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Noted Catholic theologian to discuss evangelizing a secular world

Published January 7, 2013 1:35 pm

Cathedral Ministry Conference • Renowned priest will deliver keynote speech in Salt Lake.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Rev. Robert Barron, a Catholic priest, theologian and cultural commentator whose documentary series "Catholicism" was shown on Public Broadcasting Service stations, will speak in Salt Lake City on Jan. 10.

Barron will be the closing keynote speaker at a national conference, but his talk will be open to the public, said Monsignor Joseph M. Mayo, rector of The Cathedral of the Madeleine.

"Many people, we expect, will want to come to that talk," said Mayo, one of the organizers of the Cathedral Ministry Conference. "We were very fortunate to get him."

Barron's written and video commentaries are posted on his ministry website, Word on Fire, and on YouTube. He often reviews movies, engages in conversation with atheists, educates Catholics and gives the Catholic take on issues of interest to the secular world.

Barron was appointed last year as rector-president of Mundelein Seminary/University of St. Mary of the Lake, the largest Catholic seminary in the country. He has taught theology at the Illinois seminary since 1992.

Barron's talk, "Proclaiming Christ to a Secular World," will be at 9 a.m. Thursday at the Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at City Creek. Tickets are available for $7.50 in advance from Laurel Dokos, Cathedral of the Madeleine, 801-328-8941, or for $10 at the door.

The conference, which begins Monday afternoon, is expected to draw 100 Catholics who work in cathedrals throughout the country.

A cathedral is a parish that is also the seat of a bishop, so there is a cathedral in every diocese. Cathedrals often stage public events, such as concert series or art lectures.

The Cathedral of the Madeleine has never before hosted the conference, but there is great interest in both the cathedral and Salt Lake City, Mayo said. For instance, rectors of other cathedrals are interested in learning about the Madeleine Choir School, one of only two such Catholic choir schools in the country.

Workshops will cover such issues as fundraising, young adult ministries and websites.

The Rev. Michael G. Ryan, pastor of St. James Cathedral in Seattle, will give a keynote address, "Cathedral: Curiosity or Crossroads?" at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

Patricia Wittberg, a Sister of Charity and professor of sociology at Indiana University-Purdue University, will give another keynote, "From Generation to Generation: Thoughts on Passing on Our Faith," at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday. —

Popular Catholic speaker

The Rev. Robert Barron, a Catholic priest and theologian, will discuss "Proclaiming Christ to a Secular World," at 9 a.m. Thursday at the Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at City Creek. Tickets are available for $7.50 in advance from Laurel Dokos, Cathedral of the Madeleine, 801-328-8941, or for $10 at the door.