Buffalo will greet journalists and editors from across the country as host of the 2015 Catholic Media Conference this June.
Each year, the Catholic Press Association's Catholic Media Conference gives media professionals an intimate forum to exchange ideas and discuss the industry's leading issues. Education workshops and in-depth master camps explore the latest trends in journalism, photography, social media and advertising, as well as providing roundtable discussions on the same topics.
Bishop Richard J. Malone will welcome more than 300 expected attendees to the conference. He will be the main celebrant at the opening day Mass at St. Joseph Cathedral in Buffalo.
Guest speakers for the conference will include Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, Salt and Light Media founder Father Thomas Rosica, CSB, and Donna Farrell, executive director of the World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia.
Armed with only a sewing machine, Sister Rosemary, of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, openly defied Joseph Kony and the rebel soldiers and commanders of the Lord's Resistance Army in their 20-year reign of terror. Since 2002, Sister Rosemary has enrolled more than 2,000 girls, who had been abducted by the LRA or abandoned by their families, into St. Monica's Girls School. She has received worldwide recognition and was recognized by CNN, Time and in 2014, received the U.N. Women's Impact Award.
Father Rosica serves as CEO for Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation, based in Toronto and Montreal. He is the author of several hundred articles and columns in numerous languages for various publications including the Toronto Sun and Zenit International News Service.
Father Rosica has maintained a close working relationship with the Vatican, serving as the English-speaking media attaché of the Synod of Bishops on "The New Evangelization" that took place during October 2012, at the Vatican. Following the announcement on Feb. 11, 2013, of Pope Benedict XVI's resignation, Father Rosica was invited by the Vatican to join the staff of the Holy See Press Office and serve as one of the official spokespersons for the transition in the papacy that included the resignation, Sede Vacante, Conclave and election of the new pope.
Father Rosica assisted the Vatican during a critical period in Church history. At the end of the papal transition in April 2013, the Vatican asked him to serve as English language assistant to the Holy See Press Office. He continues to relate on a daily basis with English language media around the world.
Farrell served as director of Communications for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 2005 to 2012. This past May, she received the papal honor, Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (Cross for the Church and Pontiff) for her unwavering service to the Church. Her dedication to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the Catholic faith was consistently evident through her efforts to highlight the good works of the local Church and promote Catholic values and teachings.
One million people are expected to come to Philadelphia Sept. 22-25 to see Pope Francis.
The 2015 Catholic Media Conference will launch a training program for Catholics. "Fundamentals of the Catholic Church" will teach the ins and outs of the Catholic Church for new employees in church offices and ministries. A diocesan chief financial officer might have great success in the secular world, but may not know the difference between an order priest and a diocesan priest.
"The purpose of it is to take new employees into diocesan organizations and help them understand who their employer is - the Church," said Timothy M. Walter, executive director of the Catholic Press Association.
The staff of the Western New York Catholic is working with Mark Zimmerman, editor of Washington, D.C.'s Catholic Standard to create a tribute to Catholic journalist and host of "Meet the Press" Tim Russert.
The staff of the diocesan Office of Communications/Western New York Catholic will also use this conference as an opportunity to show off the wonders and attractions of the Nickel City. Three historic downtown churches will be used to celebrate Masses. Visitors will see the beauty of St. Joseph Cathedral, absorb the history of St. Louis Parish and learn the colorful past of St. Michael's.
The 300 guests will learn about the true jewel of Buffalo, the chicken wing. They'll also vote for their favorite style in a War of the Wings.
"We're hoping to show the bright side of the Diocese of Buffalo, hoping to share our traditions, our faith really, the faith of the Diocese of Buffalo. We're hoping people will see the wonderful gifts the Diocese of Buffalo has to offer," said Rick Franusiak, managing editor of Buffalo's diocesan newspaper, the Western New York Catholic.
The 2015 Catholic Media Conference will be held at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center in downtown Buffalo June 24-26. Day passes are available to non-CPA members.
For more information visit www.catholicpress.org.