Catholic Diocese Hosts THIRST Conference - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Catholic Diocese Hosts THIRST Conference

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The Catholic Diocese of Bismarck has spent more than a year planning a major Eucharistic Conference. People of all faith backgrounds are in town tonight for the inaugural event. It's the first ever THIRST Conference.

Catholics from across the country are heading into the opening mass right now. And many say they're looking forward to some great services and keynote speakers throughout the weekend.

The Bismarck Civic Center has been transformed into a church.

"We're just filled with such great anticipation and excitement because we know that incredible things are going to happen," says event coordinator Michelle Duppong.

The Catholic Diocese of Bismarck is hosting the THIRST conference this weekend. Organizers say it's a chance for people of all faiths to come together and celebrate the Christian faith.

"Everyone is welcome. This is really something that we desire anybody who is thirsting, who is seeking to know God better, to come join us here at this event," says Msgr. Chad Gion, Diocese of Bismarck.

The weekend will include masses, reconciliation services, and keynote speakers. One of those is Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York.

"It's a phenomenal gift to the diocese to have his eminence here for this event. He is I think the most recognized Catholic leader in the United States of America," says Msgr. Gion.

Organizers say the speakers won't just appeal to Catholics.

"For the most part, we can get into our daily routines in life and every now and then you need to have people that can come out and inspire you and these people are dynamic, charismatic," says emcee Reed Ruggles.

And they say they're expecting a big turnout.

"We have over 6,000 right now registered, 25 states are represented, a couple of countries. And I think it says a lot about what Bismarck is doing, what the diocese of Bismarck is bringing to the Church universally," says Ruggles.

If you can't make it to tonight's events, you can register tomorrow or Sunday at 7:30 a.m. Cardinal Dolan will speak tomorrow at 9 a.m.

The entire conference is free and organizers say if you have any curiosity at all come and check it out because all are welcome.

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