Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to participate at the women's conference that was sponsored by our diocese at the convention center in Richmond. I was very impressed by the turnout throughout our diocese. There were several women from our cluster parishes who attended and those who spoke to me about it told me it was a wonderful experience to attend. This was only the second year for the conference and it was so well attended that I'm sure it will be happening again next year. I encourage everyone to search for opportunities like this one to find something outside of our normal routine that can promote spiritual growth in our lives. Many people do not have the time to go away for a retreat, but these one day conferences can fit much easier into a schedule and still be a very rewarding experience.
On January 10, our diocese will be hosting a men's conference in the same place, The Greater Richmond Convention Center. I encourage all the men of our parishes to consider attending this conference. Deacon Matt MacLaughlin is planning to attend he is interested in coordinating with any other men in our cluster who would like to attend this conference as well. Anyone interested in attending this conference can contact Deacon Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, I want to offer the opportunity for everyone to celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation this Advent. I have chosen not to have a communal reconciliation service due to the number of priests available and the schedule of the cluster. Instead, I will be adding additional times for confession during the week throughout Advent in all three parishes where Fr. Bulinda and I will be available for the sacrament.