Workshop Topics, Presenters & Bios

Indianapolis skyline


“Joy on the Journey:  Serve.  Collaborate.  Dream.”
41st Annual NALM Conference

Workshops, Presenters, and Bios
Friday, June 2, 2017

Keeping the Faith: Reclaim the Joy of Work in Ministry
While it is the calling of the LEM to encourage and support Catholic in their faith, it is sometimes difficult for the Minister to maintain their spirituality/spiritual practices. Through meditation and discussion we will remember the motivations and impetus for beginning work in ministry.  We will together remember why we do what we do and recommit to nurturing our own spiritual life.
Friday, June 2, 10:30 – 11:45 A.M., Concept A

Julie V. Burkey, D.Min., served the Seminary for over 10 years as Director of Workplace Spirituality & Evangelization Initiatives, creating programs and retreats for students and alumni. She served as a Pastoral Associate of Stewardship & Evangelization for a parish in the Newark Archdiocese.  Julie teaches several courses which she created: Theology of Work and Catholic Evangelization. She currently serves on the Board of the Academy of Management’s Management, Spirituality & Religion Division. Julie is Adjunct Professor for Pastoral Theology, at Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology, Seton Hall University.

Ministering to Catholic Sexual Minorities
The workshop will address the relationship between LGBTQ Catholics and the pastoral care that this sexual minority population deserves. The aim of the workshop is to bring awareness of the pastoral challenges that Catholic lay ministers face with LGBTQ Catholics in ministry and to help lay ministers be more sensitive and affirming sexual minorities in their ministries. The workshop is intended at empowering those who work with Catholic sexual minorities on various levels.
Friday, June 2, 10:30 – 11:45 A.M., Concept C

Art Canales, D.Min., is a third generation Mexican-American. Art is married to his wife Tanya and they have three children: Alex, Anna, and Albert. They live in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Art is Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology & Ministry at Marian University.  He is considered one of the foremost Catholic adolescent ministry scholars and educators in the United States. Dr. Canales has a Doctor of Ministry degree from The Catholic University of America (Washington, DC) with a major emphasis in pastoral theology and liturgical and sacramental theology and a minor concentration in pastoral care and counseling.  Dr. Canales has written over 100 catechetical, pastoral, and scholarly articles for various publications. He has written three books and has presented over 150 workshops and presentations in over 35 dioceses nationally and internationally.  

Proclaiming Christ in the Digital Age
Pope Francis recently said “that if guided by the Holy Spirit, we can discover opportunities to lead humankind toward God” by using the Internet. Is this opportunity one of being a Digital Disciple? Being a Digital Disciple involves being a real person with a passion to share goodness, faith, and more in an online environment. Is it possible? What is the balance of digital communication and authentic and direct human relations? Does it just involve social media or is there more? What does it mean to be connected? What is the “attitude” that I bring to the digital environment? As a lay minister, when I communicate in today’s online environment, what are my family, friends, and parishioners expecting? Is proclaiming Christ in the digital era a work of youth or of all of us?
Friday, June 2, 1:30 – 2:45 P.M., Theory A

Dr. Caroline Cerveny, SSJ-TOSF, D.Min., is president and founder of Digital Disciple Network, a faith-based educational technology service for ministers. Her passion is to engage catechetical ministers in the integration of technology into everyday ministry with youth and adults. This marriage between ministry and technology empowers her to bring new tools and media to build God’s kingdom. Caroline brings the experience of teaching at the high school and college levels, involvement in parish religious education as a diocesan director and consultant, parish pastoral associate, and involvement in educational technology in the publishing industry. She has written articles that focus on educational technology in catechetical ministry for Catechist Magazine, Liturgical Catechesis, Momentum, Today’s Catholic Teacher, Today’s Parish, and NCCL’s Catechetical Leader publication.

Witness: Learning to Tell the Stories of Grace that Illumine Our Lives
The science of grace is every bit as demanding, if not more demanding, than the hardest of hard sciences. Just like any science, it begins with keen observations and rapt attentiveness. The practice of telling stories of grace challenges disciples, whether teens, young adults, or mature adults, to reckon with the complexities and messiness of life, contemplate the mystery of God’s particular love, and communicate something fundamental about themselves to someone else. In this session, we will explore the importance of telling stories of grace for the ministries of faith formation, identify seven guiding principles for crafting and sharing stories of grace, and consider new opportunities for utilizing these stories in both parishes and schools.
Friday, June 2, 10:30 – 11:45 A.M., Theory A

Leonard J. DeLorenzo, Ph.D., teaches theology at the University of Notre Dame, where he also directs Notre Dame Vision, the Notre Dame Catechist Academy, and the Notre Dame Character Project within the Institute for Church Life. He and his wife, Lisa, live in South Bend, Indiana, with their five children.


