All of L.A.’s seven auxiliary bishops will lead participants in a recitation of the rosary at 6:30 a.m., followed by a concelebrated Mass with Archbishop Gomez presiding. At 8 a.m., Woo will speak on “The Grace and Gift of a Catholic Education” as attendees eat breakfast outdoors on the Cathedral Plaza followed by the program’s prompt conclusion at 9 a.m. “The numbers of advance registrations are staggering,” said Msgr. Kevin Kostelnik, Cathedral pastor and prayer breakfast emcee. With three weeks to go before the event, organizers had already received 1,200 registrations. Last year, 1,500 attended the prayer breakfast which featured New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan. “The prayer breakfast is an opportunity to come together and reaffirm our faith as Catholics to give witness through the rosary and the Eucharist, two of the most important faith elements of our life, and to be inspired by the speaker,” said Msgr. Kostelnik. “It’s really had an amazing response. We’re having to rent more chairs since there’s a good chance we’ll surpass last year’s attendance.”“I see the prayer breakfast as one event that brings the whole Catholic community together,” said Kathie Lund, who, along with her husband, Allen, and Tom and Margie Romano organized the first Cathedral prayer breakfast in 2005.“I think people want to get together and pray,” said Allen Lund, who recalled that he was “shocked” that so many people showed up early that first year to pray the rosary.“We had between 80 and 90 percent of people in-house at 6:30 a.m.,” he said. He expressed gratitude for the underwriters allowing organizers to invite high school students and representatives from less-affluent parishes who might not be able to afford the $30 donation.“It’s important that the prayer breakfast have a wide following,” declared Allen. “That’s one of the things I’m proudest of — the attendance mirrors our archdiocese.”He is also proud of the event’s roster of speakers, including Jesuit Father Robert Spitzer, former president of Gonzaga University (2005); Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco (2006); Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C. (2007); Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (2008); Carl Anderson, Knights of Columbus supreme knight (2009); Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York (2010); and this year’s speaker, Carolyn Woo, dean of the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame and incoming president of CRS.“She’s a great Catholic woman and a terrific leader, soon to head one of the world’s largest charities,” noted Allen.As a recipient of 12 years of Catholic education in Hong Kong under Maryknoll missioner sisters from the U.S. before receiving bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees from Purdue Univerisity, Woo calls her Catholic schooling a “formation experience.”She said the formation from the Maryknoll Sisters in Hong Kong gave her three pillars: to know how to make friends, care for them and trust that there is goodness and generosity; to seek out new challenges [leaving] comfort zones [to] follow our hearts; and to know God’s presence in our lives.“Somewhere in the 12 years with the Maryknoll Sisters, I came to believe that God is real because He is so much the inspiration and courage for how these American women left their comfort zones to serve us girls when they have never met us; all because of their love for God,” explained Woo. “Their witness started me on my faith journey. I know unequivocally that the Holy Spirit guides and multiplies our work.”Responding to a Tidings’ emailed question about the role of laity in the church, she wrote:“We need to remember that the vocation of the laity in the Catholic Church is a tall order: to sanctify the world and to shape it in the image of God’s kingdom. It is our responsibility to enable others to encounter the goodness of the Lord in this land of the living.“This calls us to live faith-filled and holy lives as well as to actively engage the world in all sectors (professional, cultural, political and economic.) In particular,” Woo added, “we must, (through governance, professional engagement, voluntary service, advocacy) advance the institutions that provide ministries to those who are poor and vulnerable as well as parish and educational infrastructures which nourish and pass on our faith.”Online reservations for the 2011 prayer breakfast are still being accepted. Call (800) 838-1356 or visit {gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2011/0909/breakfast/{/gallery}