It is astounding to realize the Coalition for Canceled Priests (CFCP) is about to celebrate our one-year anniversary. So much has been accomplished in such a short period of time. The outpouring of support shown by the laity for canceled priests has been tremendous and, as a canceled priest myself out in the wilderness for the past ten years, I personally find it consoling and invigorating. We have been very blessed.
When we launched the Coalition last year, on the Feast of St. John the Baptist (our primary patron after Our Lady), none of us involved would have guessed that in less than a year, we would already be helping dozens of priests across the country and the world, that we would have under contract a former Franciscan friary in Northwest Indiana, and that in just a few short weeks, we will be sponsoring our first national conference. It has been quite a year and quite a journey!
On behalf of the Coalition, I would like to invite the readership here at OnePeterFive.com to come join us on this journey by participating in our upcoming conference, scheduled to take place in Wisconsin on June 23 and 24.
The Conference is entitled Finding Hope in the Desert, it is based off our motto Una Voce Clamantes in Deserto, Those Crying with One Voice in the Desert. It echoes our cause and our mission: canceled priests fighting for their good name and the laity who have been hurt and denied access to priests they have come to know and love. This anniversary conference will not only be an opportunity for the laity to meet the priests they have been supporting this past year, but also a chance to hear from an excellent line-up of speakers.
We have selected this theme because we want the conference to be an oasis for Catholics who have been discouraged about the canceling of good priests and the assault on Tradition currently taking place in our Church. By focusing on the virtue of hope, and on how we can each find hope even in the desert, we seek to be a source of strength and encouragement for all Catholics of good faith. We encourage you to come join us in prayer and fellowship in order to rekindle both your hope and your fellow Catholics’ hope.
The conference will start on Thursday evening, June 23, and run all day on Friday, June 24, at the Eclipse Center in Beloit, Wisconsin. Normally the feast of St. John falls on the 24th but with Easter so late this year, St. John’s feast day is transferred to Saturday as we celebrate the Feast of the Sacred Heart on Friday, the 24th.
Why Beloit, Wisconsin? When we started planning the event, Illinois was still in the grips of COVID hysteria and Cook County had just mandated proof of vaccination. Knowing that most, if not all, of our supporters would not stand for the draconian regulations in Illinois, we started to look in Wisconsin and Northwest Indiana for a suitable venue. The Eclipse Center looked ideal for its centrality and easy driving whether people are coming from Chicago, Milwaukee, Des Moines, St. Louis, or the Twin Cities.
Our excellent speaker lineup includes: Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, Dr. Janet Smith, Elizabeth Yore, Alexander Tschugguel, Jesse Romero (who is our keynote on Thursday evening), David L. Gray, Michael Hichborn, Tom Oglesby (our Master of Ceremonies), Fr. James Altman, and Stella Moore. We will also have a panel of canceled priests who will answer questions from the audience.
Thursday evening will be a banquet and Friday conference participants will be given breakfast, lunch, and a late afternoon snack. We hope to have the conference wrapped by 7pm. To purchase tickets please go to www.canceledpriests.org.
We hope many of our supporters will join us to celebrate the Feasts of the Sacred Heart and St. John the Baptist, to pray together, and to become more informed on the situation facing canceled priests. This past year I have had the opportunity to attend many Catholic conferences on behalf of the Coalition and whether I am a speaker or simply an attendee, I leave many of those conferences with a sense of hope that despite all the nasty things happening in the world and the Church, there are faithful willing to stand up in defense of the Deposit of Faith and for canceled priests. That is the goal for our conference and I look forward to seeing you there!