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Neumann Faculty Member, Student
to Participate in New Evangelization Panel

Dr. Mary Beth Yount and Kellie Waters


Dr. Mary Beth Yount, assistant professor of theology at Neumann University, and freshman Kellie Waters will represent Neumann at The Joy of the Gospel, a series of panel discussions based on Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation of the same name. The programs will be held on consecutive Saturdays from January 17 through February 14, following 5:15 p.m. Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia.


Yount and Waters will participate in the January 17 panel. It will focus of the first chapter of The Joy of the Gospel, which addresses “The Church’s Missionary Transformation.”


In a synopsis of the document, News.VA, the official Vatican news agency, uses the Holy Father’s words to explain the focus of the work. “The joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus . . . I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy, while pointing out new paths for the Church’s journey in years to come.” According to News.VA, the document is a heartfelt appeal to all baptized persons to bring Christ’s love to others, to be “permanently in a state of mission,” and to conquer “the great danger in today’s world,” that of an individualist “desolation and anguish.”

Each program will open with a reading of excerpts from The Joy of the Gospel,” followed by a panel discussion to explain the “New Evangelization” and how families can put Pope Francis’ words into action.


“I am really excited about this presentation,” said Dr. Yount, “I cannot wait to dialogue with the moderator and with Kellie about what it means to be a human being created in God’s image and to be loving as God is loving. Our understanding of what it means to be human is at the root of our understanding of our mission, our purpose for living. Knowing that God created each one of us for a special purpose can mean so much to people, both because it impacts the way we make our own life choices, and because it affects the way that we treat and think about others. Pope Francis emphasizes, in a very meaningful way, that part of our human purpose is to reach out, to evangelize and touch the lives of others. I will ensure that the participants in the symposium leave with some great ‘takeaways’: practical tips such as how to discern life choices and how to help meet the needs of others in one’s parish or, especially, those outside of it. We can all stretch ourselves to care for everyone we meet more completely and lovingly.”


Dr. Yount also expressed enthusiasm about having the “young adult voice” represented in the first-year Neumann University student, Kellie Waters, who is accompanying her. “Kellie is an intelligent, articulate young woman who will be able to speak with conviction from her lived experience and its interaction with her deep faith. Her contributions to the discussion will help us all grow in understanding, enthusiasm, and compassion.” 


Dr. Yount is an internationally known theologian who has presented and written on topics related to the family, parenting, and education. She was recently appointed as director of content and programming for the World Meeting of Families, scheduled for Philadelphia in September 2015. As an assistant professor of pastoral and theological studies at Neumann, she has taught courses related to theological anthropology, marriage and the family, ethics, morality, ecclesiology, scripture, and Church history.


The Knights of Columbus, Men’s and Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, and St. Helena Church (Philadelphia) Evangelization Committee are sponsoring the series.


To register, email your name, phone number, and number of people expected to attend to




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