AUSCP 2024 Assembly


June 24 – 27, 2024 • Lexington, Kentucky

THEME: Eucharist: Sacrament of Encounter

SPEAKERS: Fr. Thomas Reese, SJ; Fr. Michael Driscoll; Dr. Kim Harris

RETREAT: Bishop John Stowe, O.F.M Conv., of Lexington

Contemplative Response Facilitator: Kathleen Storms, SSND


Often referred to as the Horse Capital of the World, the city is home to more than 400 horse farms and the famous Keeneland Race Course (featured in several movies). It has bred more Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown winners than anywhere else in the world. Websites (such as Trip Savvy provide details about visiting accessible horse farms in the area. Lexington is 80 miles from Louisville, 140 miles from Saint Meinrad Archabbey, 60 miles from Bardstown, 70 miles from Gethsemani, 200 milesR from Pigeon Forge and 280 miles from Chattanooga.

NEAR YOUR HOTEL: Hyatt Regency Lexington

Click here for map location and hotel photos

Distances are displayed to the nearest 0.1 mile and kilometer.

Lexington Convention Center – 0.2 km / 0.1 mi
Lexington Visitors Center – 0.2 km / 0.1 mi
Victorian Square Mall – 0.2 km / 0.1 mi
Rupp Arena – 0.3 km / 0.2 mi
Lexington Opera House – 0.3 km / 0.2 mi
Explorium – 0.4 km / 0.2 mi
Lexington History Center – 0.4 km / 0.3 mi
Mary Todd Lincoln House – 0.5 km / 0.3 mi
Lexington Ballet Company – 0.5 km / 0.3 mi
Red Barn Radio – 0.5 km / 0.3 mi
Lexington Public Library – 0.6 km / 0.4 mi
Hunt-Morgan House – 0.7 km / 0.4 mi
Downtown Arts Center – 0.7 km / 0.4 mi
Transylvania University – 0.7 km / 0.5 mi
The Kentucky Theater – 0.8 km / 0.5 mi


Gethsemani Trappist Monastery
Trappist Monks. Living, Praying and Working together since 1848.

The Abbey of Gethsemani,  70 miles from Lexington, is “a school of the Lord’s service, a training ground for brotherly love.” Following Christ under a rule and an abbot, Trappist monks lead lives of prayer, work and sacred reading, steeped in the heart and mystery of the Church. The Abbey is a monastery in the Order of the Cistercians of the Strict Observance (OCSO), part of the body of the Roman Catholic Church.

Bardstown, Kentucky Bardstown is the home of the first (Proto) Cathedral in the United States of America west of the Allegheny Mountains. Just miles from Lexington, Bardstown proclaims itself as the Bourbon Capital of the World (with 11 distilleries to back up its claim).


Retreat Director: Bishop John E. Stowe, O.F.M. Conv., Bishop of Lexington

John Stowe was born in Amherst, Ohio, on April 15, 1966, and grew up in Loraine, Ohio. After graduating from Lorain Catholic High School in 1984, he was admitted as a candidate to the Order of Friars Minor Conventual. He graduated from St. Louis University with a double major in history and philosophy, and professed his solemn vows on August 1, 1992.

Stowe continued has studies at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, California. He received a Master of Divinity and a Licentiate of Sacred Theology, specializing in church history.

Stowe was ordained a priest, September 16, 1995, and served in parishes in El Paso, as vicar general of the diocese, and as diocesan chancellor. In 2010, Stowe was elected vicar provincial of his Franciscan province and also served as rector of the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in Carey, Ohio.

On March 12, 2015, Pope Francis appointed Stowe bishop of the Diocese of Lexington, where he was ordained and installed on May 5, 2015.

In February 2018, Stowe joined the Pax Christi USA Board as their president. Stowe has been a supporter of the AUSCP, attending Assemblies when possible.

In January 2019, Stowe attracted national attention with an op-ed that criticized students from Covington Catholic High School for sporting apparel supporting President Donald Trump during the 2019 March for Life rally in Washington, D.C. He said the slogan “Make America Great Again” on their clothing “supports a president who denigrates the lives of immigrants, refugees and people from countries that he describes with indecent words and haphazardly endangers with life-threatening policies.”

In March 2021, Stowe expressed support for the federal Equality Act, proposed legislation that was opposed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He wrote that “As a Catholic bishop, I hate to see any form of harmful discrimination protected by law and it is consistent with our teaching to ensure that LGBTQ people have the protection they need.”

