Former movie actress and present day Benedictine Abbess Mother Dolores Hart will be a featured guest speaker at the 15th annual Marian Eucharistic Conference taking place Jan. 14-15 at the Paso Robles Event Center Fairgrounds.

The 2012 theme is “Faith That Moves Mountains” with Monterey Bishop Richard J. Garcia scheduled to attend, along with hundreds of Catholic from dioceses throughout California, according to event organizers. Other guest speakers include Franciscan Friars of the Renewal Father Andrew Apostoli, noted retreat leader and presenter Father Patrick Martin, Legionaries of Christ Father Joshua West and Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers.

Dolores Hart was a well-known and successful film, stage and television actress who twice appeared opposite Elvis Presley (“Loving You,” 1957, and “King Creole,” 1958), as well as opposite movie legends Anna Magnani and Anthony Quinn (“Wild is the Wind,” 1957); Montgomery Clift, Myra Loy and Robert Ryan (“Lonelyhearts,” 1958). She starred in the teen classic “Where the Boys Are” (1960), but after portraying St. Clare in “Francis of Assisi” (1961), she began to rethink her life.

And after completing “Come Fly with Me” with Karl Malden (1963), she abandoned her career to become a cloistered Benedictine nun at the  HYPERLINK "" o "" t "_blank" Abbey of Regina Laudis in Connecticut. Today Mother Dolores is one of 40 women of diverse backgrounds at the  HYPERLINK "" o "" t "_blank" Abbey of Regina Laudis, where she has worked on its farm, has been both its baker and carpenter, and is now its prioress. 

She sings in the Abbey choir, which released its third “ HYPERLINK "" o "" t "_blank" Women in Chant” CD last year, and serves as artistic director for The Gary-The Olivia Theater on the Abbey grounds. She holds two honorary degrees, from Fairfield University in Connecticut and Loyola-Marymount University in Westchester, as well as the Gaudium Award of the Breukelein Institute. 

Father Apostoli, a founding member of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, has been active in teaching, preaching retreats and parish missions, and in giving spiritual direction. The vice-postulator for the cause for the canonization of Archbishop Fulton Sheen, Father Apostoli is the author of numerous books, including “Following Mary to Jesus: Our Lady as Mother, Teacher, and Advocate” (Word Among Us) and “Walk Humbly With Your God: Simple Steps to a Virtuous Life” (Servant).

Deacon Burke-Sivers is founder and director of  HYPERLINK "" o "" t "_blank" Aurem Cordis, a Christian evangelization and apologetics organization dedicated to the dissemination and promotion of Catholic values, principles and teaching. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame, and a Master's degree in Theological Studies from the University of Dallas. A Benedictine Oblate of Mt. Angel Abbey, he currently serves as director of Public Safety at the University of Portland, and is a nationally recognized expert in school safety, security, and violence prevention.

Father Patrick Martin, though blind, has since 1980 presented his mission program, “God's Love in Our Broken Lives,” to more than 800 parishes throughout North America and Europe. His books include “Called … At Home On the Road.”

Marian Eucharistic Ministries is a non-profit religious organization whose principal activity is the planning and production of the Central California Marian Eucharistic Conference. It took root in 1996, after a group of Catholic families attending numerous Marian conferences throughout California came together and organized the first conference in the area in May, 1997. 

“Our Lord and Our Lady have used this conference as an instrument to bring about conversions to the Catholic Faith,” said conference co-coordinators Pat Borba and Lynn Stroble. “Many people from as far away as New York and Hawaii have undergone life-changing experiences, while they listen to the speakers proclaim the beautiful truths of the Catholic Faith.”

For information, contact Borba, (805) 461-5358, or Stroble, (805) 239-1597, or visit

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