SC Catholics In Action Conference

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About Bishop Nelson J. Perez...
Nelson J. Perez was born in Miami, Florida, on June 16, 1961 to David and Emma Perez and is the brother of the late Dr. David Perez and Louis Martin Perez. He was raised in West New York, NJ. Bishop Perez earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Montclair State University in 1983. He taught at Colegio la Piedad, a Catholic elementary school in Puerto Rico, prior to entering Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, where he earned Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Theology degrees in 1988 and 1989, respectively. His work in education included teaching courses in psychology and religious studies at LaSalle University, Philadelphia (1994-2008). Bishop Perez also taught Developmental Psychology at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary (Fall, 2011), in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. In 1998, he was named Chaplain to His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, with the title of Monsignor. In 2009, he was named a Prelate of Honor by Pope Benedict XVI. Pope Benedict XVI appointed Reverend Monsignor Nelson J. Perez Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre in New York on June 8, 2012. He was ordained a bishop on July 25, 2012 in Saint Agnes Cathedral, Rockville Centre, NY by Bishop William F. Murphy. He was installed as the 11th Bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland on September 5, 2017.

A kind, joyous, and hard-working person, Bishop Perez enriches those ministries and people entrusted to his care. Rooted in Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, “The Joy of the Gospel”, Bishop Perez’s pastoral vision can be summarized as: “Church on Mission: Proactive, Involved, Supportive, Fruitful, and Joyful”
(The Joy of the Gospel, # 24, Pope Francis)

About Gloria Purvis...
Gloria Purvis graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor's of Science in Human Development and Family Studies. She worked for more than a decade in the mortgage and finance industry before becoming a policy manager at a major financial services company.

She served as Chairperson of the Culture of Life Committee and Coordinator of the Young Adult Association at Saint Augustine Catholic Church in Washington, D.C. from 1998 to 2002 and on the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council for the Archdiocese of Washington from 1999 to 2003. Gloria is a Board Member for the Northwest Pregnancy Center and Maternity Home in Washington, D.C. and an Advisory Board Member on the Maryland Catholic Conference's Respect for Life Department. She serves on the National Black Catholic Congress' Leadership Commission on Social Justice. She co-chairs the Catholic Employee Network at a major financial services company. She is the Chairperson for Black Catholics United for Life which seeks to increase the size and strength of active Black Catholics participating in the pro-life movement.

Gloria especially enjoys speaking to young people about the truth and has done so at many conferences as well as on television including EWTN's Life on the Rock with Father Francis Mary and ABC's World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.

Breakout Sessions
Adult Faith Formation
TJ Coffield

T.J. Cofield is the Director of Adult Faith Formation at St Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Greenville, SC. In 2015, he and Fr Patrick Tuttle helped create St Anthony University, a comprehensive faith formation program that has educated over 3300 students over the last 3 years in everything from Scripture, Church history & teachings, world religions, and making healthy life choices in general. When T.J. is not working to help Catholics grow deeper in their faith in Jesus Christ, he enjoys CrossFit, coffee, and curling (please ask him about it!)

How Catholics Read the Bible
Sr. Pamela Smith, SSCM, Ph.D.
This session considers how Catholics thing about Divine Revelation. The Bible is Inspired, but it isn’t always easy to interpret. We’ll talk about how we arrive at authentic interpretation and also use scripture for personal prayer and meditation.

The Coming and Going of Young Adults in the Church; A Multicultural look at the Dynamics
Sr. Roberta Fulton, S.S.M.N. and Michael Tran

An interactive discussion on Evangelization among young Adults in the Church focusing on why they leave and why do they stay. The influence on culture and evangelization will also be discussed. The following document will serve as sources of discussion:“Going. Going, Gone; The Dynamics of Disaffiliation in Young Catholics” A study by St. Mary’s Press of Minnesota, Inc. In Collaboration with the Apostolate(CARA) and the “2011 National Black Catholic Survey”, A report prepared by Dr. Darren W. Davis Ph.D., University of Notre Dame Workshop Participants will receive a complimentary copy of “Love Drives us to Do This; The History of Vietnamese Catholics in South Carolina” or “My Little Black Catholic History Book”.
Sr. Roberta Fulton, S.S.M.N. specializes in Evangelization among Young Adult Black Catholics in the Church for the Diocese of Charleston Office of Ethnic Ministries. She is President of the National Black Sisters Conference and is a national presenter on evangelization and multiculturalism.
Mr. Michael Tran is the Assistant Director for the office of Ethnic Ministries for the Diocese of Charleston with a special emphasis on the Evangelization of Asian and Pacific Islander in the State of South Carolina.

