The One Catholic Gathering You Shouldn't Miss

by Joe Feuerherd

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Please pardon the shameless self promotion.

But we're a month away from what is shaping up to be a terrific two-day conference -- “A Washington Briefing for the Nation's Catholic Community,” -- on Thursday and Friday, May 6 and 7, 2010, cosponsored by Trinity Washington University and NCR. The conference will be held on Trinity's campus with hotel accommodations at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill.

A few things you can do:

  • If you haven't yet registered but plan to, please do so today (and please take advantage of the $395 group rate.) This will help us nail-down some of the logistics (meals, materials, etc.) You can register here:

  • Please share this posting with anyone and everyone -- colleagues, friends -- you think might be interested in this event. Encourage them to attend! (They too are eligible for the group rate.)

  • Please place information about the conference in your electronic newsletters and communications.

Confirmed panelists and participants (and there will be more who confirm over the next two weeks) include:

  • John L. Allen, Jr., NCR Senior Correspondent whose most recent book is The Future Church: How Ten Trends are Revolutionizing the Catholic Church.

  • Helen Alvare, former director of information and planning for the U.S. Bishops' pro-life office, and a professor of law at George Mason School of Law.

  • Sr. Carol Keehan, D.C., president and chief executive officer of the Catholic Health Association of the United States, the organization that played a pivotal role in the recent health care reform debate.

  • Thomas Patrick Melady, U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See under President George H.W. Bush and senior diplomat in residence at The Institute of World Politics.

  • R. James Nicholson, U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See and secretary for veterans affairs under George W. Bush, and senior counsel in Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck’s Washington, D.C., office.

  • Archbishop Edwin Frederick O’Brien of Baltimore, formerly Archbishop of the Archdiocese for the Military Services of the United States, who recently addressed the U.S. Strategic Air Command on “Nuclear Weapons and Moral Questions: The Path to Zero.”

  • Fr. Thomas J. Reese, S.J., senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown and the former editor of America magazine.

  • James Roosevelt, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Tufts Health Plan, a not-for-profit health maintenance organization (HMO).

  • Dr. Robert Royal, president of the Faith & Reason Institute.

  • Patricia A. Weitzel-O’Neill, Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of Washington, recently appointed executive director of the Center for Catholic Education at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education.

  • John Zogby, the nation’s leading political pollster and senior fellow at the Catholic University of America’s Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies.

  • Joe Feuerherd, NCR publisher and editor-in-chief.

  • Patricia McGuire, president of Trinity Washington University.

    Visit the conference website -- -- for more information on the May 6-7 conference and to register.

    Hotel reservations may be made at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill where a discounted block of rooms has been reserved for conference participants. Transportation to and from the hotel to Trinity will be provided.

    Expect two full days, beginning with continental breakfast, from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., Thursday, May 6 and closing with a keynoted dinner on Friday, May 7. All conference materials, two continental breakfasts and two luncheons, Thursday's wine and cheese reception on Capitol Hill, Friday dinner and transportation between the hotel and Trinity's campus are included in the registration fee.

    If you have questions, call the National Catholic Reporter at 800-333-7373 or e-mail

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