New site, Hispanic outreach for Champaign ‘Catholic Connected’

Photo Caption: “Catholic Connected: Beyond the Pew” will draw members of Catholic parishes throughout the Champaign vicariate to The High School of Saint Thomas More on Sunday, April 29.

CHAMPAIGN — All Catholics in the Champaign vicariate and their guests are invited to gather for the 2012 “Catholic Connected: Beyond the Pew” celebration of faith and unity on Sunday, April 29, at The High School of St. Thomas More, 2901 N. Mattis Ave.

This year’s featured speaker is Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio, a Dallas-based author and retreat leader with special interest in teen evangelization and Hispanic ministry. He is the founder of Crossroads Productions, an apostolate of Catholic renewal and evangelization.

The evening will begin at 7 p.m. with music from a combined vicariate choir. Dr. D’Ambrosio will then speak on “Transformation: Growing in Faith Together,” and the event will conclude with a social reception.

“Catholic Connected” is a collaboration among the parishes of the Champaign vicariate to sponsor faith-filled, large group events. Among its goals are to increase faith, galvanize the community for evangelization, promote Catholic teaching, and themes in the arts, and provide a venue for non-Catholics to experience the beauty and richness of Catholic thought.

There are two significant changes in the annual event, which began in 2009 with an assembly of more than 1,100 Catholics. One is the location. In past years, “Catholic Connected” took place in the Krannert Center at the University of Illinois.

This year’s gathering will also feature an Hispanic event at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 29, at St. Mary’s Parish Center in Champaign. Dr. D’Ambrosio’s presentation at that gathering will be in Spanish.

There is no charge to attend “Catholic Connected.” A free-will collection will be received. RSVPs are requested to your parish office by April 23. Parishes will supply a “ticket/nametag” as a way to build community among the region’s Catholics.

More information is available online at Catholic Connected: Beyond the Pew.

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