Waiting is Never Easy, Reflection from Bishop John Stowe, President, Pac Christi, September 2020

Contemplative Response Facilitator: Kathleen Storms, SSND
 BA in Education/ General Science
 MA in Spirituality, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh
 Theory U Leadership Towards a Sustainable Future
 Enneagram Personality Leading from Strengths
 Laudato Si’ & Integral Ecology Formation
 Facilitator Training

 Loyola Spirituality Center Staff, St Paul MN (90-94)
 Earth Spirituality/Rural Ministry Founder, Mankato
MN (94-03)
 SSND Provincial Leadership, Mankato MN (03-09)
 Our Lady of the Prairie Retreat, Director, Wheatland
Iowa (10-17)
 SSND General Council Leadership, Rome (18-21)

 45 years spiritual direction
 Retreat leader and facilitator
 Board Development based on Mission
 Discernment for the Future
 Visio Divina—Art in Prayer
 Care for Creation retreats, workshops, volunteer


Keynoter: Thomas Reese, SJ

Thomas J. Reese, SJ is an American Catholic Jesuit priest, author, and journalist. He is a senior analyst at Religion News Service, a former columnist at National Catholic Reporter, and a former editor-in-chief of the weekly Catholic magazine America. His column for Religion News Service, “Signs of the Times,” appears regularly at National Catholic Reporter

July 2023 Recent articles:

Why the synod on synodality is confusing to American Catholics

Supreme Court’s conservative majority is making new rules for minorities

Pope Francis appoints men and women to build a synodal church



KEYNOTE: Father Michael S. Driscoll

Michael Driscoll is a priest of the diocese of Helena, Montana. Ordained in 1977, he has spent the majority of his years in priesthood teaching — first at Carroll College, the diocesan college in Helena from 1981-1994, and then at the University of Notre Dame since 1994 to the present. He entered into emeritus status in January of 2016 and still teaches the occasional course usually in the Fall semester.

Driscoll is an active member of several professional groups having served in the leadership of each: North American Academy of Liturgy (NAAL), the Societas Liturgica, and the Catholic Academy of Liturgy (CAL).

He is the founding director of the Masters program in Sacred Music (MSM) and the Interdisciplinary Minor in Liturgical Music Ministry at Notre Dame since 2005. Fr. Driscoll’s writings on the liturgy have brought him into the area of social justice as the lived experience of faith flowing from the Eucharist, as seen in Sacraments and Justice (Liturgical Press, 2014). He is very interested in making the connection between liturgy and life, between the Eucharist and ethics.

Selected Publications

The Order of Mass: A Roman Missal Study Edition and Workbook, co-authored with J. Michael Joncas, Chicago: Liturgical Training Publications, 2011.

Alcuin et la pénitence à l’époque carolingienne, Liturgiewissenschaftliche Quellen und Forschungen 81, Münster: Aschendorff Verlag, 1999.

“Comment Prier? : L’euchologie dans les sacramentaires romains et romano- francs,” Actes de la Journée d’études du 11 mai 2012, Institute Catholique de Paris, Hélèn Bricout & Martin Kloeckener, eds., Paris: Editions Vrin, 2017.

“New Wine in Old Wineskins: Reflections on Liturgical Reform of Vatican II (the 50th Anniversary of Sacrosanctum Concilium),” Mission for Diversity: Exploring Christian Mission in the Contemporary World, Elochukwu Uzukwu C.S.Sp., ed. Zurich: LIT Verlag, 2016.

“Reconstructing Liturgical History Before the Libri Ordinarii: The Role of Medieval Women in Death and Burial Practices,” in Ordinarii als Quelle für die Kulturgeschichte / Libri ordinarii as a Source for Cultural History (nr. 103 in series Liturgiewissenschaftliche Quellen und Forschungen), Louis van Tongeron, ed., Münster: Aschendorff Verlag, 2015.

KEYNOTE: Doctor Kim Harris

Dr. Kim R. Harris is the Assistant Professor of African American Thought and Practice in the Department of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University.

In addition to teaching courses on Black liberation and Womanist theologies, Harris leads music in a variety of liturgical and academic settings. She is a liturgist, composer and recording artist, presenting lectures on the music of the Black Catholic experience, the spirituals of the Underground Railroad and the freedom song of modern Civil Rights Movement. Harris is a member of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium and the North American Academy of Liturgy. She is an academic member of the African American Catholic Center for Evangelization in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, as well as a liturgical consultant for the Archdiocese of New York Office of Black Ministry.

A gifted cantor, leader of song and a passionate cultural advocate, Harris earned a PhD in worship and the arts from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. In fulfillment of her degree, she composed Welcome Table: A Mass of Spirituals, one of the complete Mass settings included in the Lead Me Guide Black Catholic hymnal second edition (GIA Publications Inc).

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