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Defending the Faith Conference

Standing for the Church with Boldness, Zeal, and Love

July 24 - 26, 2015


Standing for the Church with Boldness, Zeal, and Love

In a time where the Truth of the Catholic Church is under relentless and sinister attack by a culture of relativism, atheism, hedonism, and secularism, men and women of faith need to join together, rise up, and defend the Beauty of Mother Church.  

In a time when the faith and love of many of our fellow Catholics have grown cold, the Church needs modern missionaries committed to rebuilding the faith through knowledge and holy witness. 

This is the heart of the Defending the Faith Conference. 

Participants learn more than how to win arguments – they learn to win souls.  They learn not only how to speak the truth, but how to pass on the faith.  They are challenged and empowered to go and take the lead in the New Evangelization with holy boldness, zeal, and love.  If you feel called to transform the Church by bringing the strength to defend the Church and witness to the people in your parish, then you will not want miss this opportunity for training, fellowship, and empowering.

2015 Conference Theme:

Always Forward! Siempre Adelante! 

"Fear not for those who are with us are more than those who are with them. Then Elisha prayed... 'Oh Lord, open his eyes that he may see.'" 2 Kings 6:16-17

Our God is strong and our God is with us.  These words are not sentimentality but the foundation for our lives of courage and virtue. Come discover anew how awesome and beautiful living a courgageous life for Christ can be.

Conference Information


Held on the campus of Franciscan University in Steubenville, OH

Time: Conference begins with an Early Bird Session on Friday, July 24 from 2:00-4:00 p.m.; general sessions begin Friday at 7:00 p.m. and conclude on Sunday, July 26 by 12:30 p.m. (includes closing Sunday Mass)

Registration Cost:
Early Bird: $120 per person (by April 17th)
Regular: $145 per person
Priests: free registration (housing and meal plan charges still apply) Religious, or those 18-30 years old: $70 per person
Meal plan: $63 per person (includes 6 meals)
Housing: $90 per person (for shared room with A/C); $70 per person (for shared room without A/C); $100 per person (for private room without A/C)

Registration Information: Registration opens January 19, 2015

For more information, please call us 1-800-437-8368

Click for additional conference information and talk titles


Seeking an End to the ‘Scandalous Disunity’ Between East and West

January 29, 2015, 6:15 am
By VICTOR GAETAN | Robert Moynihan, Ph.D., founded the Urbi et Orbi Foundation two years ago to deepen relationships between Catholic and Orthodox Christians. He is also editor in chief of Inside the Vatican, a magazine he founded in 1993, and has...
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New Focus on Catholic Identity at San Francisco High Schools

January 28, 2015, 2:05 pm
By JOAN FRAWLEY DESMOND | SAN FRANCISCO — A decade ago, the Vatican’s apostolic visitation of U.S. seminaries led to stronger standards for priestly formation across the country. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco was inspired by...
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2015 Ministry Team

Dr. Scott Hahn

Dr. Scott Hahn is the author or editor of over forty books; his most recent titles are Evangelizing Catholics, Angels and Saints, and Consuming the Word. He holds the Fr. Michael Scanlan Chair of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization at Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he's taught since 1990. He is also the founder and president of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. Dr. Hahn graduated from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with his master’s in divinity and received his PhD in theology from Marquette University. Dr. Hahn has been married to Kimberly since 1979. They live in Steubenville Ohio and have six children and ten grandchildren.

Bishop Ronald W. Gainer, DD, JCL

The Most Reverend Bishop Gainer was appointed Bishop of Harrisburg by his Holiness Pope Francis on January 24, 2014. He studied at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, graduated summa cum laude with a licentiate degree in Canon Law, and later was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Allentown on May 19, 1973. Bishop Gainer has served in parish, campus ministry, marriage and family, and tribunal positions. During his priesthood, he served as Secretary of Catholic Life and Evangelization for the Diocese of Allentown where he supervised 14 diocesan offices promoting the works of spiritual renewal and evangelization. Currently, he serves on the USCCB Committee on Catholic Education and Committee for Canonical Affairs and Church Governance.

