Summit on the Family
October 01, 2016

Summit on the Family

Saturday, October 1, 2016
9:15 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Shrine of the North American Martyrs, Auriesville, NY
Address for GPS Directions: 136 Shrine Rd, Fultonville, NY 12010

The Summit on the Family is a gathering for all Catholic families in the Diocese of Albany. The event was conceived by Bishop Ed Scharfenberger to focus on where seeds of faith and love are planted—in the family. It’s a day for family fun, Catholic devotions, and insights into joy-filled family life.

The day will include family activities, upbeat talks from various presenters, Mass and devotions, and a tour of the Shrine. Please take a moment toREGISTER ONLINE.

Who Should Attend
All Catholic families who want to celebrate our faith together! Families with small children are encouraged to attend. While there will be some talks geared toward adults, there will also be plenty to engage children of all ages.


Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger
Finding Our Place in the Family
Bishop Sharfenberger became the bishop of our diocese in 2014. Known for his warm and open personality, which shines through in his preaching, Bishop Ed will talk about God’s plan for the family and how each of us find a place not only in our own family, but the family of the Church.

Mike & Bernadette Bonanno
Seasons of Family: How to Love as the Seasons Change
Bernadette and Mike Bonanno have been married 34 years and are parents of 4 grown sons.  They have worked in Marriage Preparation Ministry for 24 years and are currently presenters on the Diocesan Marriage Preparation Team.

Marni Gillard
Sharing our Story: How Families Impart Faith through the Generations
Marni Gillard is a national storyteller, author and retreat presenter.  She lives in Schenectady and works extensively with schools and faith based groups across the diocese. Marni is a graduate of St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry.    

Fr. Chris Welch
Amoris Laetitia, How Pope Francis is inviting us to love and joy
Fr. Chris is the pastor of St. Cecilia’s Parish, Fonda and Sacred Heart, Tribes Hill. A priest for over twenty years, Fr. Chris’ love of preaching and teaching has truly enriched the faith of his parishioners. In this workshop, Fr. Chris will offer key highlights from Pope Francis’ recent Apostolic Exhortation, The Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia), and reflect on their relevance for families today.

A large tent will house family-friendly activities that explore the richness of our Catholic tradition, similar to a “Parish Family Day,” but with people from around the whole diocese!

October 1 Family Summit Schedule

9:15     Arrival & Registration
10:00   Welcome and Opening Prayer  
10:15   Keynote
11:00   Holy Mass
11:45   Lunch (no cost)
12:45   Speakers on Family Life
            Family Tent Activities
2:00     Closing prayer
2:15     Afternoon Family Activities
            - Family Rosary Event
            - Tour of the Shrine grounds
            (Guided and self-tours available)


The Shrine of the North American Martyrs is a beautiful 600-acre property situated on the banks of the Mohawk River in Auriesville. It commemorates the martyrdom of three Jesuit missionaries, as well as St. Kateri and other heroes of the faith who impacted this part of the country.

In addition to the stupendous 1930s-era coliseum, where the main Mass will be celebrated, there are numerous chapels and prayer-paths that visitors have enjoyed for decades.

The beautiful location is just one more reason to attend our Vocation Summit! If you live in the Diocese of Albany and have not visited the Shrine, this is a tremendous opportunity to be inspired!