Enter Through the Narrow Gate

The Urgency of the New Evangelization in the Third Millennium

October 11—12, 2019

Registration is now open!

Speakers Schedule FAQ Register

Celebrating 100 years of forming priests, deacons, and lay leaders

As part of the Centennial Celebration, Sacred Heart Major Seminary is excited to host this theological symposium – a gathering of national and international clergy, faculty and thought leaders to learn and discuss the importance of the New Evangelization for the Church today.

October 11-12, 2019 | Westin Book Cadillac | 1114 Washington Blvd., Detroit 

For additional information email thenarrowgate2019@shms.edu or call 313-596-7401.

Keynote Speakers

Bishop Daniel E. Flores

Bishop of Brownsville, Texas and member of USCCB Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis. Bishop Flores also serves as a member to the following committees: Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, Committee of Divine Worship, Sub-Committee on Pro-life Activities, and the Committee for Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Affairs. In addition, he is a member of the Board of Directors of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the charitable arm of the USCCB for international assistance.

Bishop Daniel Flores Official Portrait

Dr. John Cavadini

Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame and Director of the McGrath Institute for Church Life. The author of several theological books, he also writes essays, articles, and reviews in popular journals and is frequently called upon by Church leaders, ministers and teachers to talk on these subjects. He has served a five-year term on the International Theological Commission (appointed by Pope Benedict XVI) and in 2018 received the Monika K. Hellwig Award from the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities for Outstanding Contributions to Catholic Intellectual Life.

John Cavadini High Res For Print

Dr. Scott Hahn

Founder and President of the Saint Paul Center for Biblical Theology and Chair of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization at Franciscan University of Steubenville. Over the last three decades, Dr. Hahn has delivered thousands of popular talks and academic lectures, nationally and internationally, on a wide range of topics related to Scripture, Theology, and the Catholic faith. He is also the author or editor of over forty popular and academic books; his works include best-selling titles Rome Sweet Home, The Lamb’s Supper, and Hail Holy Queen.

Dr  Hahn Headshot

“Through the Narrow Gate” Panel Presentation

Patricia Cooney Hathaway, is Professor of Spirituality and Systematic Theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary. She will be the moderator of Saturday's “Through the Narrow Gate” Panel Presentation.

Saturday Breakout Sessions

Fr. Peter Ryan

Breakout session topic: "The Spectacular Joy of Heaven and the Real Possibility of Missing Out on It." Two problems undermine our efforts to evangelize: We not only fail to communicate the marvelous appeal of heaven, but we give people the impression that they need not strive for it anyway because missing out on salvation is practically impossible. Evangelization will succeed only if we help people see that heaven is a supremely wonderful gift, but one we will exchange for everlasting sadness unless we respond to grace.

Dr. Eduardo Echeverria

Breakout session topic: "At The Crossroads: Interpretations of Vatican II and the Implications for the New Evangelization."  Pope Benedict XVI identified two basic ways of interpreting Vatican II documents: a difference that is at the root of the conflict over interpreting Vatican II and its implications for the new evangelization. Are the Council’s documents justifiably interpreted as being in discontinuity and rupture with the Church’s living Tradition? Ironically, Neo-Modernists and Neo-Traditionalists both agree with this way of reading the documents; the former are “boosters” and the latter “knockers” of Vatican II. Alternatively, should these documents be interpreted as being in continuity with the truths long asserted by the Church, even as we recognize that the Council was engaged in a creative retrieval of the authoritative sources of faith, a new ressourcement – of Scripture and Tradition – so that Catholicism might move forward faithfully into the future, itself renewed and enriched in its now developed understanding of those truths, a rich aggiornamento, so that it could evangelize the world as it is today? 

Dr. Ralph Martin

Breakout session topic: "Participating in the Prophetic Mission of Jesus: Implications for the New Evangelization." The primary way in which people thought of Jesus was as a prophet. Why was this the case? What implications does this have for our participation in the prophetic mission of Jesus both as lay people and as clergy?

