University of Dallas Hosts Second Largest Catholic Ministry Conference

More than 5,500 people expected to attend the two-day event in Irving

By Christine Lee
|  Friday, Oct 26, 2012  |  Updated 6:10 PM CDT
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The 6th Annual University of Dallas Ministry Conference is expected to draw more than 5,500 people Friday and Saturday at the Irving Convention Center.

Christine Lee, Irving Reporter

The 6th Annual University of Dallas Ministry Conference is expected to draw more than 5,500 people Friday and Saturday at the Irving Convention Center.

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The 6th Annual University of Dallas Ministry Conference is expected to draw more than 5,500 people Friday and Saturday at the Irving Convention Center.

The conference, in its first year at the ICC, is filling up four floors at the convention center.

"It's overwhelming. We filled every nook and cranny," said Thomas Keefe, president of The University of Dallas. "This ministry conference is designed to provide them with educational opportunities, motivational speakers and a collective opportunity for them to get together with other ministers of the church to discuss and to celebrate their work."

The attendees include educators, members of the clergy and those who simply want to keep growing in their faith.

"There is always room to learn more, hear things in a different manner, for me," said Dallas resident Rosa Garza.

This is the second largest Catholic ministry conference in the nation. The number of Catholics in DFW has been growing by roughly 10 percent every year with more than 2,000,000 Catholics currently calling the Metroplex home.

"We live our faith lives together. Not in isolation. And that's what we have to, remember that. And we have to live that out," said Cardinal Roger Mahoney of Los Angeles, the event's keynote speaker.

Bishop Kevin Farrell of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas said it's been challenging to keep up with the rapid growth of Catholics in Dallas. He hoped this conference will give many of them an opportunity to mature in their faith.

"It can't just be a knowledge of God, but it must have a practical consequence in the life that we live each and every day," Farrell said.

The Dallas Diocese is the second fastest growing diocese in the United States with currently more than 1.2 million Catholics.

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