An Advent “Lunch and Learn”

Wednesdays during Advent beginning December 1
Come to any or all sessions

“The Power of Silence”

Among all of the virtues to cultivate during Advent, silence might be the most important. Advent is a time to tune out all of the noise in our lives and seek the Lord in silence. Saint Teresa of Calcutta said it this way:

“We need to find God and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature, trees, flowers, grass grows in silence. See the stars the moon, the sun how they move in silence. We need silence to be able to touch souls.”

Come to this lunch and learn series and discover how you can recapture silence in your own life and free yourself from the “dictatorship of noise.”

The sessions will be guided by the best-selling book by Cardinal Robert Sarah, The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise. The book begins with these powerful words:  “There is one great question:  how can man really be in the image of God?  He must enter into silence.  When he drapes himself in silence, as God himself dwells in a great silence, man is close to heaven, or, rather, he allows God to manifest himself in him.  We encounter God only in the eternal silence in which he abides.” Throughout the next 250 pages, Cardinal Sarah continues to illustrate in various other ways how silence is the means by which we come close to God.

It is not necessary to read the book unless that fits in with your life.

Each session will be self-contained and focus on the following theme:

Wednesday, December 1Silence versus the world’s noise
Wednesday, December 8God does not speak, but His voice is quite clear
Wednesday, December 15Silence, the mystery, and the sacred
Wednesday, December 22God’s silence in the midst of evil

About the “Lunch and Learn” Series

Our “Lunch and Learn” sessions begin with a light lunch at 12:00 PM, followed by a presentation and discussion. For those who choose, the learning could begin with an hour of adoration and a blessing by Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

The topics are chosen for Lunch and Learn are meant to be both transformative and informative. Sometimes the discussion is centered on a particular saint, a Church document, or a spiritually enriching book. For those who want to dive deeper into the material, there is a companion book available.

Adult learning is best accomplished when people are allowed to share. The format includes a brief presentation by Deacon Scott Gilfillan, throughout which all are invited to share their own observations.

Here is a typical lunch and learn schedule:

Lunch and Learn Schedule
11:00 AM Holy Hour of Adoration (optional)
11:50 AM Benediction (optional)
12:00 PM Light lunch
12:30 PM Program
1:30 PM Final Blessing

Any questions, contact Deacon Scott Gilfillan at,or call 828.328.7441.

PRICING: No charge. Suggested donation $15 per session.

The Center would like to get as many people as possible to enter into a deeper spiritual experience and relationship with God. Donations will be kindly accepted to defer the cost of the meals and the books, but not necessary.

Please register Monday for the Wednesday session. Space is limited to 25 participants.

Date Registration

Please call 828-327-7441 if you have questions.
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  • On December 8, 2020, Pope Francis declared 2021 as the Year of Saint Joseph. Learn about this beloved saint whose silent witness has made monumental difference in the life of the Church.
  • Learn about the angels in Catholic tradition, and how they can make a difference in your life.
  • Discover the power of silence and free yourself from the dictatorship of noise. Come to any or all of the "Lunch and Learn" during Advent.
  • Please include the name if another person will be coming with you.
  • Would you like the center to order the companion book, "The Power of Silence"?
  • Please consider helping in our mission of evangelization and renewal. Give a tax-deductible donation to the Catholic Conference Center, to both defer the cost of the program and help us continue our mission. We appreciate your support.
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About the Presenter

The sessions and discussions will be led by Deacon Scott D. Gilfillan. Deacon Scott was ordained as a Catholic deacon in 2001. He has a wide range of experience facilitating groups and leading retreats for parishes, RCIA programs, and deacon candidates. For many years, he was the director of the deacon formation for the diocese of Charlotte, assisting and guiding deacon candidates and their wives in discernment and formation. Most recently he has become the director of the Catholic conference and retreat center in Hickory.