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Pastoral workers share day of faith, reflection at Co-Workers conference


  • Cardinal O’Malley celebrates the opening Mass for the 2017 Co-Workers in the Vineyard Conference. Pilot photo/Mark Labbe
  • Msgr. Michael Heintz delivers his talk on the theme ‘Of What Am I a Witness?: Holiness, Vocation, and Mission.’ (Pilot photo/Mark Labbe)

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NEWTON -- Lay pastoral workers, clergy, and religious gathered at Our Lady Help of Christians in Newton to participate in the 2017 Co-Workers in the Vineyard Conference, April 7.

Sponsored annually by the Theological Institute for the New Evangelization's Masters of Arts in Ministry (MAM) program of St. John's Seminary in Brighton, this year's conference was themed Catholic Leadership: Responding to God's Call.

The conference began with a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley and words of welcome from Father Christopher O'Connor, president of the Theological Institute and vice-rector of St. John's Seminary, and Aldona Lingertat, director of the Master of Arts in Ministry program and vice president of administration for the Theological Institute.

The day's keynote, entitled "Of What Am I a Witness?: Holiness, Vocation, and Mission," was offered by Msgr. Michael Heintz, a priest of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Ind.

Msgr. Heintz is currently an associate professor of theology and spiritual director at Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and actually completed his own seminary studies at St. John's Seminary.

He began his talk by speaking about vocation, noting that there are five "concentric circles" to vocation. The first circle is existence, "the most fundamental vocation." It's a vocation that we don't often think about, he said, adding that "our very existence is a gift."

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