Archbishop Bernard Hebda

The Most Reverend Bernard Hebda was ordained for the Diocese of Pittsburgh in 1989. He held parish and Chancery assignments in the Pittsburgh Diocese until his appointment in 1996 to the staff of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts in Rome. In 2003, he became Under-secretary of the Council. In Rome, he also served as adjunct spiritual director at the Pontifical North American College, and confessor for the postulants of the Missionaries of Charity. In 2009 Pope Benedict XVI named him the Fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord, and in 2013 Pope Francis named him Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Newark. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University; a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia University School of Law; and Bachelor of Sacred Theology and Licentiate in Canon Law degrees from Pontifical Gregorian University.      

Bishop Jeffrey Monforton

The Most Reverend Bishop Jeffrey Monforton was born in Detroit, Michigan and is the eldest of three sons. He holds a licentiate in sacred theology, as well as a doctorate in sacred theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. In 1994, he was ordained to the priesthood. In 2006, Cardinal Adam Maida named him the twelfth rector of Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit, a post he held until 2012. Under his leadership the seminarian population at Sacred Heart has grown to the largest it has been in 38 years. Bishop Monforton was named the fifth bishop of Steubenville by Pope Benedict XVI on July 3, 2012.

Mike Aquilina

Mike Aquilina is the author and editor of more than 40 books on Catholic history, doctrine, and devotion. He has hosted many television series on EWTN, and he was a regular panelist on Catholic Familyland Network’s Weekly Roman Observer. Mike also contributes to Catholic radio and to Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity. He is the past editor of New Covenant and Pittsburgh Catholic, and his work has appeared in periodicals throughout the world. His books include The Fathers of the Church, The Mass of the Early Christians, and The Resilient Church. Mike and his wife, Terri, live in the South Hills of Pittsburgh with their six children, who are the subjects of his book Love in the Little Things.

Patrick Coffin

Patrick Coffin is the co-founder of the indie film company Immaculata Pictures and the host of the top-rated Catholic radio show in America, Catholic Answers Live. He has degrees from McGill University in Montreal and Franciscan University, and is the author of Sex Au Naturel, with a Foreword by Peter Kreeft. Patrick has interviewed three presidential candidates, four cardinals, an astronaut, a Hollywood stuntman, TV comedy writers, and dozens of the top Bible scholars in the world. His family live in San Diego.

Ulf and Birgitta Ekman

Ulf and Birgitta Ekman founded Word of Life, a non-denominational Charismatic church in Uppsala, Sweden where Ulf was its Senior Pastor for 30 years.  In May of 2014, after 15 years of soul searching concerning the Catholic faith, they converted and joined the Church. Ulf has held conferences and leadership seminars in many nations including the USSR and India. He founded bible schools and a Theological Seminary, hosted a TV-show aired in many nations, and has written more than 40 books & booklets which have been translated into over 30 languages.  Birgitta was editor of a Missions magazine, authored of 5 books for children, and founded a humanitarian foundation to help children in India in 1998. The foundation supports schools in poor areas, feeds needy children and sponsors daycare centers for children of prostitutes. They presently live in Sweden and have four sons and seven grandchildren.

Jennifer Fulwiler

Jennifer Fulwiler is a writer who chronicles her experiences of faith, motherhood, and a never?ending scorpion infestation on her popular blog, ConversionDiary.com. Her memoir, Something Other than God, was released by Ignatius Press in April 2014 and was listed among Amazon.com’s top 20 memoirs. She’s been a guest a variety of national television and radio shows, and was the subject of a reality show called Minor Revisions. Before she was a writer she worked as a website developer, and graduated with honors from the University of Texas earning a degree in Advertising with a focus on New Media.  Her website has thousands of daily readers and has won in the categories of Best Written Blog, Most Spiritual Blog, Best Blog by a Woman, and People’s Choice Blog in the Catholic New Media Awards.  She lives with her husband and six young children in Austin, Texas.

Father Michael Gaitley, MIC

Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC, is a member of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception and author of the bestselling books, Consoling the Heart of Jesus, 33 Days to Morning Glory, and the new book 'You Did it to Me': A Practical Guide to Mercy in Action. When he is not traveling, Fr. Michael lives and works on Eden Hill in Stockbridge, Mass., home of the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy.

