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NASPA 2023 Convention

This September 19 - 21, we will gather at The National Shrine of the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle near the southern border of Texas. Our Theme for this year is "Welcoming the Pilgrim" Don’t miss this opportunity to collaborate with other NASPA members at this Beautiful Shrine. 

Every year we gather together with fellow shrine directors, staff and pilgrimage leaders to reaffirm our efforts to serve in our apostolate. This year's theme, "Welcoming the Pilgrim" focuses on our Shrines' role to be places of welcome to all, especially to the marginalized and the outcast. 

"Every pilgrim should be welcomed to a shine, especially after many will have taken a difficult journey to reach their destination." - Pope Frances 2016



NASPA Annual Convention 2023 “Welcoming the Pilgrim”

Tentative Schedule

Tuesday, September 19

  • 3:00 p.m. - Guest Check-in begins (Renewal Center)

  • 4:00 p.m. - Optional Tour of the Shrine (tentative)

  • 5:30 p.m. - Bilingual Mass (Shrine)

  • 6:30 p.m. - Opening Dinner -Sponsored by Verso Ministries- (Renewal Center)

  • 7:30 p.m. - Opening Keynote - “Welcoming the Pilgrim” Sponsored by Lumen Mundi (Renewal Center)

    • Auxiliary Bishop Mario Aviles, C.O. 

  • 8:30 p.m. - Social (Renewal Center)


Wednesday, September 20

  • 7:45 a.m. - Breakfast (Renewal Center)

  • 8:30 a.m. - Visit and volunteer event at Catholic Charities (Respite Center)

  • 9:00 a.m. - Talk Sponsored by National Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

    • Sr. Norma Pimentel

  • 12:30 p.m. - lunch (Renewal Center)

  • 2:00 p.m. - Keynote Session: Shrine Hospitality - Weaving Welcome Through all aspects of the Shrine experience. Sponsored by Lawrence Direct Marketing

    • Mary Jo Timlin-Hoag

  • 4:00 p.m. - Optional Stain Glass Museum Tour (Gelman Stain Glass Museum)

  • 6:00 p.m. - Social Outing TBD


Thursday, September 21

  • 6:30 a.m. - Mass (Shrine)

  • 7:45 a.m. - Breakfast (Basilica Café)

  • 8:30 a.m. - Roundtable A: Advancing your mission through marketing, fundraising, and financial stewardship. Sponsored by Saint John Paul II National Shrine (Conference Room -TBD)

  • Andrew Robison from Petrus Development

  • 9:45 a.m. - Break

  • 10:00 a.m. - Roundtable B - Best practices for hiring, employee development, and employee retention (Conference Room -TBD)

    • Jody Armstrong

  • 11:15 a.m. - Break

  • 11:30 a.m - NASPA Business Meeting, with lunch (Conference Room -TBD)

  • 1:00 p.m. - Departure

  • Afternoon/Evening social for guests departing Friday

Convention Speakers

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Tuesday, September 19th
7:30 p.m. - Opening Keynote “Welcoming the Pilgrim”

Bishop Mario A. Avilés, C.O. was born in Mexico City on September 16, 1969. The son of Rafael and María Guadalupe, he joined the Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in 1986.

His studies to the priesthood took him initially to Mexico City, México and then to Rome where he received his bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Sacred Theology at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum. READ MORE

Wednesday, September 20th
9:00 a.m. Catholic Charities Respite Center

Norma Pimentel is a Sister with the Missionaries of Jesus. As Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley for over 12 years, she oversees the charitable arm of the Diocese of Brownsville, providing oversight of the different ministries & services in the areas of the Rio Grande Valley through emergency assistance, homelessness prevention, disaster relief, clinical counseling, pregnancy care, food programs, and the Humanitarian Respite Center. READ MORE

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Wednesday, September 20th
2:00 p.m. - Shrine Hospitality

Mary Jo Timlin-Hoag is the CEO of the Basilica Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal and the
Central Association of the Miraculous Medal.
She joined the Shrine and CAMM Teams in 2018 after a successful career in corporate healthcare. Since
joining, she has led several initiatives to modernize the Shrine and CAMM’s operations and
communications while remaining true to the organization’s mission. Most recently, Mary Jo led the
industry in pursuing and achieving Minor Basilica status for the Shrine. She was also instrumental in
developing and implementing the Beyond Sunday Program and the new St Vincent Rosary Walk.

Thursday, September 21st
8:30 am - Advancing your Mission through Marketing, Fundraising and Finacial Stewardship

Andrew Robison is the owner and president of Petrus Development. He lives in College Station, Texas with his wife Cheryl and kids Annabel, Nora, Luke, and Ellie. Andrew loves woodworking, training for triathlons, and watching Survivor. Andrew is an alum of Texas A&M and is a huge Aggie sports fan! READ MORE

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Thursday, September 21st
10:00 a.m. - Employee Retention

At His Way At Work, Jody serves as Ops & Coach Support Manager.  As a coach, he counsels business owners and their leaders in developing, aligning, and executing their Vision for Caring, Purpose, Mission, and Core Values in a way that creates a caring company culture that has the opportunity to change the lives of employees and their families.  He has coached 30+ companies in more than 45 locations.​ Prior to joining HWAW, Jody spent 30 years working in some of the world’s premier food service supply chain systems.  He currently resides in Upstate, SC with his wife and has two adult sons.


It is recommended that convention attendees who plan to fly, choose McAllen International Airport. The Shrine of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle will provide transportation to and from the airport as well as to any off-campus events. 


Thank you to our
2023 Convention Sponsors

Pilgrim Level Sponsors

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Become a Sponsor

Choose to support the 2023 NASPA Convention at three different levels.

Journey, Pilgrim and Faith. 

Journey Level Sponsors

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Faith Level Sponsors

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