By Colleen Rowan
“Where Spouses Discover God’s Plan for Their Family.” This is how organizers of the Together in Holiness Conference on marriage describe this upcoming event. It is a gathering, organizers say, that inspires spouses to grow together in holiness and empowers parents to form their children in the Catholic faith. This tremendous opportunity is coming to the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston in just a few months. The conference will be held Feb. 22 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at St. John XXIII Pastoral Center in Charleston. Presented by the diocese and the St. John Paul II Foundation, the conference includes presentations, Mass, a blessing of marriages, and more. “The church isn’t only in the business of creating marriages, it’s also here to support and strengthen those marriages as well,” said Daniel Maul, director of the diocese’s Office of Evangelization & Catechesis. “The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston is trying to do this in part by sponsoring this conference, along with a small-group formational series for married couples, as well. The bishop will be there for Mass, and we’re bringing in local and national speakers who will educate, entertain, and inspire you, as you grow in holiness together. We hope you’ll join us for this special event, as we journey together as a diocese that seeks to establish, strengthen, and grow strong and holy marriages.” The conference will begin with a Mass celebrated by Bishop Mark E. Brennan who is encouraging as many married and engaged couples as possible to attend. “I will be with you on that day for Mass and conversation, as we learn how to make our homes and families a domestic church,” the bishop said. “Please join me as we gather to celebrate all that holy matrimony is and can be: a pillar of our faith and a strength for our people.” Among the keynote speakers at the conference will be Charlotte Sacco, program coordinator for the Together In Holiness Formation Series, who will present “The Household of God and Your Household: What Does it Mean to be a Domestic Church?” Damon Owens, founder and executive director of Joyful Ever After, is also scheduled to speak. The nonprofit ministry is dedicated to encouraging and educating couples to understand and live marriage and family life with joy through St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. Owens will present “Bless this Mess: The Ultimate Guide to Forging Holiness in the Midst of Family Chaos.” Nick Chancey, director of the Marshall Catholic Newman Center in Huntington, will present “The Family: A Community of Contagious Love, Joy, Sacrifice, and Faith.” The cost information is as follows: Early bird couples $59 and early bird individuals is $35. Early bird pricing ends Jan. 10. Couples, $69; individuals, $40. Childcare is available for potty trained children ages 2-12 with a cost of $5 per child. A box lunch is included for each adult registrant. For this year only, because of the pandemic, the option of the “At-Home Conference Experience” is available for $15. This includes livestream of the conference presentations and Mass with one additional week of an online access conference folder containing the conference schedule, speaker handouts, and more. Scholarships are available for couples or individuals in need. Registration and more information is available online at https:// forlifeandfamily.org/events/th22-wcwv/ For more information, contact Maul by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or Michelle McDonald, conference coordinator, by calling (832) 7790-1070 or by e-mail to michelle@ forlifeandfamily.org.