Catholic Seniors Conference

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Pilgrim Center of Hope warmly invites people of all ages to the annual Catholic Seniors’ Conference! Whatever your age or state in life, you are welcome to this day of prayer, learning, fellowship, and laughter.

All ages are welcome! Family members and caretakers, join others like you who love a senior.

Come learn about God’s calling for us all as we grow older; discover a message of joy and hope!

American Sign Language Interpretation will be available for the Deaf Community.

Help Us Serve Seniors

We need assistance with the next conference!
Sponsorship | ExhibitingAdvertising | Volunteering

Please email us with your interest:
Nan Balfour, Events Coordinator

Shavano Family Practice
Villa de San Antonio

Hosted by Villa de San Antonio
8103 North Hollow
San Antonio, TX 78240

Fr. Patrick Martin

Fr. Patrick Martin

Chaplain, Pilgrim Center of Hope

Pilgrim Center of Hope has been forever changed by our very first Chaplain, Reverend Patrick A. Martin, affectionately known as “Father Pat.”

In 1969, Brother Patrick Martin, of the Brothers of Christian Instruction, Alfred, Maine, left Alfred for Master’s Degree studies at Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. It was there that he discovered talking books and other services he had known nothing about in his many years of blindness. It was there also that he discovered that millions of others like himself go without available services merely because they don’t know about them.

With the blessing of the Brothers, he answered “the call” to spread those services throughout the world. That call brought him first to the New York City area in 1970 and then to the Diocese of Norwich, CT in 1975. On October 7,1978 Bishop Daniel P. Reilly, then of the Diocese of Norwich, CT ordained “Brother Pat” as Father Pat,” enabling him now to spread not only human services but also the services of our Church to his broken brothers and sisters of this world. Since then, he has preached over 1200 Parish Mission programs, on living with brokenness in our lives, throughout the United States, Canada and even in Europe.

Father Pat is now retired, and has chosen to serve as a spiritual father to our ministry. He resides at Villa de San Antonio.

“Father Patrick Martin is an apostle, in touch with God – on fire with the Good News – in love with people. For him the handicap of blindness is a gift of God that makes him an extraordinary person of very special vision. His faith and ministry are a source of hope and consolation…”
– Most Rev. Daniel P. Reilly, Bishop of Norwich, Connecticut

Jane Swanson

Jane Swanson

Author & Speaker

Jane Swanson is a wife of 36 years, a mother of one adult son, an artist, and author of "Surviving Medical Trauma with God’s Help."

In 2003, she became the lone survivor of a workplace shooting. Jane worked as a professional artist all her adult life with the exception of a few years when she sold real estate. One afternoon, what should have been a quick trip to the office, turned tragic and left her fighting for her life at the hospital and left three others dead.

Jane is often called "San Antonio‘s own Living Symbol of Answered Prayer." Today, Jane is an inspirational witness to the reality of how faith and trust in God’s Providence can transform ANY tragedy into triumph. Come and be inspired by her story, and learn how we too can embrace faith to fuel our survival and recovery from any kind of trauma.

At the Conference, Jane will present, "Surviving to Thriving with God’s Help" - St. Paul tells us in his Letter to the Romans (8:28), ‘And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.’ (NLT) Jane experienced the fulfillment of this promise after surviving a workplace shooting in 2003. In her long road of recovery, she discovered how it was her faith in God and His Church that paved the way and moved her forward in healing. Jane will share how we too can encounter God who accompanies each of us on our life’s journey.

Mary Jane Fox

Mary Jane Fox

Co-Founder & Co-Director, Pilgrim Center of Hope

Mary Jane Fox and her husband Tom had a reawakening of their Catholic faith in the 1980s. While on a trip through the Holy Land, they were directed by a local priest to take a silent walk along the Sea of Galilee. There, Jesus unmistakably spoke to them each. In 1986, they left their respective careers in the travel industry and hotel management to work full-time for St. Matthew Catholic Church. For the first seven years, their main ministry was door-to-door home visitation; in the first few years, they visited over 10,000 families. With their bishop’s blessing and help from friends and benefactors, Pilgrim Center of Hope was founded in 1993.

At the Conference, Mary Jane will present "The Importance of Attitude" – Can you say as St. Paul writes in his letter to the Philippians (2:14-15), ‘Do everything without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine like lights in the world?’ How important is our attitude? How can we begin to be confident in God? Is it possible to have an attitude of prayer every day?

Mary Jane Fox has learned first-hand that working for God does not mean we do not experience pain and suffering. Through her many years of ministry and in her own personal journey, Mary Jane will inspire us in how we can live each day in the joy of God’s personal love and shine for others like lights in the world!

