Skip to content

Bishop Warfels’ Statement

Healing a Wounded Heart

For many people today, events in their lives can be a source of great pain and pose great challenges. Some of these challenges are so great that people begin to wonder whether they can go on living while in the midst of their struggles. Sadly, some in our society would propose ending life as a legitimate solution to life’s problems: for a young high school student being bullied and considering suicide; a war veteran suffering from PTSD and now addicted to opioids; an elderly woman with severe pain in the late stages of cancer; a teenager suffering emotionally as a result of gender dysphoria. Circumstances such as these and others may truly cause deep and heartfelt woundedness. Healing these wounds is not necessarily easy, but healing is possible. It calls for the involvement of others. Struggles that people with wounded hearts deal with are diverse, deeply personal and often impact the lives of family, friends and community. It is out of a desire to address these wounds that the Culture of Life Conference this year has chosen as its theme,  Healing a Wounded Heart.

It is my expectation that this weekend’s conference will provide an opportunity for participants to grow in their understanding regarding issues that are a cause of pain in society. As with previous conferences, an ethical response to these and other such issues should always promote life affirming solutions, though difficult, while living in the middle of a culture that often affirms death dealing solutions.

The Culture of Life Conference also recalls the 50th anniversary of Pope Paul VI encyclical, Humane Vitae. While the encyclical is yet controversial for many, Pope Paul VI foresaw how a common acceptance of contraception would lead to a weakening of moral standards. Few can doubt that there has not been a profound weakening of moral standards in society: a significant breakdown of the institution of marriage; a lessening of the meaning of sexuality, of marriage, and even of gender; the extensive use of pornography, the sexual exploitation of children, and human trafficking. What was only vaguely envisioned and feared fifty years ago is now accepted as a matter of course.

The presenters for the conference have a wealth of experience and will surely help all to become more knowledgeable and more inspired to work toward building a culture that affirms life.

2018 Conference


The Affirming the Culture of Life Conference will be held at St. Bernard’s Parish

226 Wicks Lane, Billings, MT 59101

St. Bernard Catholic Church


Friday October 26, 2018

4:00pm Registration Opens
5:30pm Exhibit Hall Opens
6:30pm Welcome by Bishop Michael W. Warfel Comments by Msgr. Kevin O’Neill
6:50pm Dr. Ray Guarendi
7:45pm Break
8:00pm Premier Screening of “Sexual Revolution: 50 years since Humanae Vitae” with director Daniel diSilva and Alana Newman
9:00pm Closing comments

Saturday October 27, 2018

7:00am Mass with Bishop Michael W. Warfel – Registration & Exhibit Hall Open
8:00am Bob Hurd
9:15am Break
9:30am Dr. Neil Sorensen
10:30am Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila
11:30am-1:00pm Lunch
1:15pm Major Jeff Matsler
2:15pm Sr. Nancy Kehoe
3:15pm Closing Comments
3:15pm Exhibit remains open until 4:00pm

What You Can Do

“In the Catholic tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue; participation in the political process is a moral obligation.” – USCCB Statement “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship”

Promoting life and human dignity in the State of Montana is very rewarding both personally and for those who benefit from our work. We are called by the Church to care for the poor, the marginalized, and the vulnerable.

The Montana Catholic Conference would be honored to have your assistance in acheiving its goals. Not everyone can dedicate 40+ hours a week to specifically promoting life and justice in the public arena. We understand that you have jobs and families and many other issues in your lives that take considerable time and energy. When numerous individuals are able to provide limited support through their time, energy or fiscal means, MCC is able to advocate, teach, and organize for those in need.

Discuss with your family and pray about what you can offer. Even if your contributions are limited, you can help make a difference. Here are a few of the many ways you can help:

  • Learn About Catholic Social Teaching
  • Become informed about issues related to human life and dignity
  • Learn about Federal, State, and Local Government
  • Volunteer your time at one of the many Catholic charities or associated organizations
  • Join the leadership for the Affirming The Culture of Life Conference
  • Write letters to the editor
  • Write letters to your lawmakers
  • Make a donation. No amount is too small.
  • Become a sponsor of the Affirming the Culture of Life Conference
  • Pray, pray and pray!