The Catholic Diocese of Bismarck will be hosting the 2016 THIRST conference at the Bismarck Event Center Oct. 28-30.
“My hope for all who come to our Eucharistic conference is that they realize the depth of the love which Jesus has for them as their true and constant friend and companion in daily life and that they will share this friendship with others,” Bishop David Kagan said about bringing the conference back this year.
The event is the second of its kind for the diocese with the first held in 2013, which welcomed more than 7,000 people. The diocese hosted a men’s THIRST in 2014 and a similar women’s event in 2015 before bringing back the large conference during this Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy called for by Pope Francis.
Bishop Kagan noted that the alternating years helps reach a wide audience, but allows for a specific focus each time. “Each year, many would have an opportunity to gather for prayer, reflection and guidance, and a few hours of fellowship. No matter the year and the conference, we will be able to gather with Our Lord at the center of our lives reflect on His great mercy and goodness and come away renewed and strengthened in our faith, hope and charity.”
Plans are still being finalized, but the list of speakers includes most notably, Cardinal Edwin O’Brien, who serves as the Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. Other speakers are: Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Fr. Scott Traynor, Leah Darrow, Fran Beach, Judy Hehr and Dr. Ray Guarendi, the popular author and EWTN radio talk show host. Local speakers include Monsignors James Shea and Thomas Richter. Additional speakers and other features will likely be added to the lineup. More details will follow in the coming months.
Event registration is available online at the diocesan website at: bismarckdiocese.com/thirst2016.