Dr. Peter Kreeft

Dr. Peter Kreeft is a professor of philosophy at Boston College and at the King’s College (located in the Empire State Building) in New York City. A regular contributor to several Christian publications, Dr. Kreeft is in wide demand as a speaker at conferences and has authored over 75 books, including Handbook of Christian Apologetics, Christianity for Modern Pagans, Making Sense Out of Sufffering, Back to Virtue, Refutation of Moral Relativism, and Fundamentals of the Faith.  His newest works, published Fall 2014, are Letters to an Atheist: Wrestling with the Faith and 100 Greatest Philosophers: Socrates Children.

Patrick Madrid

Patrick Madrid is president of the Catholic Apologetics Academy and author of 20 books, including Why Be Catholic?, Search and Rescue, Answer Me This, and Envoy for Christ:25 Years as a Catholic Apologist. He hosts the “Right Here, Right Now” radio show (M-F at 4:00 pm ET), broadcast on over 230 stations across the country. He earned a B.Phil. in philosophy and an MA in dogmatic theology from the Pontifical College Josephinum and is currently engaged in doctoral studies for a Ph.D. in Church history. He has taught theology at Franciscan University and is an adjunct professor of theology at Holy Apostles College and Seminary. Patrick and his wife, Nancy, have 11 children and 15 grandchildren.

Matt Maher

Matt Maher recently made the transition from full-time ministry at his home church in Mesa, Arizona, to life as a respected worship leader with an international platform. He has developed a reputation as a versatile songwriter, always eager to build bridges between communities and inspire others to creative excellence. Matt’s latest album was released in 2013, and his life experiences have shaped his music. He says, “It has given me a heart for two things: one is to interact with the culture more and another is to be a vehicle for unity…. My mandate as a Christian is not to retreat, but to be a light. In a post-Christian society, everybody is called to be a missionary wherever we are.”


Dr. Taylor Marshall

Taylor Marshall PhD is a former Episcopalian priest and the President of the New Saint Thomas Institute, an initiative offering theology classes to over 1,100 students in 24 nations. He is the author of The Crucified Rabbi, The Catholic Perspective on Paul, The Eternal City, Thomas Aquinas in 50 Pages, and Saint Augustine in 50 Pages. He appears regularly on Catholic Answers, EWTN, and Relevant Radio. He has a highly rated podcast “The Taylor Marshall Catholic Show” and is a blogger with nearly 100,000 followers. He and his wife Joy have seven children (four boys and three girls) and make their home in Dallas, Texas.

Emily Stimpson

Emily Stimpson is a freelance Catholic writer based in Steubenville, Ohio. Her books include The American Catholic Almanac: The Patriots, Saints, Rogues, and Ordinary People Who Changed America (Image, 2014), These Beautiful Bones: An Everyday Theology of the Body (Emmaus Road, 2013), and The Catholic Girl’s Survival Guide for the Single Years (Emmaus Road, 2012). A contributing editor to Our Sunday Visitor and Franciscan Way Magazine, her writing has also appeared in First Things, Touchstone, the National Catholic Register, Lay Witness, Catholic Digest, and elsewhere. Honored by both the Catholic Press Association and the Associated Church Press, Stimpson holds a BA from Miami University of Ohio and did her graduate work in theology at Franciscan University. She is a frequent blogger on www.catholicvote.com

Bob Rice- Worship Leader

Bob Rice is an associate professor of catechetics at Franciscan University, and he ministers to over 10,000 people each year through hosting conferences, giving talks, teaching workshops, leading worship, and performing original music. Bob’s creative use of humor, personal stories, and extensive knowledge of the faith have made him an internationally sought-after speaker for people of all ages. He lives in Steubenville with his wife, Jennifer, and seven children.

   Patrick Madrid
   Jul 27, 2014
   Father Sean Sheridan
   Jul 27, 2014
   Father Sean Sheridan
   Jul 27, 2014
   Kimberly Hahn
   Jul 27, 2014
   Dr. Ian Murphy
   Jul 27, 2014
   Dr. Scott Hahn
   Jul 27, 2014
   Tim Staples
   Jul 27, 2014
   Patrick Madrid
   Jul 27, 2014
   Tim Staples
   Jul 27, 2014
   Father David Meconi
   Jul 27, 2014
   Bishop Jeffery Monforton
   Jul 27, 2014