Workshop: Oh, Pray? I Thought You Said Play!
This workshop will focus on the many forms of prayer and the impact a strong prayer life can have on your faith journey. Participants will be introduced to various forms of prayer and will appreciate the ease of knowing how little time it takes to give thanks to God on a daily basis.
Friday, June 2, 1:30 – 2:45 P.M., Concept A

Pamela Harris joined the Diocese of Richmond in 2008 and is the Director of the Office for Black Catholics and Asian Ministry. Prior to her current role Pam was a Project Manager at SunTrust Mortgage in Richmond, VA. She has a degree in Accounting and will complete her Masters in Theology May, 2017. She is Past President of the National Association of Black Catholic Administrators and a past member of USCCB National Advisory Council. Pam serves on the committee for the Asian Pacific Catholic Network. In addition Pam serves as Master of Ceremony for confirmation with the Bishop of Richmond. She is a member of Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Richmond where she is involved with RCIA, Youth/Young Adult Ministry and Social Ministries. Her community involvement includes Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity, Junior Achievement, Special Olympics and CARITAS. Pam resides in Richmond and is the proud parent of two children and two grandchildren.

Workshop: 10 Financial Stewardship Practices for Today’s Parishes
This workshop will provide an interactive discussion on ten best practices for modern and dynamic Catholic parishes.
Friday, June 2, 3:15 – 4:30 P.M., Concept C

Pat Joyce is Director of Administration for Holy Name of Mary Parish in San Dimas, California, Archdiocese of Los Angeles. He is an Instructor/Facilitator at Loyola Marymount University, Parish Administration Certificate Program, Chair of the Parish Business Manager Advisory Council for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and Steering Committee Chair for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Parish Business Manager Group.

Recalibration: Moving to a Personal, Grace-filled Future!
This session is for pastoral ministers in the wisdom generation (50s or 60s) considering your “next stage” in life and ministry, and not ready to completely leave the ministry vineyard. Recalibration is a life-giving option to retirement, a re-examination of vocation and ministry, and a joy-filled pathway to our next stage. We will identity the practical challenges, key questions to consider, and specific strategies to honor our past and enhance our preferred future.
Friday, June 2, 3:15 – 4:30 P.M., Concept B

Bob McCarty, DMin is a pastoral ministry consultant and trainer and has been in professional ministry since 1973, serving in diocesan, parish, school, and community programs. He offers workshops and training programs in ministry skills and issues internationally. Bob is also the Chief Operating Officer for the Catholic Mobilizing network, advocating for restorative justice and the end to the death penalty, and the Chair of the Board of Directors for Saint Mary’s Press.

Enriching Ministry Formation Programs with Personal Self-Assessment
In this interactive session, participants will have the opportunity to walk through an actual self-reflection experience so as to gain a personal perspective on this internal GPS system’s effectiveness. Participants will also be able to learn how this self-reflection tool has proven helpful in a number of settings, both for enriching individual full-time and volunteer lay ministers, and also for enriching the growth of participants in diocesan and academic ministry formation programs. In conclusion, Debbie Minton’s brief personal sharing will shed much light on this whole process.
Friday, June 2, 1:30 – 2:45 P.M., Theory B

Fr. Joseph Merkt has spent over three decades working with the formation of the laity in Catholic education and parish ministry. He has served as Director of Ministry Studies Programs at Spalding University and Brescia University. Fr. Merkt was also instrumental in the development of the first common competency standards for the national certification of lay ministers, now accepted and recognized by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He has served as a board member of the National Association for Lay Ministry (NALM).  Fr. Merkt is author of the book, Why Lay Ministry Formation? A Resource for the Inquiring.

Ms. Debbie Minton  At the age of 55, Debbie entered ministry as Parish Catechetical Leader at St. Athanasius Parish, where she has served for 10 years after a 27 year career as Store Manager at Target. During this journey from corporation to parish, Professor/Fr. Joe Merkt was her mentor. Her guide in college studies: both the National Lay Ministry Standards and the reflection process being shared in this workshop.  This reflection process is very helpful, not only for ministry but also for family as mother of three, grandmother of ten and great-grandmother of three.

