30 p.m. Michael Hall: Providing an opportunity to make a decision for Christ. We teach the Faith but do we ask for a commitment?  What do we do if they are not ready? How can we have simple conversations about Jesus?
  • 3:45 p.m. Break-out sessions
  1. Families and Faith:  Why is the family so important in the transmission of the Faith with Dan & Christy Kitzhaber
  2. Confirmation:  What will pull in this group of young people? How to engage parents and How to have Compelling Retreats with Chris Rogers, Wanda Thorson & Steve Martin
  3. Issues that Catechists Face on a Weekly Basis: Discipline that works; Presenting compelling Safe Environment training; Special Need’s Issues; Involving Parents; with Pat Brueggen, Teresa Brown, Diane Hietpas & Michelle Bowe
  • 4:45 p.m. Confessions, networking, bookstore, check in at motel
  • 6 p.m. Social at Moxies / AmericInn Riverfront 7 p.m. Dinner Banquet at Moxies / AmericInn Riverfront

Saturday, August 10

  • 8 a.m. Mass celebrated by Bishop Callahan Continental Breakfast
    Father Lou Molinelli: Keynote speaker for the dayTheme: Accompaniment – Formed for the Mission
  • 9:30 a.m. The Four Pillars of St. John Bosco’s System
  • 10:45 a.m. The Spirituality of Daily Life: Encountering the Lord Jesus
  • 12 p.m. Lunch
  • 12:45 p.m. Forming Communion in the Catholic Church
  • 2:15 p.m. Living our Mission in the Spirit of Joy 3:30 p.m.  Closing Prayer

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