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Register now for Florida Respect Life Conference

Scheduled for Sept. 28 and 29 at Charlotte Harbor Center in Punta Gorda

PUNTA GORDA | Time is running out to register for the 2018 Statewide Florida Respect Life Conference, to be held Sept. 28-29 at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center in Punta Gorda.

Registration closes Sept. 7 for this opportunity to hear some of the best national and international pro-life speakers close to home. Register at; or 941-374-1068.

“This is an opportunity for anyone who has an interest in life issues, from  conception to natural death,” said Jeanne Berdeaux, Diocese of Venice Respect Life director.

The diocese only hosts this statewide event once every seven years. The conference will include international, national and state speakers under the theme, “Love one another as I have loved you.”

Bishop Frank J. Dewane serves as host for the conference. The keynote speaker is Bishop Mark J. Seitz of El Paso, Texas, a member of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities. Ordained a priest for the Diocese of Dallas in 1980, and installed as bishop of El Paso in 2013, he served as spiritual director for a pregnancy help center in Dallas and on the board of directors for another Dallas pregnancy help center. He also serves as a member of the Episcopal Advisory Board for the Theology of the Body Evangelization.

Other speakers include:

  • Stephanie Gray, author and president of “Love Unleashes Life.” She has given more than 800 pro-life presentations across North America, Europe and Central America and spent 12 years as executive director and co-founder of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.
  • Terry Beatley, founder of Hosea Initiative, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to bringing healing truth to a broken world. Beatley is dedicated to restoring a culture that values the gift of life and the principles of American liberty.
  • Pam Stenzel, founder of Enlighten Communications Inc., who created an organization that empowers parents, youth leaders and educators to lead informed discussions on sexual abstinence and its benefits. She speaks to more than 500,000 teens a year and recently became senior regional clinic coordinator for Community Pregnancy Clinics in Naples, Fort Myers and Sarasota, adding to her previous role as S.H.A.R.E. (Sexual Health and Relationship Education) program director.
  • Catherine Davis, founder and president of the Restoration Project. She partners with the National Black Pro-life Coalition, the Network of Politically Active Christians, and the Frederick Douglass Foundation in an ongoing effort to educate Americans about the issues that are impacting the black community. She is focused on positive change through education, local/state involvement, and peaceful action.
  • Marietta Jaeger Lane, an outspoken critic of the death penalty whose 7-year-old daughter, Susie, was kidnapped from the family’s tent during a camping vacation. Lane will share her personal  journey through tragedy and healing. She is co-founder of Journey of Hope and speaks about the death penalty and forgiveness in numerous venues throughout the United States and Europe.
  • Dr. F. Michael Gloth III, a geriatric physician from Naples and consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Pro-Life Committee. He is an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and the chief medical officer for Moorings Park Healthy Living in Naples.
  • Deacon Alfred J. Mauriello II, who serves at St. Finbarr Parish in Naples as well as the Philadelphia Archdiocese. As a Catholic physician and later an ordained deacon, medical-ethical issues have always been an area of his concern. He has served on hospital-based medical ethics committees and is involved in efforts to expand the role of ordained deacons in medical ethics.

A free pre-conference event featuring end-of-life issues will be held Friday, Sept. 28, 2-5 p.m. 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. 


All high school-aged students are invited to attend the Florida Respect Life Youth Conference, which is a part of the larger state Respect Life Conference held the same day. The Youth Conference is 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center in Punta Gorda.

Speakers will include Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso, Texas, Stephanie Gray and Pam Stenzel. There will be praise and worship, the chaplet of Divine Mercy and Mass with Bishop Frank J. Dewane.

Cost is $10 and includes lunch and dinner.

Pre-registration is required by Friday, Sept. 7, through parish youth leaders (including parental consent forms), or the Diocese Respect Life Office at or 941-374-1068.

For more details, visit Parents are encouraged to attend the simultaneous statewide conference.

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