The UD Ministry Conference set a new record for attendance during its seventh annual conference last October with more than 5,200 people attending all or part of the two-day event.
Conference organizers credit the high attendance to keynote speaker Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and recently-appointed chair of the eight advising cardinals to Pope Francis.
Cardinal Rodriguez, in addition to hosting a press event that brought unprecedented Dallas/Fort Worth media attention to the conference, surprised undergraduate student with a two-hour question-and-answer session on the day before his keynote address. He then celebrated Mass for students in UD's Church of the Incarnation.
"The conference is beginning to really make an impression on the university as a whole," said Oscar Carranza, director of School of Ministry marketing and events. "In addition to the Cardinal's informal campus visit, UD faculty have become some of our most popular presenters, with many professors giving sessions that were filled to overflowing."
In his 45-minute address, Cardinal Rodriguez pointed to the New Evangelization—Pope Benedict's call for Catholics to re-proclaim the Gospel—for the fulfillment of the work begun 50 years ago with the Second Vatican Council. The cardinal's address is available online.
Planning is already underway for the eighth annual UD Ministry Conference on Oct. 23-25, 2014, in the Irving Convention Center.