Technology’s Impact on Relationships: How to Accompany Families Through this 21st Century Maze
Jason Kidd

Technology and culture is changing at an unprecedented pace and it’s affecting how we relate with one another. Many families are unable to keep up and therefore find themselves reacting instead of being proactive. From screen addition to social media, pornography to video conferencing, technology is making a profound impression on our relationships. Come join this honest discussion so we can better understand the situation and find ways to help families use technology for good and limit it’s pitfalls. Here is a link to the presentation: click Technology’s Impact on the homepage: Bio:
Jason Kidd is the Director of the Marriage & Family Life office for the Archdiocese of Portland. After a dozen years in parish youth & young adult ministry, he is transitioning to serving families and marriages in 2015. He yearns to share the radical call of Jesus and help build His Kingdom. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering, a MA in Theology from the University of Notre Dame, founded Rise UP PDX Ministries, served as a Life Teen Area Contact, and is the current co-ringmaster of the Kidd Family circus. @J6Kidds

The Parish as Mission Post and School of Discipleship
Fr. Jeff Kirby, STD

This workshop will dive into the evangelical identity of the local parish. It will begin by paralleling the parish's mission alongside that of the Christian community described in Acts of the Apostles and the Pastoral Letters of Saint Paul. The focus of the parish as a colony of the Kingdom of God and a dynamic place for forming disciples and launching outreach will be dissected and explored. Practical suggestions will be posited and ideas will be discussed on how to do lead a parish from a maintenance mode to this sense of mission.
Father Jeff Kirby is the Parish Priest of Our Lady of Grace in Indian Land, SC. He holds a doctorate in moral theology from the Holy Cross University in Rome and is the author of several books, including Lord, Teach Us to Pray and Kingdom of Happiness: Living the Beatitudes in Everyday Life. To learn more about Father Kirby, please visit: or follow him on Twitter/fatherkirby.

Young and Catholic
Estela Ladaverde and Lexie Segrest

The Writings on the Wall
Kathleen Merritt

In this workshop, Facilitator Kathleen Merritt’s focus will be on diversity and inclusion, as she discuss some of the writings on the wall that indicate that change is about to occur in the Church and in our local communities. Some of these writings that will be discussed include gentrification, the racial divide and church growth from a multicultural perspective. Opportunities and resources for greater evangelization will be provided.
Kathleen Merritt is the Director of the Office of Ethnic Ministries for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina. She facilitates workshops and training initiatives on diversity in schools, parishes and missions locally and nationally. The Office of Ethnic Ministries is committed to organizing ways for the church as a whole to celebrate its ethnic diversity and recognize that diversity as a strength of the church. The focus is on bridging the gap between those in mainstream culture and those who feel marginalized from the church because of ethnic or cultural division.

Evangelical Catholicism
Fr. Jay Scott Newman, VF

Jay Scott Newman was born on 6 August 1962 in Elkin, North Carolina to a family of Southern Baptists and Brethren. He grew up in the Piedmont Triad of North Carolina and was graduated from Ragsdale High School in Jamestown, North Carolina in 1980. That fall he matriculated at Princeton University, and there on 15 October 1981, after being an atheist for five years, he was converted to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He was baptized in the Episcopal Church on 17 January 1982 and received into full communion with the Catholic Church on 5 November 1982. After studies at Princeton and the Catholic University of America he was graduated with an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Belmont Abbey College near Charlotte, North Carolina.
Father Newman studied for five years at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and received priestly formation at the Pontifical North American College. He was ordained to the diaconate on 19 December 1992 at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City and to the priesthood on 10 July 1993 at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Baptist in Charleston, South Carolina. He holds degrees in sacred theology and canon law.
Father Newman began his service as the sixteenth pastor of St. Mary’s Church on 28 June 2001, before which he served as Dean of Men and Assistant Professor of Canon Law at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio. Prior to teaching at the Josephinum, Father Newman had previously served as Catholic Chaplain to The Citadel and as pastor of three other parish churches in South Carolina: St. Mark’s, Newberry; St. Boniface, Joanna; and Divine Redeemer, Hanahan, and he had also taught at the University of the Virgin Islands, Thomas More College, and The Citadel.
Father Newman presently serves as Dean of the Greenville Deanery of the Diocese of Charleston and as a member of the diocesan College of Consultors, the Presbyteral Council and the Priest Personnel Board, and he previously served for seven years as diocesan Director of Continuing Education for Priests and as a member of the diocesan Vocations Board. Father Newman is a member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, the Knights of Columbus, the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, the Canon Law Society of America, and the Society for Catholic Liturgy.

Catechesis and Comprehensive Ministry
Michael Sylvester, Jake Coffman, Laura Blancato

At the heart of Catechesis we find, in essence, a person - the person of Jesus Christ. Our ministry, and our faith, are more than doctrines and formulas, but a relationship with Jesus. This workshop will look at how we stir curiosity and invite the young people (and everyone) to encounter Jesus in and through catechesis as a component in the process of evangelization and comprehensive ministry.

