I arrived in Jackson, Wyoming Friday afternoon to participate in this year’s return of the Eucharistic Marian Conference. Over 400 people gathered for a weekend of prayer, talks, catechesis for youth and young, fellowship and growing the faith.  The majority of people are from the Diocese of Cheyenne, but there are a number of visitors from other states as well.

The conference began Friday evening with a rosary, talk, and a healing Mass.  Saturday morning, it resumed with morning prayer, several talks and Mass.  This morning, the conference continued with more prayer, talks, and concluded with Mass.  I believe all in attendence left with a deepened awareness that Christ is truly alive, Risen, and active in the Church and world, despite the challenges of our times.  The conference no doubt also gave everyone a sense of renewed commitment. 

 There were several speakers engaged for the weekend:

Moira M. Noonan:  Moira was rasied Catholic, but left the church around the age of 15.  She engaged in the New Age spirituality and practices while at College and then after for a number of years.  She shared her story of the events that led her back to the Church.  These events began with a desire to “meet Mother Mary”, accompanied by a deep sense of what was Truth and what was not.

Fr. William Halbing:  Fr. Bill is a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark, NJ.  He is quite a bible scholar with as well as a student of Marian spirituality and history.  He is involved in the Charismatic Renewal as well.  His presentations were both humourous and thought-provoking.

Dr. David Fagerberg:  Dr. David is a professor of Notre Dame.  He is a student and professor of Marian Spirituality, and Liturgy.  His presentation was “dense” with beautiful quotes from many Church Fathers and other current theologians.  Notre Dame is quite fortunate to have him on faculty.

Fr. Hugh Barbour, O. Praem:  I was not present to hear Fr. Hugh’s presentation.  He is a “Norbertine” preist and prior of St. Michael’s Abbey in Silverado, Orange County, California.

Gene Fadness, grew up in Montana and became involved with Mormon friends and joining the church.  After a conversion experience through reading the Gospel of St. John, he returned to the Catholic Church and has worked hard to strengthen Catholics in their knowledge of the faith.  His unique contribution to the conference was to share the unique differences between the LDS churchand the Catholic Faith.

 Katsey Long is well known throughout the state of Wyoming for her healing ministry.  She has developed a strong relationship in this healing ministry with another presenter of the weekend, Fr. Ubald Rugirangoga.  Fr. Ubald, a priest from Rwanda, is a survivor of the 1994 genocide of the Tutsi tribe.  His family and large numbers of his parishioners were murdered during this period of time.  He experienced a profound healing at Our Lady of Lourdes, and has since then carried out a ministry of healing and reconciliation

Many thanks to the Conference Committee for putting together such a fine weekend of faith, prayer, and inspiration.  A special thanks go to Stuart and Susie Palmer!