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Conference Information


Christ Our Life Catholic Regional Conference

September 24 & 25, 2016


Wells Fargo Arena
730 Third Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50309


Conference Background
Christ Our Life Catholic Regional Conference is a non-profit conference being held at Wells Fargo Arena. It is a grassroots effort of faith springing up out of the heart of Iowa and blessed by Bishop Richard E. Pates of the Catholic Diocese of Des Moines.

How Did it Come About?
Christ Our Life Catholic Regional Conference was conceived in 2008 and was inspired by the Holy Spirit pulling on the hearts of two women in central Iowa. They prayed, gathered a dedicated and spiritually motivated group of volunteers, and secured world-renowned speakers. The result was a first-of-its kind Catholic Conference. Now we are offering a fourth biennial Christ Our Life conference focused on bringing Catholics together, inspiring, celebrating and exploring their faith and bringing souls to Christ.


Marilyn Lane and Ellen Miller

Steering Chairs
Business/Accounting       Barb Chicoine
Business/Treasurer          Ginny Striegel, CPA
Conference Coordinator   Rob Carey
Coordinator Assistant       Stephanie Becker
Deacon Liaison                 Steve Reed
Development                    Joe Lane, Sr.
Development Assistants   Justin Doyle, Ned Flynn
Hospitality                        Leslie Teeling
Hotel Facilitator                Kathryn Pierson
Information Technology    Patty Fredrichs
K of C Liaison                   Bruce Mehlhop
Liturgy                              Hugh O'Hagan
Liturgy Advisor                 Father Chris Reising
Liturgy Assistant               Marianne Wadle
Logistics/Facility Mgmt.    Mary Nestvedt
Logistics Assistant            Joe Nestvedt
Marketing                         Lore McManus Solo
Minority Outreach             Mayra Banuelos
Music                               Scott Rieker
Music Associate               Sheila Hancock
Music Assistant                Emily Schmid
Recording Secretary         MaryAnn Wallace
Registration/Tickets          Jodi Bermel, Patty Fredrichs
Speakers                          Marilyn Lane and Ellen Miller
Spiritual Director               Monsignor Frank Bognanno
Volunteers/Floor                Bruce and Debbie Deneff Mehlhop
Vendors/Books & Sales     Lois Brookhart

Extended Team and Outreach

Marketing Support
Blog                                 Kevin Teale
Facebook                         Lore Solo
Graphic Design                Marilyn Lane
Research/Advertising       Lisa Boden
Video Production             Emily Solo  
Web Developer                 Hunter Lane            

Onsite Support
Decorating                       Christine Kirkman
Emcees                            Joe Hogan and Jon Leonetti
Volunteers/Speakers         Ann Phillips and Team

Over 200 ”Go To” conference representatives serve throughout Iowa and beyond

You Are Invited
Please join us for a weekend of faith sharing, faith building and praise as we listen and learn from world-class speakers, renowned Catholic exhibitors and most importantly, share the sacraments.



Music for Christ Our Life is drawn from the richness of our Catholic heritage. As the Spirit inspires the Church in every age, so the treasures of its music reflect that glorious diversity. Saint Augustine said that those who sing well pray twice.  The music at Christ our Life is designed to draw every participant into the infinite mystery of God’s love, and give us voice in praise and gratitude.  Thus, music will be incorporated into every aspect of Christ our Life.

The Mass – as the source and summit of all worship – creates the musical pinnacle of Christ our Life. It incorporates traditional hymnody, Gregorian chant, sacred polyphony, contemporary styles, diverse languages, a choir of over 100 voices, an orchestra, handbell choir, and contemporary instruments. Conference participants can raise their voices in the “triumphant hymn of praise” to God that echoes through the ages unto eternity.


Scott Rieker

Scott Rieker received his master’s degree in choral conducting at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he directed the Big Red Singers and was the Varsity Men’s Chorus assistant director.  Scott is a Past-President of the Iowa Music Educators Association, has served as Director of Music in two seminaries, a cathedral, a basilica and led numerous honor choirs and classes.Scott is currently pursuing a doctorate in choral music at the University of Southern California.


Steve Angrisano

Versatile musician, composer and storyteller Steve Angrisano will provide the non-liturgical music ministry for the 2016 Christ Our Life Regional Conference. As a committed witness to Jesus Christ, Steve has provided music ministry at six Catholic World Youth Days, a myriad of conferences, retreats and NCYC events. As Steve weaves his music and storytelling throughout his performances, he invites all who hear him into a deeper relationship with Christ.

Visiting Des Moines

Conference Hotel/Lodging

Below is a list of hotels in the Des Moines area in which rooms have been blocked for our Christ Our Life guests; however, we cannot guarantee room availability.

You may also visit www.catchdesmoines.com and click on the “Book Now” button to see other available rooms in the area.

Adventureland Inn 
(515) 265-7321x1
I-80 & Highway 65
$99.00 USD per night
Last day to book by: 8/23/2016
Book your group rate: Christ Our Life

Comfort Inn
(515) 967-7888
2101 Adventureland Dr
Altoona                                                                            $109.99 USD per night
Last day to book by: 8/23/2016
Book your group rate: Christ Our Life

Courtyard by Marriott ~ Clive 
(515) 225-1222
1520 NW 114th St
$99.00 USD per night
Last day to book by: 8/24/2016
Book your group rate: Christ Our Life

Des Moines Marriott Downtown
(515) 245-5500
700 Grand Avenue
Des Moines
$118.00 USD per night
Last day to book by: 9/02/16
Click here to book your group rate


Event Parking

The conference is being held at the Wells Fargo Arena at the Iowa Events Center, 730 3rd Street, Des Moines. Choose your preferred parking while visiting. There are more than 30,000 spaces throughout the city, making it convenient for you as you tour the downtown area. Parking garages are free on weekends. Click here to access driving and parking directions.

Sign Language

A sign language interpreter will be present at the event for those with hearing impairment.

Wheelchair Access to Wells Fargo Arena

The easiest and most direct access for those of you attending with disabilities or in wheelchairs is to use the North Entrance (Corner of 3rd and Crocker St). You will be on the ground level and can then enter the concourse and follow the platform identification. There will be no need for elevator use or a change of levels if you follow this plan.


The Diocese of Des Moines has 83 parishes in central and southwest Iowa. Gathered once a year is information on each parish such as phone number, fax, website and email address, Mass and reconciliation times and more. Arranged alphabetically by town, this information is made available in the fall through the Diocesan Directory.


Wells Fargo Arena provides a wide variety of options that will be available to attendees throughout the conference. If you would like to venture out, Greater Des Moines’ extensive menu of restaurants provides all of the options of a big city. Click Here

Local Amenities

While in Des Moines check out the many attractions: live theater, 850 restaurants, concerts, festivals, events and more. See what else Des Moines has to offer!







                                                                                                  Drury Inn & Suites
(800) 325-0720
5505 Mills Civic Pkwy
West Des Moines
$109.99 USD per night
Last day to book by: 8/24/2016
Book your group rate: Christ Our Life

Holiday Inn - Airport
(515) 287-2400
6111 Fleur Drive
Des Moines
$109.00 USD per night
Last day to book by: 9/2/2016
Book your group rate: Christ Our Life

Holiday Inn ~ Mercy Campus
(515) 283-0151
1050 Sixth Ave
Des Moines
$109.95 USD per night
Last day to book by: 8/24/2016
Book your group rate: Christ Our Life

Ramada Inn ~ Airport
(515) 287-6464
1810 Army Post Road.
Des Moines
$109.95 USD per night
Last day to book by:8/23/16
Book your group rate: Christ Our Life