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Modern Saints: Missions from God
A SmartCatholics Online Event
Each century, the Church gives us real-life examples of holiness. Saints are missions from God to the modern world! Join this online conference and community to find out how you can live your own mission of holiness today.
How you can live your mission of holiness today
On October 22-23, 2020, the ‘Modern Saints: Missions from God’ Online Conference brings you a range of veteran speakers and new voices.
Many Catholics today don’t ‘get’ the special witness that modern saints are. But when we do, we begin to see our own journey!
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October 22-23, 2020
Catholic veterans & new voices
Live & recorded video
"What is it about the Saints that I love?
“Each saint is a mission, planned by the Father to reflect and embody, at a specific moment in history, a certain aspect of the Gospel. ”
Pope Francis, Gaudete et Exultate
Welcome Letter from Dominic
Every saint is a mission from God! These missions are messages for us right now.
In a nutshell, the Church gives us saints in each century for a specific reason: to help us have tangible examples of holiness from our cultures. As much as we love the saints great and small from history, the saints from our time are ours. They’re meant for us.
They walked our streets, saw our headlines, thought about similar futures, lived through the same World Wars. Modern models of holiness.
This is the challenge that our ‘Modern Saints’ event seeks to answer; what is the ‘certain aspect of the Gospel’ that the saints lived? If we don’t know, then we won’t understand the ‘point’ of the saints’ lives.
Most Catholics like you and me are struggling just to get by.
We punch in to Mass on Sundays (usually!), donate to Peter’s Pence, and hit ‘like’ for the parish live stream.
‘Life in Christ’ doesn’t mean much to us.
So it’s strange when the Pope gets excited to tell us that some of us Catholics made it to Heaven.
Some surprising men and women fought hard against popular influences, demonic temptation, and their own weaknesses, and made it through. They allowed the living, bursting life of God to fill every cell of their being. And when they passed, they entered a deeper, richer, wilder life – Heaven.
Every single one of us is called to live that same life of holiness, whether in Bangladesh, Boston, or Brisbane.
Every human being is called to plug into Christ right now. To literally go online with Heaven. That’s the definition of sainthood – someone who ‘got it’, and checked in to what ‘holiness’ means.
But there’s another problem. Holiness usually sounds like being weak, flippant, and petty. But the lives of our saints don’t show that. They were powerful. Exciting. Challenging. Troubling. Confusing. Welcoming.
They were truly alive.
We are called to this same kind of exciting, passionate, life. Called to be unlikely, surprising heroes. Each of us has a unique and individual path, with our own skills and interests, and dreams.
Just like the saints, you and I have a mission. The very fact that we’re alive and privileged to be baptized into Christ means we were born with a job to do. A job that is the only way we will find holiness.
But if you’re like me, and most of us, we need to find out what that mission is. We need to hear these saints’ stories in a way that’s relatable to who we are today.
And the best people to learn from are the ones who made it to Heaven ahead of us.
Today, our recent saints are examples to us of how we should be. Right now.
This is what the conference aims to show us.
- What does it mean to be a saint today?
- How do the saints of the last 100 years show us sanctity with a smartphone?
- With international travel and Instagram trends?
- With gang warfare, government pressure, and Twitter?
- With broken families and young love and social media?
“The saints surprise us, they confound us, because by their lives they urge us to abandon a dull and dreary mediocrity.” Pope Francis
Our Catholic Faith is smart, beautiful, and actually makes life more exciting!
But too few of us know about this smart heritage, or the real-life impact Christ is having on the world today.
Most of all, we need friends on this sacred pilgrimage called ‘life’.
If this is your first time hearing about SmartCatholics, here’s what we believe: when Catholics understand our Faith in the modern world, we experience greater personal joy, and confidence in sharing the good news. Read the About Page to learn more!
We need smart Catholics…
We all work hard to be 100% Catholic. That means we’re a mission Church, united to Pope Francis’ call to bring the joy of the Gospel to every corner of the world – starting with ourselves.
