Over the years, the Diocese of Fort Worth has sponsored conferences for married couples, for men, for women, and even for mothers and their daughters, and fathers and their sons, among many others. This year, the diocese will sponsor a new conference: the first Family Life Conference will be held Nov. 1, All Saints Day, at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Grapevine. “This is for people who are married, people who are single parents, people who are stepparents, people who are hurting from divorce,” said Chris Vaughan, diocesan director of Marriage and Family Life. “We are trying to have this conference be open to everyone.”
Archbishop J. Michael Miller of Vancouver, former secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education, will deliver the keynote address at the eighth annual University of Dallas Ministry Conference (UDMC), “Walking Together in Faith,” scheduled for Oct. 23-25 at the Irving Convention Center in Irving. Archbishop Miller will address Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, (The Joy of the Gospel) and its role in contemporary Catholic ministry and education on Friday, Oct. 24, in English during the morning session and in Spanish during the afternoon session.
The number of Catholics within the 28-county Diocese of Fort Worth has skyrocketed, and many more are coming to North Texas, according to demographers. The burst of growth is recent. When Pope Paul VI split the Diocese of Fort Worth from the Diocese of Dallas-Fort Worth in 1969, the Catholic population was a mere 67,000. By 1986, the diocese had doubled in size to 120,000 Catholics.