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History of the Catholic Faith in the Americas Conference & Call for Papers

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The Wizard Clip Haunting Book Cover

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Conference Question: How can an understanding of the History of the Catholic Faith in the Americas foster moral reform and spiritual revival in our culture?

How can an understanding of the History of the Catholic Faith in the Americas foster moral reform and spiritual revival in our country?”
— Conference Question
MIDDLEWAY, WV, USA, September 18, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ -- How can an understanding of the History of the Catholic Faith in the Americas foster moral reform and spiritual revival in our country? That is the question which the History of the Catholic Faith in the America’s Conference hopes to answer...under the theme: “Past Lessons, Future Wisdom, Seeking Revival.”

The 2023 release of “Wizard Clip Haunting,” a historic novel that traces the roots of the Catholic Church in the young United States, triggered the desire for a conference to share knowledge of how the history of the Catholic faith in the Americas could contribute to the spiritual renewal and moral reform of American culture.

An Open Call for papers was announced, and soon two events were planned, one a conference preview on the evening of Tuesday, October 17, 2023, and a day-long conference on Saturday, December 9, 2023. It is hoped that papers presented will provide insight that will benefit the greater Catholic community and American society as a whole.

The conference events will be held at Priest Field Pastoral Center in Middleway, WV, a nexus of Catholic and American history. The Priest Field property (located at 4030 Middleway Pike, in Middleway, WV) is the precipitate of the historic Wizard Clip demonic exorcism that occurred on Adam Livingston’s farm in 1797. As a result, Livingston donated 35-acres of his land to the local Catholic society for the keeping of a priest, or for a church or chapel. It is also reported that Livingston heard a disembodied voice predict: “Before the end of time, this land will be a great place of prayer and fasting and praise!” That was in 1802. After lying dormant for 176 years, in 1978, construction began on "what has become a stunning place of refreshment and peace for thousands of visitors every year." Today, Priest Field is a well-equipped retreat center for Christians.

Lastly, the Livingston farm and Priest Field lie a midst the lands surveyed and settled by George Washington—America’s heroic general, reluctant politician, and champion of religious freedom. Near Priest Field is Charles Town, which was settled by George Washington’s youngest brother, Charles who built Happy Retreat, a celebrated 1780 home that Walter Washington lives in yet today.

John Carroll, the United State’s first Catholic bishop, was good friends with George Washington, and it was Washington who famously defended religious freedom and continuously expressed his appreciation for the Catholics who funded and fought for America’s freedom from the British. For such reasons, Priest Field is the perfect venue for a conference exploring the history of the Catholic Faith in the Americas.

At the October 17 event three speakers will share their papers setting the foundation for the full day conference on December 9.

DR. DONALD PATTHOFF, DDS, of Martinsburg and co-founder of the George Washington Institute of Living Ethics, with talk on: “Faith in Fiction, History and Reality: Prescence and Possession.”

BOB O’CONNOR, prolific Civil War author will give the keynote address on: “Priest Field and the Colonial Founding of the American Catholic Church,” (with visuals).

Wrapping up the evening, STAN WILLIAMS, PHD, a filmmaker and writer will give a talk on: “Persecution of the Catholic Church in America and Writing the Wizard Clip Haunting Novel.”

After the talks, Williams will sign copies of his novel.

On Saturday, December 9, 2023 the full day conference will feature talks by seven subject matter experts.

BETTY SEYMOUR is a postulator for the cause of sainthood for Servant of God Fr. Demetrius A. Gallitzin. Gallitzin was an eye witness and chronicler of the haunting events at Livingston’s farm. His character also narrates the” Wizard Clip Haunting” novel. Betty will speak on: “The Historical Significance of Servant of God Demetrius A. Gallitzin and his impact on the founding of the Catholic Church in America.”

DAVID THROWER, PHD Candidate, is a historian, author, and paralegal. He will speak on: “The historical significance and cultural impact in America of the 1531 apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico.”

THOMAS and NOËLLE CROWE are originators, producers and writers of the American Catholic History Podcast, of which they have produced 174 episodes. They will speak on: “Sacrifice with Joy: The Historical Influence of Catholicity on American Culture.”

NANCY CORTESE is a docent at Harper's Ferry National Historic Park and the blessed mother of three sons one of which is a seminarian. She holds a B.S. in Computer Science that she uses as a project manager for the Coast Guard. She will speak on: “The Birth of the Catholic Church in West Virginia and St. Peter's Church in Harper's Ferry.”

EMILY ARLEDGE, PHD is the assistant professor of history at Belmont Abbey College and director of the Public History program. Emily will speak on: “Curating the Saints: Making History at American Catholic Shrines.”

STAN WILLIAMS, PHD, will speak on: “The trials of missionary priests in the early United States and Bishop John Carroll’s challenge to make sure they were real priests.”

DR. DONALD PATTHOFF will speak on: (A) “Cultural Foundations of the Americas: The Evolving Nature of Freedom, Reason, and Faith,” and (B) “The Role of the Sacraments and Sacramentals in Shaping History.”

Stan Williams and Don Patthoff are the conference organizers. Susan Kersey is the director of Priest Field Pastoral Center.


For the October 17 event there is no registration as the Priest Field facilities are being donated free of charge for the evening. For the December 9 event registration and a fee will be required to cover facility rental and lunch. Check the website after November 1, 2023 for registration information.


If you or someone you know would like to present at the December 9 conference, contact Stan Williams, or visit the Conference Website for proposal and submission guidelines.

Stanley David Williams
Nineveh's Crossing
+1 2483444423
email us here

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