Annual diocesan Women and Men’s Conference
beckons area faithful to live in the light of hope

By Dave Jolivet
Anchor Editor

EASTON, Mass. — Just a few weeks ago the Church concluded its Advent/Christmas observance, entering into Ordinary Time in the Liturgical calendar.

Yet, in only a few more weeks the Church and her faithful will enter the Lenten season, a time for repentance and conversion in preparation for the Resurrection celebration with an eye towards Christ’s promised second coming.

Ash Wednesday will be on March 6 and Fall River Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., has announced that the diocese will host the third annual Women and Men’s Conference to be held at the Ames Sports Complex on the campus of Stonehill College in Easton on March 9. The doors will open at 9 a.m. and the day will conclude with a Mass celebrated by Bishop da Cunha at 4 p.m.

The theme of this year’s event is: “Living in the Light of Hope.”

“During Lent we are called to look for ways to grow in faith, to deepen our relationship with God as we prepare for the celebration of Easter,” said Bishop da Cunha. “Our Women and Men’s Conference is an opportunity to take a break from the busyness of everyday life to do just that. I hope you will be able to take part.

“I look forward to being with you for what I am sure will be an enriching and inspiring day.”

As has been the case in the previous two such conferences, which were very successful and well-attended, the day promises to offer dynamic speakers with the opportunity to interact with them through a group panel discussion.

Other activities and features include the opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Sacred music, time to peruse the offerings of the many vendors slated to have displays, lunch, fellowship and celebrating Mass with hundreds of Catholic brothers and sisters in one large community.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be offered as well.

The hallmark of the previous diocesan Women and Men’s Conferences has been the outstanding speakers invited to share their faith journeys, and this year is no exception.

Slated to appear are three dynamic speakers who are certain to touch the hearts and souls of many who will attend: Bishop Robert Reed, Dr. Mary Healy, and Deacon Pedro Guevara-Mann.


Bishop Reed is auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Boston. He currently serves as president of the CatholicTV Network. He is no stranger to those who regularly watch the network, frequently hosting programs including CTV’s anchor talk show “This is the Day.” Bishop Reed also plays a large role in the popular “WOW: The Catholic TV Challenge,” geared towards students.

When not in front of the camera, Bishop Reed’s behind-the-scenes roles include being responsible for the “overall creation, acquisition and delivery of diverse quality programming for the network, which is now available in more than 13.5 million homes and on the web,” according to the diocesan brochure promoting the conference.


Dr. Healy is a professor, speaker and author, and is among the first three women to have been asked to serve on the Pontifical Biblical Commission.

She is a professor of Sacred Scripture at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, and is a respected international speaker on Scripture, evangelization, and the Spiritual life.

Dr. Healy has authored “Men and Women Are From Eden,” and other books, and has coedited several other publications aimed at helping Catholics interpret Scripture and apply it to the contemporary Christian life.

She was appointed by Pope Francis to the Pontifical Biblical Commission in 2014.


Deacon Guevara-Mann is a dynamic figure in Catholic TV and radio to our north in the Toronto, Ontario, Canada area.

He is one of the creative minds at Salt + Light Media Foundation of Canada, where he wears many hats, including those of producer, writer, director and host, all with the objective of sharing the Gospel message of hope in the TV and radio media.

In addition to being a vital cog in Salt + Light’s operations, he is part of the network’s expanding beyond the S + L dynamic, currently producing and hosting the weekly “SLHour,” heard on Sirius XM’s The Catholic Channel and other radio stations.

Deacon Guevara-Mann shares with his listeners inspiring messages, insightful interviews and commentaries. Add to that the fact that he serves as a permanent deacon in a parish just outside of Toronto, he’s much in demand.

In a recent letter to his brother priests, Bishop da Cunha urged them to spread the word about the conference and extolled its benefits to area faithful, especially as they prepare themselves during Lent to celebrate the Paschal Mystery, which is the passion, death, Resurrection and Ascension of the Lord and Savior.

“I invite you to consider obtaining a bus for your parishioners to attend,” he wrote. “Perhaps you might even be able to share a bus with another parish if you can’t fill a bus.”

The bishop also explained that some individuals who are past attendees are being invited to be captains who will spread the word about the conference, help in organizing buses if possible and simply answering questions of those who ask.

“May this time of preparation to celebrate the Paschal Mystery serve as a time to be renewed in the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ,” said Bishop da Cunha. “As the theme calls us to be living in the light of hope, let us pray for the grace to spend some quality time in prayer, preparing ourselves to receive the graces needed to draw closer to God.”

Interested individuals can view a brochure of the conference at the diocesan website:, and click on the “Living in the Light of Hope,” option at the page’s scrolling menu at the top. A registration form is also available there or at local parishes.

Registration deadline is March 6. The registration fee includes morning refreshments and lunch.

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