Our Catholic community in Minnesota is blessed with talented, faithful individuals who work to build God’s kingdom by sharing the teachings of Jesus Christ. Their ministries leverage old and new media to spread the good news, reaching well beyond state boundaries.

Three of these talented individuals — Kelly Wahlquist, Fr. Mike Schmitz, and Bishop Robert Barron — will take center stage at CCF’s 30th anniversary celebration in April. Through speaking engagements, YouTube videos, podcasts, and more, they tackle the questions Catholics ask of themselves and the Church today. Their work invites us to reflect on the deep, personal message of the Gospel in our lives. And while they have taken this message to the global stage, they remain deeply committed to our local Church.

For One Night Only

Director of the Catechetical Institute at the Saint Paul Seminary and founder of WINE: Women in the New Evangelization, a women’s ministry that inspires, supports, and nurtures women in the faith as disciples of Christ, Kelly Wahlquist will emcee our event. Through her dynamic and inspiring messages, Kelly shares the joy of being Catholic and the importance of being witnesses of our faith.


Fr. Mike Schmitz, our featured guest, is the chaplain for the UMD-Newman Center and the director of the Office of Youth Ministry for the Diocese of Duluth. Millions have viewed Fr. Mike’s videos on YouTube. He also hosts the iTunes chart-topping podcast The Bible in a Year, which has 350 million downloads — an average of 750,000 each day! In 2023 Fr. Mike launched a new podcast called The Catechism in a Year. With his energy and enthusiasm for the faith, Fr. Schmitz’s message and his love for Christ inspire everyone to allow God into their life on a daily basis.


A Noteworthy Keynote Speaker

Our keynote speaker is one of the most renowned public faces in the U.S. Catholic Church today, the Most Reverend Robert Barron. Recently appointed as shepherd to our neighboring Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Bishop Barron founded Word on Fire Catholic Ministries.

While Word on Fire began as a website that featured Bishop Barron’s homilies, it has grown to a global apostolate that uses print and digital media to explore Catholicism in the world today.

Dubbed “the Bishop of Social Media” by the Wall Street Journal, Bishop Barron brings the Gospel to the contemporary issues of today’s culture in a productive, loving way that is true to the faith of the Church. His enthusiasm for the faith, convincing explanations, and ability to make it accessible is a profound gift of evangelization. Described by Francis Cardinal George as “one of the Church’s best messengers”, Bishop Barron is one of the most-followed Catholic figures on social media.

CCF President Anne Cullen Miller and the Most Reverend Bernard Hebda, Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis will round out this dynamic, Minnesota-based speaker lineup for CCF’s 30th anniversary event. We invite you to come to the table to celebrate the joy and power of giving on April 27, 2023, at the Hilton Minneapolis. More information is available here.

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