One of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Mark Wahlberg, headlined this year’s Las Vegas Diocesan Conference, but he provided more than star power. Wahlberg shared the stage with Bishop George Leo Thomas, in a discussion that began with the 2022 movie, Fr. Stu. Wahlberg not only produced and starred in the true story, but it was Bishop Thomas who ordained the real life Fr. Stu.
But they weren’t the only high profile presenters. Our own Br. John Eustice presented “Interculturality: God’s Language for Our World.” Over six hours, he worked with about 100 participants, offering talks and discussions on cultural understanding and facilitating their practice of peace circles.
This was the second year that Br. John, Director of Vocation Ministry, and Dan Masterton, Assistant Vocation Minister, had a booth at the conference. But this year they drew reinforcements. Br. Rob Robertson, CSV, a member of the Provincial Council, was one of the exhibitors with them at the conference, as well as other Viatorians from the Las Vegas region.
Associates Juliann Dwyer and Kim Martinez volunteered at the conference, while Associate Anthony Gugino was a featured singer in the liturgical music ministry. Associates Rosy Hartz, Kathy and Michael Underwood, Jim and Marie May, and Deb Perez also attended the conference and helped promote the Viatorian Community.
The annual conference serves as a gathering point for prayer and fellowship, as well as a networking opportunity for those involved in formation. Several presenters offered sessions to teachers and catechists for their ongoing formation, but the exhibit hall and the chance to staff a booth offered a way to draw a new audience of people interested in religious life and the work of the Viatorians.
“One of the highlights for us while at our table were all the people who stopped by to share stories of the many Viatorian priests and brothers who had served in the diocese,” Dan Masterton said.
Br. John, in returning to his native Las Vegas, said simply: “What a beautiful experience of the church alive.”