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Inaugural Damien and Marianne Catholic Conference

June 23, 2017

Honolulu, Hawaii - Saint Damien de Veuster and Saint Marianne Cope were ordinary people known for their extraordinary accomplishments. That is the basis for the theme of the inaugural Damien and Marianne Catholic Conference: everyone can live like a saint and create positive change in your own life and for those around you. The conference is open to all and will be held at the Hawai‘i Convention Center from October 20 to 22, 2017. 

There will be more than 50 informative, inspiring sessions by local, national and international presenters over a three-day period, all designed to transform the lives of those of all ages and Christian denominations. The sessions will cover a broad range of tracks, including leadership development, faith formation, spirituality, youth and young adult programs, and social services.

“We wanted to keep the conference practical with principles that attendees could apply right away,” said Makana Aiona, President of the Damien and Marianne Catholic Conference, a nonprofit organization that was established last year. “Our goal was to show the relevance and role of Saints Damien and Marianne in addressing the challenges we face every day in our families, homes and community.”

Our sessions will be especially appealing to young, aspiring leaders who may not be able to travel to similar regional or national conferences on the mainland,” added Aiona, who previously served as Coordinator of Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Honolulu and is now a teacher at Damien School.

The conference will feature a range of speakers and topics:

  • Father William Petrie will share his experiences as a Sacred Heart priest who was involved with Hansen’s disease patients for 25 years in India in a sponsored ministry of St. Teresa of Calcutta, and served as pastor at St. Damien Church on Molokai for five years. Mother Teresa said:"I have to become holy in the state of life I live, and you must become holy in the state of life you live." Find out what Father Petrie learned in these ministries and how the words of Mother Teresa apply to you.
  • Sister Alicia Damien Lau, a Sister of St. Francis, offers practical advice on how to follow in the footsteps of a saint by showing how the decisions we make every day can make a positive difference.  She retraces the life of an ordinary woman called to live the gospels to the fullest and experienced true spirituality as she reached out in faith and love to restore dignity, grace and healing to the outcasts in Kalaupapa, Molokai.
  • Falling in love is easy; growing in love is more difficult. Dr. Edward Sri, theologian, best-selling author and well-known Catholic speaker who appears regularly on EWTN television, will provide sessions on how love in marriages can be transformative and life-giving. 
  • Teens often feel their families are dysfunctional and an impossible challenge. Paul J. Kim, international speaker, musician, and licensed marriage and family therapist has a session on how God can make beautiful things come out of the ugliest situations. 
  • Jackie Angel, Catholic musician, singer/songwriter, guitarist, speaker, and youth minister, shows God’s plan for romantic relationships to avoid heartache and pain.
  • Dr. H. Anthony Chan gives tips on how even witha very busy life and a demanding career in science and engineering research, he has found peace in the sacraments and adoration.

More details on these and other sessions as well as registration information are available at the Damien and Marianne Catholic Conference website at https://www.dmcchawaii.org. Attendees may also contact (808) 625-3622 or info@dmcchawaii.org.

About the Damien and Marianne Catholic Conference

The Damien and Marianne Catholic Conference is a Hawai‘i-based nonprofit organization founded in 2016 that derives its inspiration from two of Hawai‘i’s saints: Father Damien de Veuster, SSCC, of Belgium, and Mother Marianne Cope, OSF, of New York. They were both canonized by the Roman Catholic Church because they selflessly cared for the people of Hawai‘i, especially those afflicted by Hansen’s disease.