Florida Respect Life Conference registration now open

Venice | Every seven years the Diocese of Venice hosts the statewide Florida Respect Life Conference, an opportunity to hear some of the best national and international pro-life speakers close to home. Registration is now open for the 32nd annual conference to be held Sept. 28-29 at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center in Punta Gorda.

Besides hearing great presentations on hot-button issues such as abortion and euthanasia, vendors will offer material that will be of interest for individual use and for pro-life volunteers. It’s a wonderful opportunity to spend time learning and praying with like-minded individuals from across the state.

Singer/songwriter Gabriela Frei from Fort Myers will lead attendees in the Divine Mercy in song Saturday, Sept. 29, at 3 p.m., as well as being the musician for the vigil Mass with Bishop Dewane at 6 p.m. at the Event Center. After the banquet, Frei will entertain attendees with her music, including an original pro-life song. A Volunteer of the Year for each Diocese will be recognized at the end of the banquet.

Efforts have been made to keep the registration fee for the full conference the same as it was when the Diocese of Venice hosted the conference in 1998, 2005 and 2011. A free pre-conference event featuring end-of-life issues will be held Friday, Sept. 28, 2-5 p.m. Besides a more comprehensive presentation, one talk will be on dementia, which affects an estimated 14.7 percent of persons older than 70 years of age in the United States, according to recent report of the New England Journal of Medicine.

A separate youth conference for high school students will be held at the same time as the main conference, with speakers Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso, Texas, Stephanie Gray, Pam Stenzel and Renate Ferante. Registration for the youth portion of the conference will open soon. Check the main registration page for more details.