Thank you for a successful summer conference!

Featuring Keynote Speaker

Robert P. George

McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University


(Registration Deadline: June 3)


June 10-12, 2016

Portsmouth Abbey
285 Cory’s Lane
Portsmouth, Rhode Island 02871

Conference Description
Additional Speakers
Conference Schedule
Registration Rates
Hotels & Accommodations
Area Attractions



Conference Description

Despite the language of religious freedom and tolerance, the reality is that to be a Christian in the 21st century West can be perilous. In movies, television, literature, fashion, and education, secular culture demands of us a privatization of our faith. Attempts to express our faith are often treated with suspicion, mockery, or even contempt.

But as Saint Paul tells us, this should not stop us from courageously expressing our faith and bringing others to the light of Christ. Indeed, in his Letter to the Corinthians, Paul recounts the dangers he faced in sharing the Gospel:

“Five times at the hands of the Jews I received forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I passed a night and a day on the deep; on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my own race, dangers from Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers at sea, dangers among false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many sleepless nights, through hunger and thirst, through frequent fastings, through cold and exposure. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.” (2 Cor 11:24-27)

And Christ Himself tells us that “If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” (Jn 15:18-20)

What Jesus and Saint Paul are telling us is that against the pressures of the world, faith without courage will falter. And in our current age, against “the principalities and powers” of secular culture, it is the virtue of Christian courage that is perhaps most needed.

That is why the Portsmouth Institute’s 2016 Summer Conference will explore the topic Christian Courage in a Secular Age. Join us and seek answers to important questions, including how do we courageously raise Catholic families? How should Christianity influence public discourse? How are we to understand and support the plight of persecuted Christians around the world, especially in the Middle East? As religious liberty becomes more narrowly defined, how do we continue to live as both Americans and Christians? How do we emulate the courage of the saints?

Speaker Roster

Keynote: Robert P. George, Princeton University
Holly Taylor Coolman, Providence College
John Henry Crosby, Hildebrand Project
James V. Kearney, Foundation for the Global Compact
Fr. Benedict Kiely, Diocese of Burlington &
Heather King, Author of Shirt of Flame: A Year with St. Therese of Lisieux
Brandon McGinley, EWTN Publishing, Inc.
David Mills, Ethika Politika
Mother Olga, Daughters of Mary of Nazareth

Daniel Philpott, University of Notre Dame
William Rooney, Attorney, New York City
Sister Constance Veit, Little Sisters of the Poor

A full conference program will be available shortly. 

Conference Schedule

Click here for a program.*

*Schedule is subject to change. 

Registration Rates

Member Rates:

• Guardian Society Member: 2 Complimentary Premium Registrations (enter coupon code on registration page)

• Patron’s Guild Member: 1 Complimentary Premium Registration (enter coupon code on registration page)

• Sponsoring Member: 30% off Premium or Standard Registration (enter coupon code on registration page)

Members received discount code via email. If you are a member and you have not received your discount code, please email

Not a member? Become one here.

Premium: $425

• Invitations to premium-registrant-only cocktail receptions with featured speakers throughout weekend

• VIP seating at Friday and Saturday dinner and Sunday brunch programming

• One complimentary book

• Access to all conference sessions

• Meals throughout the weekend

Standard: $275

• Access to all conference sessions

• Meals throughout the weekend

Clergy and Religious: $150

• One Standard Registration

Teacher: $150

• One Standard Registration (open to K-12 and university professors)

Student and Young Adult: $75

• One Standard Registration (open to any one ages 18-35)

Hotels and Accommodations

Portsmouth Abbey Dormitories (select on registration form):

$75/night single-occupancy
$125/night double-occupancy

Linens including sheets and pillow are provided. Please note that this is DORM STYLE accommodations, with common bathrooms and dorm room furniture. If you prefer more comfortable accommodations, please see our hotel listing below.

If you choose to stay in the dormitories, we advice that you bring the following:

Personal window fan
Shower Caddy
Toiletries and soap
Bathrobe and sandals (common bathrooms on each floor)

Marriott Courtyard – Room block available under “Portsmouth Abbey” (Middletown, RI)
Holiday Inn (Middletown, RI)
Hyatt Regency (Newport, RI)
AirBnB (Aquidneck Island)

Area Attractions

Newport Mansions
Green Animals Topiary Garden
Newport Art Museum
Redwood Library and Athenæum
Downtown Newport, RI
Downtown Bristol, RI


Join us for prayer, conversation, and contemplation
at beautiful Portsmouth Abbey