The convocation gathered together more than 3,100 lay and religious leaders from 160 dioceses and 185 national organizations to explore the current challenges and strengths of the church and its evangelization efforts.
Many of the Catholic leaders attending the July 1-4 gathering in Orlando, Florida, have been to enough retreats or conferences over the years to know that the real challenge comes when they try to put what they heard into practice.
Auxiliary Bishop Robert E. Barron of Los Angeles tells delegates at the “Convocation of Catholic Leaders. The Joy of the Gospel in America” have their work cut out for them but they are equipped to do it, said speakers at the final plenary session July 4.
Over 100 Catholic leaders attending the Leadership Roundtable’s annual convening in Orlando said the church needs to go beyond “engaging laity” to “appointing, recruiting, promoting and empowering diverse lay leaders.”
During the keynote address, Washington Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl stressed the sense of urgency of evangelizing and inviting others to Christ to step out and encounter people where they are at as Pope Francis has said.
Called by the bishops, the historic convocation will find more than 3,000 Catholic leaders — bishops, clergy, religious and laypeople — meeting July 1-4 in Orlando, Florida, to focus on how the pope’s 2013 apostolic exhortation, “Evangelii Gaudium” (“The Joy of the Gospel”), applies in the United States.