Catholic Church to Host Conference

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael Puente Daily Herald Staff Writer

An evangelical Christian movement that started more a decade ago in Southern California is making its way to a Northwest suburban Roman Catholic Church next week for a three-day conference.

Some 200 people from different Christian denominations are expected to attend "Implementing the Purpose Driven Church," at Holy Family Parish in Inverness.

Jim Accurso, Holy Family's manager of marketing communications, says it's the first time the Purpose Driven Church will bring its evangelical message to a Catholic congregation.

"Because it's the first time, a lot of people are going to be skeptical," Accurso said. "It is more of an evangelical movement. The people who are truly interested in reinvigorating their church and increasing their membership are the ones attending."

The Purpose Driven Church philosophy was started by the Rev. Rick Warren, author of the best selling book, "The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?" published in 2002.

Over the past 22 years, Warren's Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., south of Los Angeles, has become one of the nation's largest mega-churches.

His book, which has sold more than 21 million copies, has been described as a no-frills primer on what it takes to be a Christian in the 21st century.

Warren, a fourth-generation pastor and Baptist minister, and his staff are said to have trained more than 300,000 pastors in his church-growth philosophy.

His first book, "The Purpose Driven Church," published in 1995, sold a half-million copies, mostly to preachers. …