Diocese To Host Critical Life Issues Conference

PISCATAWAY – The 2011 Critical Life Issues Conference, sponsored by the Diocese of Metuchen Office of Respect for Life, will be held on Saturday, October 29, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the St. John Neumann Pastoral Center, 146 Metlars Lane. The 10th annual conference, which takes place during nationally recognized Respect Life Month, will address varied topics and issues focusing on protection of human life and the promotion of human dignity.

This year’s theme is, “I came so all might have life…and have it to the full!”

“Respect Life month is a time to reflect on what the Church teaches us about the value and dignity of all human life. Each year, our goal for the Critical Life Issues Conference is to promote the gospel of life by combining education, spirituality and inspiration. This is our tenth annual Conference and it promises to be a truly life affirming and energizing experience.”

The day will begin with Mass celebrated by Fr. John Grimes, Parochial Vicar at St. Ambrose Parish, Old Bridge, and will feature guest speakers who are experts in their respective fields.

Film producer, human rights leader and international grassroots activist Jason Jones will discuss Pop Culture and the Pain of Abortion. Jones co-produced the award-winning 2006 film, ‘Bella,’ which addresses abortion and the right to life of the unborn. His extensive humanitarian work is directed to the human person as a whole regardless of race, creed or ability.

Damon Owens, founder of Joy-Filled Marriage, NJ, will explore ways of Healing a Pornographic Culture. With his wife, Melanie, Owens is co-founder of the New Jersey Natural Family Planning Association. As a certified speaker for the Theology of the Body Institute and a trainer for Ascension Press, he speaks frequently to groups of couples and individuals on the good news about marriage, sexuality, Theology of the Body, Theology of the Family and NFP.

Pointing out that it’s okay to think outside-the-box and to summon Creative Courage in Building a Culture of Life will be nationally self-syndicated cartoonist Gary Cangemi, who is known for his pro-life cartoon strip Umbert the Unborn. Cangemi, whose work has appeared in 100 publications worldwide, is a freelance artist and editorial cartoonist who rose to the challenge when asked to devise a creative approach to educating young people about pro-life issues.

Pro-life activist and national spokesperson Kristan Hawkins will talk about Generation Y – The Pro-Life Generation. Since taking the reigns in 2006 as the executive director of Students for Life of America (SFLA), Hawkins has led the charge in more-than-doubling the number of pro-life groups on American college campuses.

Throughout the day, there will be a variety of exhibits on display and there will be an opportunity for Eucharist Adoration. The event will conclude at 3:15 p.m. with benediction.

Cost for the conference is $25 and includes lunch and handouts. For more information or to register visit, www.diometuchen.org, call 1-732-562-1990 ext. 1629 or email respect.life@diometuchen.org.

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