Christ Cathedral


By LOU PONSI     11/21/2023

The first-ever “The Hour of the Laity: A Lay Catholic Conference” recently held on the campus of Christ Cathedral provided lay Catholic professionals with the tools and motivation to help meld their faith into their secular roles within society.

Held Nov. 2 to Nov. 5 in the Cultural Center, the national conference featured keynote speakers and panel discussions on topics including Holiness in Ordinary Life, the Crisis of Reason in Western Law and Biotechnology, the Need for Principled Entrepreneurship and Understanding Modernism, Postmodernism and Transhumanism.

The conference was hosted by Tepeyac Leadership, Inc., a 5-year-old Phoenix, Arizona based nonprofit dedicated to civic leadership development for lay Catholic professionals.

The Cultural Center was filled to capacity for all three days of the conference, Tepeyac Leadership CEO Cristofer Pereyra said.

“In every sense, it was beautiful,” Pereyra said. “Everybody was enjoying themselves. The talks were powerful and very well received.”

Mass was celebrated each morning before the conference got underway.

For the opening Mass on Nov. 3, Diocese of Orange Bishop Timothy Freyer was the celebrant along with Diocese of Phoenix Bishop Emeritus Thomas J. Olmsted.

Speakers and panelists included Catholic philanthropist Tim Busch of Irvine, founder of the Napa Institute; Monica Hannan, Emmy Award winning news anchor, talk show host and author; Simone Rizkallah of Simi Valley, director of program growth at Endow (Educating on the Nature and Dignity of Women).

Pereyra said his organization plans to hold future conferences at parishes within the Diocese of Orange.

“We’d like to take it around to possibly another large parish, Pereyra said. “We’re already thinking of a few.”

He added: “I think it’s a very healthy Diocese in terms of the Catholic faith, in California particularly, and it sits in the middle of this triangle, which is the dioceses of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and San Diego. It makes it accessible to people from any of those three dioceses in addition to the people of the Diocese of Orange.