Learning from the V Encuentro
Gustavo Valdez, D.Min.

Living in the Spiritual Family of Jesus
Rev. David Nerbun

Bringing the Divine Mercy to Victims of Abuse
Dawn Eden Goldstein

Dawn Eden Goldstein, the award-winning author whose pen name is Dawn Eden. Based in Washington, DC, she is an assistant professor of dogmatic theology and chair of online theology degree programs at Holy Apostles College and Seminary. Her books include Remembering God's Mercy, The Thrill of the Chaste, and My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints. Together, Dawn's books have sold in excess of 50,000 copies worldwide, including translations into Spanish, Polish, Slovak, and Chinese.

Born into a Jewish family in New York City, Dawn lost her faith as a teenager and became an agnostic. During her twenties, in the 1990s, she was a rock journalist in New York City, interviewing oldies artists such as Brian Wilson and Harry Nilsson. She went on to work in editorial positions for the New York Post and the Daily News.

At the age of thirty-one, Dawn underwent a dramatic conversion to Christianity that ultimately led her to enter the Catholic Church. Her books have been featured in the New York Times and L'Osservatore Romano, and on EWTN.

Dawn received her doctorate in sacred theology (S.T.D.) summa cum laude from the University of St. Mary of the Lake in 2016, becoming the first woman in the university's history to earn a canonical doctorate. Her dissertation was on recent Magisterial teaching on redemptive suffering. Prior to joining the faculty of Holy Apostles, she taught at St. Mary's College, Oscott, the seminary of the Archdiocese of Birmingham, England.

Marriage Preparation and Mentor Couples
Deacon Bob and Donna Pierce

To Cloak the Suffering with Love: End of Life Care in the World Today
Kathy Schmugge

Catholics in the Public Square
Michael Acquilano

Mr. Acquilano was hired in 2013 to serve as the Director of the South Carolina Catholic Conference for the Diocese of Charleston. Mr. Acquilano graduated from Bentley University in Boston, Massachusetts with a degree in Corporate Finance and Accounting. In 2009, he studied International Finance and Negotiations at Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Rouen, one of the top business schools in Europe. After returning from his studies in Paris, Acquilano lived in Odumasi Krobo, Ghana where he acted as a Business Consultant for Ghana Poultry Network (GAPNET). GAPNET’s mission is to provide business development assistance through a micro-financing organization. He later received his law degree from Ave Maria School of Law in Naples, Florida. Mr. Acquilano serves as a board of director for many non-profit and Catholic organizations including Sidewalk Advocates for Life (Dallas, TX), Law of Life Summit (Chicago, IL), South Carolina Citizens for Life (Columbia, SC), Exceptional SC (Columbia, SC), SC Free Clinic Association (Camden, SC), Catholic Charities of South Carolina (Charleston, SC), and Coastline Women’s Center (Conway, SC). Mr. Acquilano lives in Adams Run, South Carolina and is a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Yonges Island, SC.

Sidewalk Advocacy
Kellie Fiedorek

Kellie Fiedorek serves as legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, where she is a member of the Alliance Advancement Team. Since joining ADF in 2012, Fiedorek has defended religious liberty, marriage, and the family against legal attacks. She has authored federal and state legislation, and advised members of Congress, governors, state attorneys general, state legislators, and policy organizations on how to preserve First Amendment freedoms. Fiedorek has testified before state legislatures across the country on the importance of safeguarding religious liberty, free speech, the sanctity of life, and the right to privacy. She has also litigated cases defending the constitutionally protected freedom of citizens to live and work according to their conscience. Her appellate advocacy practice has included authoring and coordinating amicus briefs for pivotal U.S. Supreme Court, federal court, and state court appellate cases. Fiedorek earned her Juris Doctor from Ave Maria School of Law in 2009. Before graduating from law school, she completed the Alliance Defending Freedom leadership development program to become a Blackstone Fellow in 2008. She is a member of the state bar of Florida, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Supreme Court, and multiple federal appellate courts.

Mentors for Marriage
Deacon Bob and Donna Pierce

How Catholics Read the Bible
Sr. Pamela Smith, SSCM

This session considers how Catholics thing about Divine Revelation. The Bible is Inspired, but it isn’t always easy to interpret. We’ll talk about how we arrive at authentic interpretation and also use scripture for personal prayer and meditation.

Vendor Letter with Signature
Vendor Request Form 2018
Bishop's Letter
SCCIA 2018 Sample Bulletin Announcements
SCCIA 2018 Suggested Publicity Timeline
SCCIA Letter Publicity Packet_2018
Parish Publicity Pack Cover Sheet SCCIA 2018
SCCIA 2018 Publicity Suggestions
SC Catholics In Action Tri Fold 2018

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