The Napa Institute has announced an online schedule for its annual conference in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The program includes remarks from Australian Cardinal George Pell. The conference schedule was announced along with an award for Bishop Joseph Strickland, which the organization said it conferred for his defense of moral truth.
The conference, the tenth annual session of the event, was originally planned to take place in July in Napa, California. This year it is being convened under the title “Finding Hope in the New America.” Organizers said that although the event could not take place in-person, the schedule would not be “slimmed-down” but instead would feature an expanded speaker list.
John Meyer, executive director of the Napa Institute said that as recently as early July, there was “every intention of holding an in-person conference,” but that “things progressed, the lockdown increased in California, and literally overnight we came to a place where we could no longer hold it.”
The conference will take place August 14-15. Live streamed sessions will be held with speakers including Ryan T. Anderson of the Heritage Foundation, Prof. Robert P. George of Princeton, and author Arthur Brooks.
One of the key speakers at this year’s event will be Cardinal George Pell, who will speak on his experience of suffering during the 13 months he spent in an Australian prison before being released earlier this year.
The two-day event will also include live web broadcast of Mass and prayer sessions, including sung evening prayer with the Dominican Sister of Mary, Mother of God.
This year’s schedule also included the announcement of a special award, presented to Bishop Joseph Strickland of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas.
Bishop Strickland was announced as the recipient of “The St. Thomas Aquinas Award for the Defense of Moral Truth,” presented by the Napa Institute “in recognition of [his] indomitable defense and preservation of Christ’s teachings through Natural Law and for enlightening the reason and faith of generations to come so that they may boldly go forth and proclaim the Gospel with courage and fortitude.”
In addition to leading the Diocese of Tyler since 2012, Strickland is also the founder of the St. Philip Institute of Catechesis and Evangelization in the diocese.
In a release from the institute following the announcement of the award, Strickland referenced an article he wrote on the occasion of his consecration as a bishop.
Strickland recalled that during the liturgy of his consecration he was asked if he was “resolved to maintain the deposit of faith, entire and incorrupt, as handed down by the apostles and professed by the Church everywhere and at all times?”
“It was at this point that the deeper meaning of the phrase “deposit of faith” came alive for me. I also began to understand my role in magisterial teaching and my serious call, as a successor of the Apostles, to the ongoing task of “Guarding the Deposit of Faith” given by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself to the Apostles and handed down since then,” Strickland wrote.
This, together with his obligation to faithfully preach the Gospel, “continues to guide me in my role as the chief teacher and Shepherd of the flock of Jesus Christ in the Catholic Diocese of Tyler.”