Catholic brands we love:
Dominic de Souza is your founder and host, a young dad with a small family and a smaller corgi, passionate about all things Catholic, watching movies, and reading the mystics.
Why you should join this community:
We need somewhere online that’s ours, where we can
- Uplift and inspire each other, and make new friends
- Swap stories and ideas (not just advice!)
- Be free of toxicity, trolls, and ads. (Bye bye, Facebook. We love you, but…)
When you join, you’ll get to dip in and out of discussions whenever you want.
Each time we host a new event, you’re welcome to join.
Sometimes we’ll host workshops. Or firesides.
But most exciting is this – the veterans and new voices that you meet in the events are sticking around. They’ll host group chats, share tips, and accompany your journey.
Because we need more than just information. We need insights we can trust. We need friendship to help us live lives of hope and meaning.
Who this group is not for:
For any community to mean something and take action, there must be focus. And our community exists for a clear goal: unity, friendship, and formation.
Pope Francis is a source of unity for us. Please don’t enter if you reject Pope Francis and the 2nd Vatican Council, thrive on impending apocalyptic prophecies, polarized politics, and constant argument.
There are plenty of other groups out there for you! Discussion on all topics is welcome, but bad manners aren’t. Ever. Offenders are warned or removed. God love you!
"I wanted to see what [SmartCatholics] was about, as I love being Catholic and all about Catholicism."
“I was actually surprised at the warmth and spirituality of the messages and people on it. It’s keeping me closer to God.
I used to always go on Facebook but now it’s very shallow compared to SC. So I think it’s providence me being on SC! It’s what I’ve been searching for and has brought me home!”
"I have been doing a ton of poking around on Smart Catholics today and this is what I see. "
“We are all united in Christ with many different abilities that make this platform beautiful. We have the recruiters, prayer warriors, counselors, technicians, comforters, teachers, and students.
“Many different branches coming and going back to the main source just like the Celtic symbol… Dominic, you have created something beautiful.”
"This initiative is really cool
“I am impressed by the quality and range of discussion and the app is quite versatile and user friendly. Keep going; this is a contemporary way to engage Catholics to come forward! Awesome work!” Adam P.
Schedule of Events
Your $10 access pass lets you watch all these videos during the conference. Join the community to RSVP, ask questions, and chat with fellow attendees.
Note: The schedule is in in New York (EST) time.
Here’s a timezone converter tool.
Join Special Workshops
Only for conference attendees, our special ‘5 Minutes and 5 Days with a Saint’.
Meet the Speakers
Press a face to learn more. More coming soon!
"We need heroes today."
“We need to know our Catholic history, champions, and the miraculous depth of the Catholic Church. This will open peoples’ eyes to the great champions and examples in recent times.”
– Steve Ray
"Cheerful, confident Roman Catholicism is the only thing that can save the world. "
As a convert, I speak from experience… The most urgent ills pressing upon us are a failure of masculinity to protect the innocent, the beautiful and the good [Good].
– Shannon McGurk
"Grow closer to God and become more like Jesus"
“Learn about the men and women who became witnesses of God’s love and mercy in the last century. Through this knowledge, it is possible for you to be inspired, encouraged, and empowered to live similarly in your own life in the here and now.”
– Christina Semmens
"This is such a fantastic opportunity
“to learn more about modern saints that show us what sanctity really looks like and remind us that it really is possible.”
– Madeleine Carrington
"The saints act as guides for us"
“They beckon us along the path to the Kingdom of God. We are called to not only recognize saints, but to also emulate them. By getting to know the saints and their missions better, we too can learn to lead saintly lives.”
– Robert LeBlanc
"Show me your friends and I will show you who you are"
That phase applies to this conference. If you want to be a Saint, it is best that they become our friends. During this conference you will be introduced to a number of good friends. Please join us.
– Allan Smith
"Discovering the wisdom of the saints"
“Discovering the wisdom of the saints through this conference is sure to propel us forward, through the tough times ahead, with courage and confidence in the perfect providence and care of God.”
