Breakout Sessions

Over 65 breakout sessions available to Catholic leaders at the 2020 Mid-Atlantic Congress led by experts in their ministry fields ranging from catechesis and prayer to Scripture and youth ministry.

The 2020 MAC includes over 65 unique breakout sessions organized into tracks plus mega-workshops.


  • Catechesis & Evangelization
  • Catholic Schools
  • Communications & Digital
  • Marriage & Families
  • Ministry Foundations
  • Pastoral Topics (for example, ministry with the disabled)
  • Prayer & Worship
  • Spanish
  • Youth Ministry
  • Young Adult Ministry


Deep Dives

NEW for 2020!

"Deep Dives" are extended sessions on a topic typically covered in our breakout sessions. Deep Dives allow both the participants and the presenters to go into greater detail and explore more skills in the chosen topic area.

The following are the scheduled Deep Dives for the 2020 MAC. For more details, download the PDF of descriptions of all breakout sessions and deep dives.

FRIDAY, JAN. 31, 1:30-4:00 PM

1.5 & 2.5, God’s Own Vintage: Lay Ecclesial Ministry after 15 years of Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord

Speakers: Harry Dudley, Marc DelMonico, Paul Jarzembowski, Julia Dezelski

Since the Second Vatican Council  strongly affirmed the integral role of the laity in the life and mission of the Church, thousands of women and men from all walks of life, cultures and experiences have responded to the call of the Spirit to ministry. This deep dive hopes to bring lay volunteers, lay professionals in ministry, pastors and those interested together to share wisdom and to learn about resources and opportunities for renewed action in support of lay ecclesial ministry. Our time together will alternate between small group conversation, sharing with the larger group, presentations on resources and activities at local, regional, national and global levels in   support of lay ecclesial ministry. With the hope that conversations begun here can continue online or in other ways, we hope to consider how each of us can take action to ensure that the Church continues to lift up, affirm, recognize and support ministers who are worthy of the People of God, whom they serve.    

Sponsor: USCCB


1.6 & 2.6, God and Science: Where Does the Evidence Lead?

Speaker: Steven Hemler

This deep dive explores amazing scientific evidence―as well as evidence from human nature―demonstrating God's existence. Contrary to the modern myth of a conflict between science and faith, attendees will be excited to learn "the rest of the story" regarding compelling scientific evidence of God's existence, mostly presented on video by scientists themselves. This workshop will also explore Church teachings on the biggest challenge to faith experienced by many people today―is evolution   compatible with faith in God? Or, does evolution make it possible to be an "intellectually fulfilled atheist"? This apologetics workshop includes several multimedia presentations and small group discussion/Q&A. It will strengthen faith and provide catechists, teachers, parents, and others with persuasive reasons for belief, valuable for sharing with students, family, and friends who have questions about the existence of God and evolution/creation.    

Sponsor: TAN Books

1.9 & 2.9, Stirred into Flame: The Art of Campus Ministry

Speaker: Christine Eberle, Barbara McCrabb

Sponsor: USCCB

1.11 & 2.11,  New Wine from Pope Francis for Catechesis: The Revised General Directory for Catechesis 

Speakers: Marilyn Santos, David Spesia, Carlos Taja

Pope Francis recent revision to the General Directory for Catechesis (GDC) emphasizes kerygmatic catechesis, an evangelizing catechesis that leads people to continually encounter and follow Christ.  These revisions deepen the link between catechesis, evangelization and mission established in   1997’s first edition. This Deep Dive is geared for national, diocesan, and parish catechetical leaders. We will review and explore the major revisions and engage in conversations on how the revised GDC inspires, shepherds, and challenges our programs to form missionary oriented communities.     

Sponsor: USCCB