From the moment registration began there was a buzz in
the air and an energy that was reminiscent of the early church excitement - God
was going to visit His people through His Word in a mighty way and Catholic
Christians gathered from near and far - 30 states and 10 countries - to hear
the most exceptional bible teachers preach with the fire of the Holy
Spirit. The theme of this years
conference was "Scripture: a Roadmap for Living", and the message was not only to
study the Word of God but to LIVE IT!
The first hours were met with joyful hospitality and greetings
from volunteers and staff members of Ascension Press along with founder and President
Matt Pinto and Chief Operating Officer Barry Pines,who worked alongside their
people and right in the midst of the event.
This team worked tirelessly during the months leading up to the
conference and the fruit of their labor was evident when four weeks before the
event date registration was closed and 300 people were put on a waiting
list. Two weeks ago the waiting list was
added to the registration list and a total of 1,300 people comprising priests,
religious, deacons, consecrated, and laity; young, old, married, single all
gathered to hear how to more effectively apply the Bible and its teachings to their
The grounds of Our Lady of Czestochowa Shrine proved to
be the most beautiful host and backdrop for the event. Nestled on "Beacon
Hill", the highest point in Bucks County, Our Lady's House was the perfect
place for God to shine His light through today's most Spirit filled teachers. Jeff Cavins opened the event with the welcome
and key note speaker Dr. Tim Gray provided a Biblical Vision for the New Evangelization. Dr. Edward Sri taught How to Engage the Relativistic Culture of Our Time, and Jeff Cavins
emphasized the need to take the Page to
the Pavement. Dr. Scott Hahn taught about the Sacramentality of Scripture in God's Plan of Salvation and speakers
Martha Fernandez-Sardina, Thomas Smith, Sarah Christmyer, and Dr. Sean Innerst
taught a variety of impactful lessons on Lectio Divina, Evangelization and the Beatitudes. A huge blessing for the people in the
Archdiocese of Philadelphia was to have Fr. Patrick Brady, the Chair of the
Department of Sacred Scripture at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, as a speaker.
His talk on How to See the Biblical
Vision in a Blind World was exceptional.
The event could not take place without the four sponsors:
Alpha for Catholics, The Augustine Institute, The Archdiocese of Philadelphia -
Office for Formation of the Laity, and of course Ascension Press.
During the entire two spirit filled days, the weather was
sunny and beautiful as the participants were able to take breaks and reflect on
what they were receiving from the Lord.
Our Lady's Shrine proved to be a beautiful place to receive the word of
God and ponder it in many hearts... and what a perfect time on the feast of the
Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
In the end, many people said they would return to the
Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, to pray and reflect on God's Word, the
perfect place to spend time listening and being in the presence of God.
Ascension Press produced audio CDs of every speaker/talk
at the conference and this 2012 set is available when you visit ascensionpress.com. Every participant journeyed home with a
deeper understanding of how the Scriptures truly are a roadmap for living and with
a renewed vigor to put this knowledge into action. All experienced great
fellowship and new friendships and are eager to spread the Good News and Gospel
of Our Lord Jesus Christ.