“Chicago, Chicago, that Toddlin’ Town – On State Street that Great Street”

National Federation of Priests’ Council’s

50th Annual Convocation

“The U.S. Priesthood:  Looking Back, Looking Forward”


The NFPC came home to the city of its origin, Chicago, Illinois to celebrate fifty years of representing Priests and Priests’ Councils throughout the United States.  The 50th Anniversary Convocation from April 23-26, 2018 was held at the Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel, adjacent to Chicago’s famed Magnificent Mile. For four days Priests representing thirty-six U.S. arch/dioceses gathered to pray, reflect and dialogue on the issues facing priests, presbyteral councils and the U.S. church as a whole, with a particular focus on the role of the NFPC itself in the future.

The Archdiocese of Chicago rolled out the welcome mat with a personal greeting from Vicar General, Most Rev. Ron Hicks, who introduced an encouraging and supportive videotaped message from Cardinal Blase Cupich.

In addition to some very knowledgeable keynote speakers whose addresses focused on the theme “The U. S. Priesthood:  Looking Back, Looking Forward,” guest were treated to sumptuous morning breakfasts, a luncheon showcasing Chicago’s food trends, and a bus tour of historic churches. Tuesday’s events included a Eucharist celebration at the beautiful St. James in the Quigley Pastoral Center, followed by an Awards Banquet at Loyola University that was sponsored by the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Our very own Former Managing Director, Alan Szafraniec (on the left) was honored with the 2018 Mandatum Award, and Fr. Thomas Rosica (CEO of Salt & Light Media) received the Touchstone Award.

Of course, the most important element of the gathering was the opportunity for Priests to connect with their brothers in prayer and dialogue, remember the past and look to the future with renewed hope.

Visit our homepage www.nfpg.org and review Cardinal Blase Cupich’s encouraging video where he tells attendees “No bowling alone.”  Also on the homepage, there are links to memorable photographs and transcripts from several keynote speakers, as well as a banner with the names of our 2018 sponsors/exhibitors.  Please support our sponsors in your individual Parishes whenever possible.

Click here to download a digital copy of The 50th Annual Convocation Commemorative Program – this one is a “keeper.”  Please browse through it and visit some wonderful memories of NFPC’s historic past.

Two well-known Catholic journalists, Ms. Heidi Schlumpf (National Catholic Reporter) and Michael J. O’Loughlin (America Magazine) covered the Convocation.  Their coverage can be viewed as follows:

Click here to review National Catholic Reporter’s “Confront Racism, Archbishop Gregory (Atlanta) Tells Priests at Federation Gathering.

Michael O’Loughlin’s submissions can be viewed by selecting:

Archbishop Gregory: Catholics must stand against race and gender injustices

Atlanta archbishop says clericalism continues to hinder sex abuse reforms

And finally, this piece of great news, as noted by the late Nat “King” Cole:        “Have you ever planned to motor west…Travel my way…Take the highway that’s the best – Route 66.”

Mark your calendars – we’re not going all the way to LA – our 2019 journey will be to OKLAHOMA CITY

We hope you’ve enjoyed this special edition coverage of the historic 50th Annual Convocation. By the way, if anyone knows the meaning of “Toddlin'” please share it with us.  It seems that most Chicagoans “have not a clue”!!!