By Bishop Kevin J. Farrell
Publisher of The Texas Catholic
If you want to experience the Church in both its diversity and unity, the place to do it is the annual University of Dallas Ministry Conference. For three days last week, Thursday through Saturday, thousands of Catholics turned Dallas’ Kay Baily Hutchison Convention Center into a giant institute of faith formation. This year marked a return to the Dallas convention center, and it proved to be a more commodious venue with sufficient indoor parking which was especially welcome on the very rainy days we had.
UDMC featured classes in Vietnamese, Spanish and English as well as outstanding plenary sessions. A most timely and informative keynote address on the Synod of Bishops was delivered by John L. Allen Jr., a much respected and widely followed Vatican correspondent. A wide variety of presentations were made by speakers from thoughout the United Stated and Latin America.
In attendance at the sessions and liturgical functions were teachers, priests, deacons, seminarians, religious men and women and ministry leaders from the Diocese of Dallas and other dioceses around the state and country. It was obvious that all were enjoying the fellowship as well as the presentations and exhibits. Attendees posted conference updates, many including photos, on Twitter and Facebook which made the event more festive and personal. The new UDMC app that included all the necessary information and the challenging trivia app also proved to be a hit with conference goers.
Dr. Ted Whapham and the staff of the UD School of Ministry deserve our thanks and congratulations for putting together and staging the memorable event. The ministry conference reminds us of the great gift that the University of Dallas is to our diocese and the community at large.
I heard many positive comments from my fellow conference goers and hope they will join us again next year. In fact, I invite everyone to join us next October when we celebrate the 10th year of this outstanding ministry conference.