Diocesan tribute to John Paul II June 13

Whether your goal is becoming a better teacher of the Catholic faith, or simply becoming a better Catholic, there is much to learn from the life and example of the late Pope John Paul II.

One of the keynote speakers at next month’s Diocesan Summer Institute, George Weigel, is uniquely qualified to help people increase their understanding and appreciation of John Paul II, who guided the church from 1978 until his death in 2005. As the author of “Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II,” Weigel was given unprecedented access to his friend, the late pontiff.

Weigel, a syndicated columnist for the Catholic press and Vatican analyst for NBC News, will deliver his keynote address at 9:55 a.m. on the first day of the Summer Institute, Friday, June 13, in St. Vincent de Paul Church, Peoria.

Then in a presentation open to the public at St. Vincent’s on Friday evening, he will lead “A Tribute to John Paul II” at 7 p.m. There is no cost to attend the tribute evening.

The tribute will have a talk show format, with Father Douglas Grandon — director of the diocesan Office of Catechetics set to be ordained to the priesthood Saturday — interviewing Weigel. Also taking part in the tribute will be Dr. Jeffrey Steenson, a former Episcopal bishop who was received into the Catholic Church last year, and Father Dan Maurer, CJD, of the Mary Mother of God Mission in Vladivostok, Russia.

The institute will open with a Mass at 8:45 a.m. on Friday, June 13, at St. Vincent de Paul Church, followed by Weigel’s keynote address and 44 workshops on both Friday and Saturday. Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, will preside at the closing Mass at 4 p.m. on Saturday at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria.

Besides Weigel, the other featured speakers are Sister Johanna Paruch, FSGM, Jeff Cavins, creator of the “Great Adventure” Bible timeline series, and Scripture scholar and author Dr. Timothy Gray. Sister Johanna, professor of catechetics at Franciscan University of Steubenville, will give Saturday’s keynote address. Cavins and Gray will present “Adventures in Revelation” on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.

For more information on workshops and speakers, costs to attend one or both days of the institute, or to download a registration form, visit the Web site of the Diocese of Peoria at www.cdop.org and click on the link for the 2008 Summer Institute. Information is also available from the Office of Catechetics at (309) 682-5823, ext. 247.

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