Fr. Richard Cassidy

Breakout session topic: “Entering the Narrow Gate in the Acts of the Apostles:  Learning the New Evangelization from St. Paul.” As an evangelist St. Paul journeyed to countless Roman cities. He learned to enter the gates of these cities on Christ’s terms not on Roman imperial terms. Utilizing visuals of ancient imperial gates, Fr. Cassidy will present St. Paul’s approach for evangelizing via the narrow gate.

Dr. Robert Fastiggi

Breakout session topic: “Mary and the New Evangelization.”  St. Paul VI spoke of Mary as “the star of evangelization,” and St. John Paul II referred to her as “the star of the New Evangelization.” This breakout session will examine the Blessed Mother’s “inseparable bond to the saving work of her Son” (Vatican II, SC 103) in light of Scripture and Catholic teaching. Special attention will be given to the insights of Vatican II, St. John Paul II, and the role of Mary as “Mother of the Church.”

Fr. John McDermott, SJ

Breakout session topic: “Suffering and the New Evangelization.” Our technological, hedonistic society seeks to avoid suffering at almost all costs, but cannot.  Many blame God for their suffering.  What sense is there in suffering?  What are its causes?  How does one overcome them?  How does suffering fit into our eternal salvation or damnation?  Only Catholic Christianity can give an answer to the problem of suffering that, satisfying mind and heart, empowers believers to accept love into their lives, take up their crosses, and grow to the full stature of Jesus Christ (Eph. 4:13-16).  This is Christ's message which our world needs to hear for its salvation.


Friday, Oct. 11

11:30 a.m.Registration Opens
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.Pre-conference lunch and networking
2:00 p.m.Opening Welcome and Keynote Speaker – Dr. John Cavadini
4:00 p.m.Room check-in and free time
4:30 p.m.Evening Prayer
5:00 p.m.Welcome Reception
6:00 p.m.Dinner Celebration and Keynote Speaker – Bishop Daniel Flores

Saturday, Oct. 12

7:30 a.m.Mass – St. Aloysius Catholic Church
8:00 a.m.Coffee and Conversation
8:30 a.m.Breakfast and Keynote – Dr. Scott Hahn
10:00 a.m.Break
10:30 a.m.Breakout Sessions
11:30 a.m.Lunch and “Through the Narrow Gate” Panel Presentation
1:30 p.m.Closing Conference Remarks

Discover Detroit (on your own)

Hotel and Travel

Hotel Information

All conference events will take place at The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit. Hotel rooms can be reserved separately online here

Discover Detroit

Learn about the old, come see what’s new, and be surprised by what you never knew when you visit the city of Detroit! The downtown area is a rare jewel of the Midwest and offers a number of attractions for all lifestyles. Visitors will find an array of performing arts, sporting events, museums, restaurants, and much more! In addition, the Catholic roots run deep within the city and the surrounding areas. You may want to consider visiting:

Blessed Solanus Casey Center

Explore the life of Detroit’s own doorkeeper. In his life, Fr. Solanus Casey acted as the porter of the Detroit monastery; this position allowed him to greet thousands of people from all walks of life. A journey through the Solanus Casey Center welcomes pilgrims to visit the Hall of Saints to learn about the saints most influential to Blessed Solanus. A visit is an opportunity to strengthen faith and love for God.

Call: (313) 579-2100, or visit: www.solanuscenter.org

Ste. Anne de Detroit

Founded by French settlers in 1701, Ste. Anne de Detroit, patroness of the Archdiocese of Detroit, is the second oldest running Roman Catholic Parish in the United States. The current Church structure, built in 1886, houses the official shrine to Ste. Anne and is the resting place of Fr. Gabriel Richard – an important figure for the Catholic Church in Michigan. (Please note that the church is not always open to walk-in visitors. Please call ahead to schedule a visit.)

Call: (313) 496-1701, or visit: ste-anne.org

St. Joseph Oratory

St. Joseph Oratory is a Victorian Gothic structure dating back to 1873 and regarded for national architectural significance. Located in Detroit’s historic Eastern Market district, it is a landmark of Catholic faith, culture, and community. Home of the Canons of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, it is a center for Traditional Latin Masses, regular devotions, liturgical instruction, and an active parish life.

Call: (313) 784-9152, or visit: www.institute-christ-king.org/detroit