The last two-and-a-half years saw the COVID-19 virus upend the way we lived, including some core practices of the Catholic Faith, such as onsite attendance at Mass and reception of the sacraments.
Business conferences this year have increasingly focused on how to live the “new normal” — “[a]nd is there any business worth more than the business of eternal life?” Opus Dei founder St. Josemaria Escriva wrote in The Way, point 235.
Faced with the present challenges to living the Faith, the Parents for Education Foundation (PAREF, a network of 16 schools in the Philippines inspired by the teachings of St. Josemaria) will hold on December 8 the 3rd Jesus-Centered Life Conference (JCL 2022) in partnership with EWTN, Franciscan University of Steubenville, USA and Parousia Media of Australia.
JCL 2022 will revolve around the theme, “Holy and Heroic: The Courage to be Catholic”, to mark the 60th anniversary of the Catholic Church’s Second Vatican Council, whose “ultimate purpose,” according to St. Pope Paul VI, is to call everyone to be holy, and therefore courageous in living their faith in Christ every day.
Not only will this conference be held as the world emerges from a once-in-a-century pandemic, it also comes during this season of Advent, as Christianity prepares to mark the birth of the Savior.
“Having encountered Jesus, one cannot but be heroic in standing one’s ground in one’s faithful following of Jesus, no matter what the obstacles and challenges are,” said Bishop Jose Elmer I. Mangalinao, D.D., who chairs the Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.
“It is a privilege, an honor to endorse the Jesus-Centered Life Conference of the Parents for Education Foundation,” said the bishop. Organized annually to push forward the evangelization goals of the Pope, last year’s virtual JCL drew 40,000 participants from 23 countries who listened to more than a hundred popular speakers and panelists from around the globe and from various Catholic groups.
In this year’s conference, speaking about how to be holy and heroic in these times will be John Beaulieu from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, USA. With 30 years of ministry experience, John is its Director for Evangelization and Engagement, an expert in youth evangelization and a passionate speaker who can inspire crowds.
During the November 11 press conference on the upcoming JCL 2022, Beaulieu said in a live feed from Ohio, USA that despite the challenges and hardships presented by the post-pandemic era, “We have to entrust our fears to the Lord,” quoting Josef Pieper, who once said: “Courage is fear that has said its prayers.”
Current circumstances present “many changes and challenges,” said PAREF Chairman and President Danny Moran. “What are these difficulties and how do we cope with all of these things? There has to be a lot of adjustments, but the bigger challenge is how we can be holy and heroic in this era,” he said. “We have to begin where we are — at home, in our daily lives, facing the situations that we encounter daily. Whether it’s academic, athletic, or professional, there has to be a lot of adjustments.”
A new feature of JCL this year is the metaverse experience of attending a conference powered by EWTN’s Virtual Environment Platform, which was used for the Federation of Asian Bishops Conference last month.
Those interested in the conference may register at http://bit.ly/JCL2022.