WEEKEND OF ENRICHMENT St. Joseph, Upland, held a two-day conference in honor of their parish’s centennial. LEFT: Bishop Rojas gives a talk to attendees on June 25. RIGHT: Young attendees enjoy each other’s company at the conference’s Youth Night on June 24.
UPLAND—As part of their jubilee year in honor of their 100-year anniversary, St. Joseph in Upland held a two-day religious conference June 24-25.
The first night, June 24, was a Youth Night. Over 200 attended for a night of food, fun and formation. The workshop was given by Father Tony Ricard, a priest from the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Louisiana, who encouraged the young people to recognize their purpose in the Kingdom of God. Before the workshop, there was a social where teens ate pizza, socialized with one another, took pictures at a photo booth and could speak with Father Hau Vu, Vocations Director for the Diocese.
After Fr. Ricard gave his workshop full of vibrant stories, jokes and laughter, there was praise and worship and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. It was a very joyous time for the youth to deepen their faith, realize how they fit into the community and receive inspiration to serve those around them.
The next morning, June 25, 300 adults gathered for an all-day conference full of speaker workshops, fellowship and spiritual growth. They were very blessed to have both Bishop Alberto Rojas and Bishop Emeritus Gerald Barnes as their keynote speakers to kick off their morning.
Other speakers for the event included Fr. Ricard, Dr. Michael Cunningham, Trevor Thomson, Ana Gmeiner, LMSC, and Father Miguel Ceja. After the keynote speeches, attendees went to their first workshop, followed by lunch in the pavilion where they could meet up with others to share a meal together and discuss their first sessions.
After lunch was a second workshop and a closing keynote session, and the day concluded with a bilingual Mass presided by Bishop Alberto Rojas. The Hispanic community spent half of their day with Bishop Alberto Rojas and were able to get to know him on a more personal level; many attendees shared how welcoming, warm and humble Bishop Rojas was and how beneficial his presentations were.
Throughout the day, the invited speakers covered on a wide variety of topics which were centered around the parish’s key values of community, faith and service. Bishop Rojas spoke on what it meant to be made in the likeness of God; Fr. Ceja discussed our call to build a community of faith and action; Dr. Cunningham focused on reaching out to our extended parish family in order to grow together; Gmeiner emphasized that our sins can never be greater than God’s love for us; Trevor Thomson used moving personal testimony to demonstrate how we can encounter Jesus on our journeys, no matter how difficult; and Fr. Ricard covered setting our fears aside for complete trust in the Lord.
In all the conference was a successful event that blessed the community. The parish would like to thank all the staff, speakers and volunteers who worked hard to pull together such a fun and fruitful event. Parishioners as well as attendees from all over the Diocese had nothing but praise for the event and even suggested having similar events annually in the future; we’ll have to see what the future holds!