By Liz Sullivan
A major focus of the newly branded Santa Clara Faith Formation Conference (SCFFC), to be held November 3-4 at the Santa Clara Convention Center, is “Word, Worship and Witness” to align with the Catholic Church’s focus on where Christ is made known. This year’s theme is “God is Always with Us.”
“Our Diocese has been reflecting on ways to re-envision our response to Word, Worship and Witness and the Santa Clara Faith Formation Conference is taking that to a much more intensive level,” said Father John E. Hurley, CSP, Vicar for Evangelization of the Diocese of San Jose. “The conference is divided into equal thirds to provide a practical diversity for further implementation in our parishes and ministries.”
The conference is held in partnership with the Leadership Roundtable. Joining the Diocese in sponsoring it are the Diocese of Monterey in collaboration with the Archdiocese of San Francisco and the dioceses of Stockton and Oakland.
In addition to the General Keynote speaker, ValLimar Jansen, and English and Spanish keynote speakers, Bishop Robert McElroy and Maria del Mar Munoz-Visoso, there will be a Chinese keynote speaker in Bishop Joseph Ha, O.F.M., the Auxiliary Bishop of Hong Kong, and Vietnamese keynote speaker Father Doan Nguyen, S.J. Father Brendan McGuire, Vicar for Special Projects for the Diocese of San Jose, will deliver the school keynote.
“I am grateful that the Diocese of San Jose continues its commitment to Faith Formation with the Diocese of Monterey in nurturing all of those involved with Faith Formation in a variety of ways,” said Hurley. “I am also grateful we are in collaboration with the Archdiocese of San Francisco and the Dioceses of Stockton and Oakland.”
Typically the first day of the conference has always been an In-Service day for elementary schools in the Diocese of San Jose and Monterey. This year, SCFFC has turned that area of the conference up a notch.
“We formed a school task force to better meet the needs of principals and teachers,” said Hurley. “This year we are happy to welcome the schools from San Jose, Monterey and Stockton, as well as principals from the Diocese of Oakland and the Archdiocese of San Francisco, who will join us for In-Service days in 2018.”
While the Leadership Rountable is only available by invitation, Hurley is excited about the partnership with the Leadership Roundtable, which is a national organization that promotes best practices and accountability in the management, finances, communications and human resources development of the Catholic Church in the U.S., including greater incorporation of the expertise of the laity.
At the SCFFC, this will involves Bishops and Executive teams on all-day session on November 3 addressing various needs. Also, that day pastors and principals will come together to collaborate. On November 4, pastors, along with their pastoral councils and principals with their school boards, will meet for two intensive workshops for collaborative leadership for their respective groups.
“Having been involved with the Leadership Roundtable for almost 10 years, I am grateful for the partnership of fostering leadership in our diocese and the Bay Area through the conference,” said Hurley.
For more information, a full list of more than 90 sessions and to register, visit SCFFC.org. Early registration is open until September 30.
“This has been a great joy for me to be involved with the planning committee for this conference,” said Hurley. “It has featured more than 25 people from San Francisco, San Jose, Monterey, Stockton and Oakland. There is a lot of energy building and I am excited by the energy. So many people have expressed gratitude that we have an even stronger commitment to the conference.”