From New Zealand to Notre Dame | Experiences at the Gallagher Conference

Home 9 Article 9 From New Zealand to Notre Dame | Experiences at the Gallagher Conference

An article shared by

Liam Greer

Published on

May 31, 2024

Recently, I was privileged to be sponsored by Gallagher to attend the Gallagher Risk Management Conference hosted at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana. The University of Notre Dame, founded in November 1842 by Rev. Edward F. Sorin, C.S.C., a priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross, a French missionary order, is a place born of vision and defined by its Catholic character.

The conference, attended by around 200 delegates from across the United States, opened with Mass in The Basilica of the Sacred Heart, situated on the university campus. I was honoured to be asked to do the first reading, much to the amusement of the presiding bishop, who was not prepared for a First Testament reading delivered with an antipodean accent.

After the opening dinner, delegates proceeded to the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, which is one-seventh the size of the famed French shrine. We prayed and lit candles. Interestingly, a small piece of stone from the original grotto in France is located on the right-hand side of the shrine, directly below the statue of Mary.

The following two days comprised various workshops focused on topics such as parish sustainability, self-insurance options, and risk management. Keynote speakers delivered insightful views on topics such as “The Five Mistakes Diocese Leaders Make When Working with Priests,” which I found had some direct relevance to the New Zealand climate.

On the last night, I had dinner with two diocese managers, each managing dioceses bigger than New Zealand. While America faces different challenges on a scale that eclipses New Zealand, they share similar issues, such as declining income due to falling parish numbers and increased costs. However, like the Diocese of Palmerston North under the leadership of Bishop John, they too are on a journey of evangelisation and parish growth and remain upbeat and positive for the future despite the challenges ahead.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the conference and came away with valuable insights and renewed inspiration for our work back home.

Liam Greer is the General Manager of the Diocese of Palmerston North.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This