I would love to speak at your church, conference, event, group, retreat, or gathering!

Julie SpeakingI’m a spiritual director and professional religious educator with a background in pastoral theology, which basically means that my area of expertise is explaining complex theological topics in an interesting way that relates to life.  I am passionate about whatever I teach, so participants remainengaged.  I tell lots of stories to draw people in and demonstrate points, I use analogies and kinesthetic (bodily) activity to help people understand, and I explicitly invite participants to evaluate and apply concepts to their own lived experience.   My lectures are substantive, accessible, and stimulating.

I can cater my talks to adult parishioners, teens, young adults (like Theology on Tap), volunteer catechists, professionals in ministry, professional educators, as well as non-religious groups who cultivate leadership and support (Leadership Forums, MOMS clubs, etc.)

My standard talk is 45 minutes, plus a Q-and-A session, though some subjects warrant more time for presentation and discussion. I am also available for mini-retreats half-day, full-day or weekend events. Here are the talks and retreats I have given (click the arrow for more details):

So the Story Goes: God's Presence in My Life
God wants access to the nooks and crannies of our lives. Too often, though, we miss opportunities for grace because we think God couldn’t possibly be interested in us as we grapple with a crisis, hurt, despair, or grief. This mini-retreat will help you pause, reflect on the joys and sorrows of your life through a Paschal Mystery spirituality, and integrate the wisdom of the Psalms into your conversations with God… to help you see your story as God sees it.

Sabbath and the Busy Person
Broadens our understanding of the 3rd Commandment to Honor the Sabbath by exploring the theological concept of the call to rest, relaxation, and re-creation as a People of God.

Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, and Judgment
Uses imagery that engages the religious imagination to understand the Catholic teaching on eschatology and how it relates to morality.

A Renewed Understanding of Evangelization
Differentiates between evangelization and proselytizing, understands the continuity of the call to a “new” evangelization from Pope Paul VI, to John Paul II, to Benedict XVI, to Francis.

Love and Relationships
Understand what love is (and is not) by exploring insights from CS Lewis, M. Scott Peck, and Erich Fromm. See love as a virtue versus romantic love. Explore unhealthy relationship dynamics versus healthy love. Discuss sexual morality and Theology of the Body in the context of real, true, healthy love.

Vice, Virtue, and Personality
Explore the four cardinal and three theological virtues along with the personality assessment called “the enneagram.” When we look at the underlying motivation behind a person’s behavior, we gain insight into one’s natural inclination to vice and virtue.

Service Learning in Catholic Schools
Discusses developing a service learning program with a strong theological and pedagogical foundation, from the call to justice in Scripture and Tradition, to a reflective dimension that connects one’s experience to faith.

The 50th Anniversary of Vatican II: Understanding the Call and Living the Vision.
Understanding the history, theology, and call of Vatican II

Understanding Catholic Morality
Morality—and sin—is about relationship, not rules. Discusses conscience, forming and informing conscience, and using the 10 Commandments and 8 Beatitudes as moral guides.

Responsibility and Remembrance
Reflecting on the Holocaust, fostering a spiritual response, exploring ways to break the cycle of hate.

Living Your Legacy.
Focusing on the life and legacy of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, reflecting on the legacy each participant chooses to leave.

Identity and Inspiration.
Learn about the somewhat scandalous backstory of St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac, examine some of what makes up your own identity, and what inspires you to be “holy.”

United States Catholic Catechism for Adults
Teaching a long-term, bi-monthly study of the Catechism, one topic at a time. Topics include:

  • Longing for God
  • Divine Revelation
  • What is Faith
  • The Trinity
  • Creation
  • The Incarnation
  • The Paschal Mystery
  • The Holy Spirit
  • One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic
  • Mary
  • Liturgy & Sacraments
  • Baptism
  • Confirmation
  • Eucharist
  • Reconciliation
  • Anointing of the Sick
  • Holy Orders
  • Sacrament of Marriage
  • Morality and Sin
  • 1st Commandment, Idolatry, & Temperance
  • 2nd Commandment, Respectful Speech & Cursing
  • 3rd Commandment & Honoring Sabbath
  • 4th Commandment & Honoring Family
  • 5th Commandment
    • Respect for Human Dignity
    • Abortion
    • Stem Cell Research
    • In-Vitro
    • Capital Punishment
    • Suicide
    • Murder
    • Euthanasia & Palliative Care
    • War & Torture
  • 6th Commandment: Sexual Morality & Theology of the Body
  • 7th Commandment: Social Justice
  • 8th Commandment: Personal Integrity, Truth in Relationships, and Media Literacy
  • 9th Commandment: Modesty, the Media, and Theology of the Body
  • 10th Commandment: Rejecting Materialism and Embracing Christian Stewardship
  • Prayer
  • The Our Father

I would also be happy to tailor a talk or workshop for your group — just let me know!

I ask that you cover any travel and lodging expenses, plus a stipend. Please contact me using the form below or email me at julie@diennodemarest.com with the specifics of your event.

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