“At a moment of history in which the family is the object of numerous forces that seek to destroy it or in some way to deform it, and aware that the well-being of society and her own good are intimately tied to the good of the family, the Church perceives in a more urgent and compelling way her mission of proclaiming to all people the plan of God for marriage and the family….”


Including a performance of sacred music dedicated to the Blessed Mother by the Ensemble Laetare of Rhode Island. 


Family is the basis of civilization. Yet, as Pope St. John Paul II argued, the family is under assault in modern culture.
This June, join the Portsmouth Institute and prominent scholars, clergy, opinion-makers and community leaders for a thoughtful reflection on the nature of the family and its contributions to a flourishing civilization. Questions we will seek to answer include: Why does Christianity sacramentalize the husband-wife marital relationship? What influence does Aristotle’s conception of the oikos have on the Catholic understanding of family? What are the contemporary legal challenges to the traditional family? Does monasticism provide a blueprint for healthy family life? How does the Holy Family help us understand all families? How should Catholics respond compassionately but truthfully to the modern redefinition of marriage, family and sexual identity? How does the Church truthfully and charitably minister to those divorced and remarried? Together, we will explore the meaning of the Christian family—and begin to restore Christian culture.
Meet keynote speaker His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York; Mary Eberstadt (Faith and Reason Institute); Fr. Roger Landry (Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations); Brandon McGinley (ETWN Books); R.J. Snell (Witherspoon Institute); Jennifer Hubbard (Magnificat); and hundreds of attendees at beautiful Portsmouth Abbey on the shores of the Narragansett Bay in scenic Rhode Island.


Buy Tickets


Portsmouth Abbey and St. Louis Priory School First-Time Parent Attendees Receive 50% Discount: Use Discount Code PARENT18



Keynote Speaker: Timothy Cardinal Dolan

Timothy Dolan was named Archbishop of New York by Pope Benedict XVI on February 23, 2009.  He had served as Archbishop of Milwaukee, appointed there by Pope Saint John Paul II on June 25, 2002. Cardinal Dolan served as chairman of Catholic Relief Services, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of The Catholic University of America. He is also a member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, the Pontifical Council for Social Communications; and, at the Vatican, the Congregation for Eastern Churches, and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
Cardinal Dolan was elected to a three year term as president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, in November, 2010.  He now serves as chair of the Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life activities. On January 6, 2012, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI announced that Timothy Dolan was to be appointed to the College of Cardinals. Following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Dolan participated in the Conclave that elected Pope Francis in March, 2013.

Mary Eberstadt

Mary Eberstadt is a senior research fellow at the Faith and Reason Institute and author of several books including  How the West Really Lost God and Adam and Eve after the Pill.

Jennifer Hubbard

Jennifer Hubbard is a monthly contributor to Magnificat. The younger of her two children, Catherine Violet, was a victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012. As President of the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary, Jennifer, or Jenny, is committed to fulfilling her daughter’s dream of being a caretaker of all animals.

Fr. Roger Landry

Father Roger J. Landry is a priest of the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts who works for the Holy See’s Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations. An expert on John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, he was pastor of St. Bernadette Parish in Fall River and St. Anthony of Padua Parish in New Bedford, MA, as well as executive editor of The Anchor, the weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Fall River.

Brandon McGinley

Brandon McGinley is the Editor for EWTN Publishing and a columnist for Scottish Catholic Observer.  He is also the editor of The Joys and Challenges of Family Life: Catholic Husbands and Fathers Speak Out.


R.J. Snell

R.J. Snell is Director of the Center on the University and Intellectual Life at the Witherspoon Institute.  He is the author of Acedia and Its Discontents (Angelico, 2015).

Friday, June 15

3:00 PM: Conference Check-In
5:30 PM: Vespers in the Abbey Church
6:00 PM: Opening Reception
7:00 PM: Session 1: Dinner and Opening Address by Fr. Roger Landry
8:30 PM: Evening Hospitality in the Winter Garden

Saturday, June 16

9:00 AM: Session 2: Mary Eberstadt, Author and Fellow at the Faith and Reason Institute
10:30 AM: Session 3: Jennifer Hubbard, Magnificat Contributor and President, Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary

11:30 AM: Lunch
1:00 PM: Session 4: Panel on Catholic parenting moderated by Brandon McGinley, Editor, EWTN Books
2:30 PM: Musical Performance in the Abbey Church
4:00 PM: Premium Reception at Carnegie Abbey Club (Premium Registrants Only)
5:30 PM: Vespers
6:00 PM: Vigil Mass Celebrated by His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan in the Abbey Church
7:00 PM: Session 5: Dinner and Address by His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan in the Stillman Dining Hall
8:30 PM: Evening Hospitality in the Winter Garden

Sunday, June 17

9:30 AM: Conventual Mass in the Abbey Church
10:30 AM: Session 6: Brunch and Closing Address by R.J. Snell, Witherspoon Institute






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 advise that you bring the following:
Personal window fan
Shower Caddy
Toiletries and soap
Bathrobe and sandals (common bathrooms on each floor)
Holiday Inn – Room block available under “Portsmouth Abbey” (Middletown, RI)
Marriott Courtyard (Middletown, RI)
AirBnB (Aquidneck Island)


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


The Portsmouth Institute summer conference is hosted annually at the beautiful Abbey of Saint Gregory the Great (Portsmouth Abbey). Portsmouth Abbey is a community of Benedictine monks on Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island.  The monks’ mission is to seek God guided by the Gospel, the Rule of St. Benedict, and by prayer and work to sanctify themselves and their community.
The monastery was purchased in 1918 by Dom Leonard Sargent, an American monk of Downside Abbey in England and established formally in 1919 by Pope Benedict XV.  In keeping with the congregation’s early history, we run a college preparatory boarding school for boys and girls.  The monks also focus on scholarly and artistic work, hospitality, and liturgical observance.
The English Congregation of which Portsmouth Abbey is a member is the older of the Benedictine congregations.  It has canonical continuity with the first congregation erected in the 13th century by the Holy See.
The monks run schools attached to their monasteries and look after parishes near them.  In the United States, there are two other monasteries, one in Washington, DC (St. Anselm’s Abbey) and another in St. Louis (St. Louis Abbey).  Both run day schools for boys.
Fr Augustine Baker in the early 1600’s emphasized contemplative and mental prayer, a tradition that continues at Portsmouth and the other houses of the Benedictine Congregation.