Registration Opens for McGrath Institute’s Conference Promoting the Renewal of Leadership in the Church

By Anna Bradley

Called & Co-ResponsibleCalled & Co-Responsible

Notre Dame, IN — The McGrath Institute for Church Life is pleased to announce that registration is now open for its national conference dedicated to exploring the idea of co-responsibility for the laity and the clergy for the mission of the Church. It is being held March 4-6, 2020, at the University of Notre Dame.

Drawing upon Pope Benedict’s 2012 speech on the occasion of the sixth Ordinary Assembly of the International Forum of Catholic Action, the conference, entitled “Called & Co-Responsible: Exploring Co-Responsibility for the Mission of the Church,” will address questions about the nature of leadership in the Church, as well as what it means to say that lay people are not to be regarded merely as collaborators with the clergy, but rather as truly co-responsible for the activity of the Church, as well as for her being.

“Pope Francis says that all of us are asked to obey the Lord's call to go forth, and that this will involve leaving the comfort zones we have all established for ourselves and for the Church,” says John Cavadini, Director of the McGrath Institute. “How do we form the laity to become co-responsible for the Church's mission? How do we form priests to nurture co-responsibility, in themselves and in the laity?”

Featured speakers include Bishop Frank J. Caggiano of Bridgeport, Kerry Robinson of Leadership Roundtable, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, alongside other bishops, priests, and lay leaders in the Church. 

Cavadini will join Katherine Angulo, Program Director of the Thriving in Ministry Initiative, and Colleen Moore, Director of Formation and Program Director of the Echo Graduate Service Program, as featured speakers from the McGrath Institute. The conference will host a number of invited panelists representing ecclesial movements, parishes, dioceses, and Catholic schools. 

According to Cavadini, “Our conference hopes to make visible this new conception of leadership, introduced by Pope Benedict XVI and developed by Pope Francis, and at the same time to make the theology that empowers it visible as such as well. We hope this is the beginning, not the end, of this exciting exploration of a genuinely new conception of leadership in the Church.”

Registration is open to the public for $125 per attendee. For diocesan or parish groups who register 6 or more, meals are included with registration. Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s College, and Holy Cross College faculty, staff, and students are invited to register at no cost. Bishops, pastors, lay leaders, and high school and college faculty and administrators are encouraged to attend. For more information on invited speakers and event details, visit the event page.

Contact: Amy North, Program Director of Communications, 574-631-2894,