Joy—Grace Recognized
Most people start out with joy in ministry, but not all finish with joy. Chara joy (from the Greek, charis) is the joy that is not human-based happiness but divine in origin. How do we achieve Chara joy? How do we share this Spirit-given expression of God’s grace with others? How do we “keep our eyes on the prize” and not on the wrong things that rob us of that joy? What are the things that will steal your joy in ministry?
Friday, June 2, 3:15 – 4:30 P.M., Concept A

Annette Roux was a presenter at the NALM Conference last year in Albuquerque. She has been a Pastoral Associate/Director of Faith Formation for 15 years at her parish. She works closely with the pastor, deacon, and parishioners in all aspects of ministry. She is active as a Catechist, Liturgy Director, Extraordinary Minister of Communion and Lector. She is also involved in grief counseling. Annette will be publishing the second volume of her weekly reflections that appear regularly in their parish bulletin.

Tending the Flame
This workshop will explore ways that lay ecclesial ministers can tend the flame in their hearts that enlivens them to live their ministry.
Friday, June 2, 1:30 – 2:45 P.M., Concept B

Deborah Scopacasa has received national certification from the Alliance for the Certification of Lay Ecclesial Ministers as both a Parish Catechetical Leader and Youth Ministry Leader. She has served in professional and volunteer capacities in various ministries at parishes in the Youngstown and Cleveland Dioceses.

Workshop: Praying with Icons
Within the Eastern tradition of Christianity, the eikon, or religious image, has long held a place of honor. In the greater part of Western Christianity, discomfort with images in worship has been a relatively common current, particularly since the Reformation. The Second Vatican Council’s call for “noble simplicity” in many cases led to a stripping of images that is some ways helped refocus attention on the Eucharistic celebration itself but also led to a starkness that has left many Roman Catholics unsure of how to interact with the saints or with religious images at all. This workshop explores how icons and other images can have a role to play that goes beyond mere decoration.
Friday, June 2, 10:30 – 11:45 A.M., Theory B

Sr. Jeana Visel, OSB, is the Director of Graduate Theology Programs at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology. She has been studying icon painting since 2006, completing workshops with master iconographer Xenia Pokrovsky and continuing workshops with iconographer Marek Czarnecki. Sr. Jeana is working on a DMin in spirituality from The Catholic University of America.

You Too Go…Laity at Work in God’s Vineyard
This presentation will be a report on her dissertation research on the impact of a Certificate in Lay Ministry from Cardinal Stritch University on the current pastoral ministries of the alumni 2009-2015. The dissertation is a program evaluation including quantitative and qualitative research.
Friday, June 2, 3:15 – 4:30 P.M., Theory A

Jean Marie Weber, PhD is currently the Liaison to the Catholic Community for Cardinal Stritch University. She designed and implemented the Certificate in Lay Ministries as part of the Saint Clare Center for Catholic Life. Jean Marie is the former USCCB Director of Certification for the Commission on Certification and Accreditation. She has an M.S. in Administrative Leadership, an M.A in Religious Studies, and a 2017 PhD in Higher Ed.

Catholic Parishes in the 21st Century
This workshop will provide an overview of the research findings in Catholic Parishes of the 21st Century published by Oxford University Press in January 2017.  The book draws on data from national polls of Catholics, national surveys of parishes, and thousands of in-pew surveys to explore parishioners’ needs, experiences, and satisfaction with parish life in the twenty-first century. It provides a unique 360-degree view of parish life from the perspective of pastors, parish staff, parishioners, as well as the larger Catholic population.
Friday, June 2, 10:30 – 11:45 A.M., Concept B

Dr. Jon Wiggins Director of CARA Parish Surveys, and a co-author of the book, Catholic Parishes of the 21st Century.



Workshop: Empowering Families to be Spirit-Filled Evangelizers
In the Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis talks about Christians being Spirit-Filled Evangelizers. In this workshop we will explore his invitation through the lens of ministry to families. It is important to recognize the ways ministers can empower families, and exploring the spirituality of family units is key.
Friday, June 2, 3:15 – 4:30 P.M., Theory B

Christina Zaker, DMin. is the Director of Field Education at Catholic Theological Union. Her areas of research and focus are theological reflection and family spirituality. Her recent article, “Empowering Families as Spirit-Filled Evangelizers” in Chicago Studies (Spring 2016) explores this topic and is the starting point for the workshop conversation.