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  • Writer's pictureBrandon Harvey

Midwest Catholic Family Conference: Are You Going?

Are you Catholic? Do you live in the Midwest? Do you have a family or come from a family? Then you better block off the first weekend in August and register for the Midwest Catholic Family Conference


procession

My family has been going for several years and we hope to continue for the years to come. It is a weekend opportunity for the whole family to grow in faith and in family unity. Some come for just Saturday and Sunday, and others arrive as things begin on Friday evening. It is held each year in Wichita, Kansas. Thousands join for sacraments, prayer, talks, and several dozen Catholic vendors.  


Mass is offered each day with an auditorium full of devoted Catholics. At least one Mass is celebrated by a bishop. Several hours of Confession are available. There is a Eucharistic Procession through the auditorium and outside with first communicants assisting. If you ever need a break from the usual conference activities, you can visit the adoration chapel! Besides the sacraments there are also prayer opportunities like the Liturgy of the Hours, the Rosary, and the blessing of religious articles.  


mass

The talks are catechetical opportunities to learn about the faith and to consider faith responses to the issues of our day. The conference offers age specific programs for the talks. The adults usually have 1-2 options for each talk in the various auditorium locations. Speakers range from apologists like Scott Hahn or Jimmy Akin, famous Catholic podcasters, clergy, and other Catholic speakers. Kids have teachers much like they would for Vacation Bible School or Totus Tuus, with clergy or religious sisters visiting (my son will never forget a monk visiting on a skateboard!). There are Middle School and High School specific programs with speakers, games, and other activities. My teens rave about their programs (so do the younger kids!). 


What about babies and small children? It is normal for parents to bring little ones to Mass and the talks, or moving around with a stroller, but there is also an amazing “cry room” setup for little ones to be able to be loud and for parents to still engage through live streaming.  


kids

There are also rows and rows of Catholic vendors for between events, before or after programs, during meals, or if you choose to take a break from your talk. Some of the vendors are for the speakers, Catholic universities, Catholic stores or products for all ages, canonization causes, vocations, pro-life organizations, charities, and vendors with free give aways. Need Christmas gifts or ideas? The vendors will help! 


The conference fee, individual registration or family registration, is unusually inexpensive for the amount of programing and opportunities provided. The more costly fees tend to be hotels/camping, food (we usually make our meals), and travel. My wife and I can both testify to the fact that this conference has always been a source of blessing for us. One year it helped us through a job change. Another year we saw our kids passionately excited about all things related to Jesus in a renewed way. Another year we experienced the blessing as a renewal in our marriage. Even in years when a recreational vacation is not possible, the one thing we prioritize each year is the Midwest Catholic Family Conference (CLICK HERE to register).  


*In case you are wondering, I have not been asked by the conference to write this post.  

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