Fr. Stephen Rowan
Fr. Stephen Rowan
Father Stephen Rowan will be the keynote speaker at this year's 32nd Summer Conference, scheduled for July 30-Aug. 3 on the campus of the University of Portland. The theme of the Conference will be “The Joy of the Gospel: The Vision of Pope Francis for the Church.”

Father Rowan is a priest of the Archdiocese of Seattle and is currently serving as Superintendent of Catholic schools in Seattle, but he has also served as the dean of Arts and Sciences at the University of Portland and at Seattle University.

In his keynote address for the adults, Father Rowan will explore the first year of the papacy of Pope Francis who has captured the imagination of many throughout the world because of his simplicity of life, commitment to the poor, and his memorable way of proclaiming his message.

Father Rowan will guide an exploration of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation ‘The Joy of the Gospel’ (Evengelii Gaudium), showing how his vision is grounded in the thinking of John XXIII and the Second Vatican Council and the work of his predecessors; a result of profound contemplation over the past 50 years on the call for the church to undertake a “new evangelization” in the world and how this work can be done effectively.

Along with the keynote address, adults choose from a wide variety of classes on theology, arts, prayer, and recreation. Children go to age level classes in the morning and choose one to two other classes based on their age. Evening activities and daily prayer opportunities are offered as well.

Food and housing for the five-day retreat is provided by the University of Portland. Participants come from all over the Pacific Northwest and while most stay in the dorms commuting is also an option.
Registration for the Conference is due by July 1. Early registration is encouraged, and financial assistance is available.

For a brochure and more information — including photos and the history of the Conference —go to