– Chantal Howard
"Growing in holiness is hard."
“Having good examples to follow and a supportive community is incredibly helpful. You will get both at the Modern Saints Online Conference.”
– Marek Rudak
"The saints are people we can learn from"
“The saints are people we can learn from on how to be holy in the everyday experience. And the more current they are to our times, the more relatable they become!”
– Sr. Nancy Usselmann
"Discover fresh ways to be a disciple of Jesus Christ"
“This conference will enable Christians to heed the call of the New Evangelization and discover fresh ways to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.”
– Efran Menny
"We all need to look to modern saints for inspiration!"
“In a hurting world, let’s all answer the universal call to holiness!”
– Rachel Ullman
Meet your hosts
Support a Catholic mission
This event is supporting The Pontifical Missions Society in the United States.
Description: The blasts in Beirut’s killed many and injured thousands. People aree homeless and desperate for humanitarian aid. Help is critical. Our support will bring things like food packets to feed families, first aid kits, and shelter to the needy. Send your own donation →
– Dominic de Souza
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I watch the videos?
The videos will be sent to the email you registered with. You’ll be able to watch 10 of them for free during the 7 days before the live event.
I can’t attend the event. Will there be replays?
Yes, all the recordings will be stored in a beautiful, on-demand library that you can watch any time.
Access the replays is $10. The replays will be stored on parousiaondemand.com
Is there a community?
Yes, this event is launching an ongoing group within the SmartCatholics community, here for you for years to come. Get formation, feedback, answers, and new friends!
Questions? Leave a comment! →
Register free, & start watching
No account or payment needed!
Where should we send the link?
Many of the saints knew each other so had some fellowship. Today, it’s hard to find others who are serious about sanctity. Finding a solid confessor and spiritual director is only slightly more difficult that walking on water (without divine assistance!) How can we build one another up?
These are really good questions and points, Katherine. I think that part of the issue is how we have allowed sanctity to be presented, and how we present it to others. Being ‘holy’ feels dry and boring compared to ‘sin’ being dramatic and exciting. We have to show by our lives and narratives that sin is stultifying, abortive, and boring, and holiness is a power and energy for good and creative things.
Today, many of us are being creative about finding fellowship online. In person isn’t always possible any more. And I don’t think that creating communes is the answer either for everyone.
Plenty of interesting stuff to mull over, for sure!
How do we recognize (future) Saints alive today? Where do we find them? Sounds like it should be obvious, but with all the advancement in communication, it seems we witness mostly the bad of this world.
Very good question, Ronald. Not completely sure we can, because as Pope Francis pointed out, we look at the totality of their lives, and the overall response to the call of grace.
I am convinced that there are many more living saints than we assume, and that they don’t always look like the pious icons we’ve come to expect. They’re super real, earthy, ‘smell of the sheep,’ and rooted in an unshakeable peace or joy, no matter what they’re going through.
This is exactly the work that I am on Fire about—to Say Yes to Holiness. I share often about the 7 characteristics of the saints, all in order to help inspire, encourage and accompany people on the journey towards holiness.
Katherine is spot on about fellowship among saints—it’s the idea that saints “comes in clusters” and why we must strive to develop authentic friendships that assist us in pursuing sainthood.
And Ron is correct about not hearing enough about the good. But think this project is one way to start turning that tide.
Would love to assist with this conference in any way that I can. I am passionate about the message that anyone can be a saint, but there are key practices we must strive to implement in our daily lives in order to allow for God to transform us and make us the saints He created is to be.
Amazing comment, Christina. Thanks for chiming in!
Say a prayer for me as this is the topic of my next book. Not sure of the title yet…something like “How to be a Spiritual Hero”. It uses the hero’s quest from classic literature to outline a twelve step plan for the heroic life of faith.
Absolutely! This sounds like an amazing companion to your latest release.
How do I discern my mission at each stage of life. It feels like a different calling. How do I grow in holiness at each stage of life with my unique gifts?
Do all saints have to be martyrs?