AM8:00Registration Check-In begins
8:45Mass with Fr. Pat Martin
9:30Coffee Break
10:00Jane Swanson, “Surviving to Thriving with God’s Help”
11:00Mary Jane Fox, “The Importance of Attitude”
11:30Closing Remarks
11:45Meal Blessing
11:50Lunch provided by Villa de San Antonio (followed by tour of facility)

Schedule is subject to change


Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, inspired by the courageous and dignified retirement of Pope Benedict XVI, called on the Pilgrim Center of Hope in 2013 to organize a Catholic Seniors’ Conference for the Archdiocese of San Antonio.

On April 5, 2014, over 320 men and women staff and attendees helped make the first annual Catholic Seniors’ Conference a wonderful start!

This conference continues to shed light on the Church’s high regard for seniors, educating them about their unique dignity as sons and daughters of God, encouraging them to know and love God, and inspiring them to use their gifts for the transformation of family and society.

Attendee Testimonies

Did you discover something you weren’t aware of about how the Catholic Church views the elderly, senior citizens?

Definitely I had come to the conclusion that the Catholic Church didn’t care for the elderly who were once young & very active in our Church, but I realized through this conference we are the building blocks of our church


(I discovered) that we are needed to carry on the Church to the next generation.

The Church is emphasizing more the dignity and value of the elderly and their responsibility to contribute to the work of evangelization.

We are still important and have work to do.

From the 2019 Conference

Presentation – Fr. Patrick Martin: God Redeems It All

Presentation – Jeannette Santos, LPC: God Is Close to Us

From the 2018 Conference

Presentation – Susan Muto: Little Ways to Transform Your Heart

Presentation – Fr. Jonathan Felux: Fatima for Us Today

Presentation – Mary Jane Fox: Prayer Intercessors – Living As Missionary Disciples As We Are

From the 2017 Conference

Presentation – Lisa Mladinich: Finding Grace In the Second Half of Life

Presentation – Fr. Clay Hunt: The Joy of Being Known by God and His Gift to Us

Presentation – Deacon Tom Fox: Spreading the Message of Hope!

From the 2016 Conference

Presentation – Fr. Servando Guerrero-Ponce: Life’s Journey to Our Heavenly Father!

From the 2015 Conference

The 2015 Catholic Seniors’ Conference was wonderful!  We hosted 315 seniors, thanks to our sponsors and volunteers.  Participants enjoyed speakers Fr. Charlie Banks, OMI, and Dr. Margarett Schlientz, who also gave a Q&A session on topics such as prayer and the Holy Spirit.  Archbishop Gustavo’s message during Mass to participants was, “I NEED YOU! […] I NEED YOUR PRAYERS!”  He entrusted participants with the mission of praying for prayerful priests in the Archdiocese.

It was a joy to see so many gathered to seek spiritual growth and be open to the challenging messages presented.  Thank you for your prayers!

From the 2014 Conference

The two 2014 keynote presentations are available on DVD for a suggested donation of $15. Please call us to order yours: 210-521-3377

Spiritual Tools & Resources


Excerpt from sections 191-193, “The elderly” The elderly help us to appreciate “the continuity of the generations”, by their “charism of bridging the gap”. Very often it is grandparents who ensure that the most important values are passed down to their grandchildren, and “many people can testify that they owe their initiation into the Christian […]


Pope Paul VI Hall | Saturday, October 15, 2016 Excerpt: The Church looks to the elderly with affection, recognition and great esteem. They are an essential part of the Christian community and of society and, in particular, represent the roots and memory of the people. Yours is an important presence, because your experience is a valuable treasure, indispensable […]


Basilica of St. John Lateran | Thursday, June 16, 2016 Excerpt: “The old men shall have prophetic dreams” (cf. Joel 2:28). This was a prophecy that Joel made for the time of the Spirit. The old men shall have dreams and the young men shall see visions. With this third image I should like to underscore the […]


Saint Peter’s Square | Sunday, 28 September 2014 Excerpt:  …Old age is a time of grace, in which the Lord renews his call to us: he calls us to safeguard and transmit the faith, he calls us to pray, especially to intercede; he calls us to be close to those in need…. The elderly, grandparents […]


Saint Peter’s Square | Wednesday, 11 March 2015 Excerpt: We are able to thank the Lord for the benefits received, and fill the emptiness of ingratitude that surrounds us. We are able to intercede for the expectations of younger generations and give dignity to the memory and sacrifices of past generations. We are able to […]


Saint Peter’s Square | Wednesday, 4 March 2015 Excerpt: Our elders are men and women, fathers and mothers, who came before us on our own road, in our own house, in our daily battle for a worthy life. They are men and women from whom we have received so much. The elder is not an […]


Rome | Monday, 12 November 2012 Excerpt: This morning, addressing all the elderly in spirit, although I am aware of the difficulties that our age entails I would like to tell you with deep conviction: it is beautiful to be old! At every phase of life it is necessary to be able to discover the […]