Local Catholic to talk at New York State Eucharistic Congress - Catholic Courier
People kneel in prayer at a shrine in Auriesville, NY. People are pictured in a file photo praying during Mass marking the end of the 73rd Tekakwitha Conference at the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs in Auriesville, N.Y., the birthplace of St. Kateri Tekakwitha. As part of the National Eucharistic Revival, the bishops of the State of New York are hosting a state-wide Eucharistic Congress Oct. 20-22, 2023, at the shrine. (OSV News photo/CNS file, Glenn Davenport)

Local Catholic to talk at New York State Eucharistic Congress

Organizers of the upcoming New York State Eucharistic Congress recently announced a slate of speakers for the three-day event, which will take place Oct. 20-22 at Our Lady of Martyrs Shrine in Auriesville, about 40 miles northeast of Albany.

The roster of clergy, women religious and laypeople who will be speaking includes authors, educators and Catholic personalities, including several who reside in New York state.

Among those speakers is Lisa Lickona, an assistant professor of systematic theology at St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry in Pittsford. Before coming to St. Bernard’s in 2021, Lickona served for eight years as the editor for saints for the national publication Magnificat. In this role, she researched and wrote essays on the lives of the saints, building a knowledge base on which she’ll draw in her talk about how Catholics can learn from several female saints and their love of the Eucharist.

“I hope to focus my talk on our native New York saints — in particular Kateri (Tekakwitha), Elizabeth Ann Seton and Servant of God Dorothy Day,” Lickona told the Catholic Courier. “Each of these three women suffered many challenges in their lives, and each can teach us through the particular way she opened her life to Christ in the midst of these circumstances.”

Lickona said she was thrilled to be asked to be a part of the Eucharistic Congress, especially since the Our Lady of Martyrs Shrine holds a special place in her heart.

“I have often taken my children on pilgrimage to the Martyrs’ Shrine, which is at the heart of the origins of the faith in New York state and indeed the entire United States. This is the site of the martyrdom of saints Isaac Jogues, Rene Goupil and John Lalande, and the birthplace of Kateri Tekakwitha. I have a longtime devotion to these saints — and my second daughter is named after Kateri,” said Lickona, who has a master’s degree in theological studies and a licentiate in sacred theology.

Lickona said she hopes her talk will help people discover that God is “happening” in their lives just as he was in the lives of the saints, she said.

“He wants our hearts now just as he wanted theirs. This is really what the Eucharist is all about: his passionate love for us,” Lickona explained.

State Eucharistic Congress to complement National Eucharistic Revival

The Eucharistic Congress is designed to inspire New York’s Catholics to renew their devotion to the Eucharist. Organized and sponsored by the eight Catholic dioceses of New York state, it is intended as a complement to the National Eucharistic Revival, which began in June 2022 under the sponsorship of the the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

As part of its three-year initiative, the USCCB commissioned more than 50 priests to travel and preach throughout the United States during the revival. Two of these National Eucharistic Preachers are scheduled to speak at the New York state Eucharistic Congress. Father Roger Landry of the Diocese of Fall River, Mass., will emcee the congress, and Father Malachy Napier, CFR, will give a talk during the event.

Both Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York and Bishop Edward Scharfenberger of the Diocese of Albany will serve as celebrants and homilists during Masses at the congress.

Speakers are clergy, women religious, laypeople

Among the other notable speakers are:

  • Paulist Father Dave Dwyer, a best-selling author, host of several award-winning radio and television programs, and the executive director of Busted Halo Ministries;
  • Peter Kreeft, a professor of philosophy at Boston College and author of nearly 100 books on spirituality, theology and religion;
  • Katie Prejean McGrady, speaker, author and host of “The Katie McGrady Show” on Sirius XM’s The Catholic Channel. She also is the host of three podcasts, regularly writes for Our Sunday Visitor and is a member of the USCCB’s working group on youth and young-adult ministry; and
  • Patrick Kelly, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus and former first executive director of the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C., Kelly has held legal advisory roles with the House Intelligence Committee and in the Department of Justice, where he specialized in counter-terrorism and national security. He currently is a consultant to several USCCB committees and was chairman of the board of directors of the March for Life from 2012-21

Attendance at the New York State Eucharistic Congress is free, but registration is required and will be closed when the event’s capacity is reached. For more information, visit nyseucharisticcongress.org.

Tags: Eucharistic Revival, NY Catholics
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