Trinity Heights announces plans for fall conference
By RENEE WEBB, Globe editor
Trinity Heights in Sioux City has always had a special devotion to divine mercy.
The spiritual life committee of Trinity Heights has hosted a Divine Mercy Sunday prayer service since the year 2000, the chapel was named the Divine Mercy Chapel back in the mid-1990s and for the last year that chapel has been home to a first-class relic of St. Faustina Kowalska, the Polish nun whose visions of Christ revealed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
Now Trinity Heights is going a step further as they are in the process of planning a Divine Mercy Conference slated for Sept. 25 that they hope will attract at least 1,000 from the Midwest and beyond. The conference will be held at the Sioux City Convention Center.
The title of the conference is Queen of Peace: Mediatrix of Divine Mercy.
Father LeRoy Seuntjens, chaplain for Trinity Heights, explained that in Marian spirituality – “through Mary we go to Jesus. Mediatrix means she is the mediator, bringing us to the Lord in his mercy as presented to us by the divine mercy devotions and revelations.”
The Immaculate Heart of Mary statue at Trinity Heights, he added, points to Jesus.
“Mary is the mediatrix of all graces, too,” Father Seuntjens said.
Larry Walsh, a member of the spiritual committee at Trinity Heights, said that through the conference they hope to educate the public and promote greater awareness of divine mercy in these modern times.
Speakers include: Father Kazimierz Chwalek, MIC, director of evangelization and development for the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception and vice president of the North American Congress on Mercy; Marie Romagnano, RN, founder of the Healthcare Professionals for Divine Mercy, an apostolate of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception training healthcare professionals on the healing power of the divine mercy message and Dr. Bryan Thatcher, MD, of Tampa, Florida, founder of the Eucharistic Apostles of the Divine Mercy, who is an international speaker on the topics of divine mercy and the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Sisters will also be on hand from the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, whom Sister Faustina was a member.
“The whole devotion and understanding of divine mercy has been growing in the church throughout the world,” Father Seuntjens said. “We thought the conference and bringing in some national speakers would be another way to promote the devotion.”
The diary of St. Faustina states that she was to devote her life to the promotion of the divine mercy message and Christ promised that the Lord would bless those who help to spread this devotion abundantly.
“It was Pope John Paul II who felt that his primary purpose as a pope was to spread the idea of Christ’s mercy,” said Walsh, who referred to the importance of confession. “We have gotten away from feeling that this (confession) is a necessary thing in our lives, but it truly is.”
Father Seuntjens pointed out that when the late pope had canonized St. Faustina – the first saint of the new millennium – he had called her “a saint for our time and a devotion for our day. He certainly was aware of the oceans of mercy that the Lord has available.”
The priest said Pope John Paul had recognized that mercy was needed for the “aching world” as modern times have brought many struggles like abortion, contraception, gay marriage, wars, economic crisis, hedonism and more.
The conference will provide a mix of educational and spiritual opportunities as the day will feature several prayer opportunities such as rosary, the chaplet, Mass celebrated by Bishop R. Walker Nickless and adoration to close the event. Those who plan to attend the Sept. 25 conference may want to plan extra time in Sioux City as organizers plan to hold tours of Trinity Heights and other activities on Sept. 24 and 26.
Stay informed about the upcoming conference by checking out trinityheights. com on a regular basis. You may register for the conference online at that Web site.
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