Â Each year the faithful of the Diocese of Venice are given a special opportunity to participate in a conference that deals solely with issues related to peace and justice and their impacts on the local, state, national and global communities.
The Leaven Conference will be March 24 at San Pedro Parish in North Port and the theme is â€śCare of Godâ€™s Creation.â€ť Diocesan Peace and Justice Office Director Neil Michaud said Pope Benedict XVI, who at times is referred to as the â€śGreen Pope,â€ť connected â€śCare of Godâ€™s Creationâ€ť as a way of cultivating peace during his World Day of Peace Message in 2010.
The U.S. Bishops have stated that good stewardship of creation is a moral imperative, Michaud explained. The Florida Bishops have identified the special environmental issues in our state which demand the attention of both the faithful and all citizens, e.g. the quality, supply and distribution of water; toxic pesticides and their impact on farmworkers and their families, etc.
â€śLeaven XVIII will explore how we personally (and our institutions, parishes and other Catholic organizations) can engage in practices that will come closer to Godâ€™s plan for the earth, and as a result help achieve peace and justice in our communities, both here and abroad,â€ť Michaud said.
The mission of the Leaven Conference is to empower participants to be more familiar with the Catholic Social Teaching and effectively engaged in Christian peace and social justice action at all levels, to preserve and enhance human dignity among all peoples.
Attendees will participate in a variety of workshops on relevant environmental issues. Workshops in Spanish are also available.
The conference will conclude with a Mass celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Dewane. The Leaven Conference also includes a continental breakfast and a box lunch. A Parish Peace and Justice Award will be presented, and community organizations will have exhibits and display information for attendees.
Each attendee is requested to bring a container of nonperishable food to feed the hungry. All donations will go to Catholic Charities of Lee, Hendry and Glades dounties.
The cost of the conference is $10 in advance and $15 the day of the event. The cost for students is $5. Advance registration can be completed online at dioceseofvenice.org, or by check made payable to Diocese of Venice Leaven 18 Conference and mailed to: Peace and Justice Office, Diocese of Venice, 1000 Pinebrook Road, Venice, FL 34285. For more information, please call 941-484-9543 or firstname.lastname@example.org.