Internationally known scholar, lecturer, author and columnist Oblate Father Ronald Rolheiser will be the featured speaker at the Upper Room Spiritual Center's 22nd annual Spirituality Conference to be held Oct. 28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Georgian Court University, Lakewood.
Born in Macklin, Saskatchewan, Canada, Father Rolheiser entered the novitiate of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate and professed his first vows in September 1966. Ordained to the priesthood in 1972, he continued his education, receiving a bachelor of arts (University of Ottawa, 1969), bachelor of theology (Newman Theological College, 1973), master of arts (University of San Francisco, 1974), M.R.Sc. (University of Louvain, 1982) and doctorate in sacred theology (University of Louvain, 1983). During and after his own studies, he taught theology and philosophy at Newman Theological College, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
In 1982, while living and studying in Belgium, he began to write a regular feature column in the Canadian newspaper, The Western Catholic Reporter. The column offered reflections on various theological, church and secular issues. He has since written several books including “Holy Longing” and “Sacred Fire.”
Along with his academic knowledge in systematic theology and philosophy, he has become a popular speaker in the areas of contemporary spirituality and religion and the secular world. Oblate Communications and Franciscan Communications have produced 15 DVDs of his retreats for both individual and group use.
In 1991, while on sabbatical, he was asked by his religious community to serve as the provincial superior of his home province. He served two terms as provincial of St. Mary Province (Canada). In 1998, he was elected regional councillor for Canada, serving on the general administration of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, in Rome, for six years. In August 2005, he became the president of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas, a position he maintains to this day.
The conference topic “Living with Less Fear in Our Lives Trusting in a Wise and Fully Empathetic God” will examine the origins and the complexities of religious fear and, after giving fear it proper dues, will examine some biblical principles which invite faithful to live with less fear.
Cost to attend the conference is $75-$100, with a late fee of $5 after Oct. 20. Box lunch is available for an additional $10. Make checks payable to the Upper Room and mail to: Upper Room Spiritual Center, 3455 W. Bangs Avenue, Building 2, Neptune, NJ 07753.