Partners in Outreach Conference, 2016

Partners in Outreach is an annual conference that brings together people who are called to serve communities in need. Each year, it connects them to social service experts who share industry best practices and shed light on the societal complexities reflected throughout our region. Through information sharing, both academic and cultural, Partners in Outreach provides a holistic approach to service, activates impact, and encourages each guest to better define a sense of community.

Save the DateThis year’s conference focuses on the many barriers people face on the road to stability, wellness, and independence – mirroring the programs of Episcopal Community Services. After Morning Prayer and opening remarks from our executive director, guests will hear the personal journey of this year’s keynote speaker, The Rev. Domenic Rossi, O. Praem, founder of Bethesda Project, who answered his call to serve Philadelphians in need. Next, a brief lecture will expose the misconceptions of today’s most vulnerable populations. Following lunch, attendees will participate in a workshop of their choice, led by industry experts and people who have personally persevered through distressing times.




Welcome and Opening Remarks
David E. Griffith
Executive Director, Episcopal Community Services

Keynote Address: To Be Family With Those Who Have None
The Rev. Domenic Rossi, O. Praem
Founder, Bethesda Project

Poverty, Opportunity, and Rethinking the American Dream
Mary Alice Duff, MSS, MLSP
Chief of Staff, Episcopal Community Services


Interactive Break-Out Sessions:

Being the Change
Victoria Bennett, MHS
Chief Inclusion and Advocacy Officer, Episcopal Community Services

Jane J. O’Neill Award Presentation for Outstanding Service


Meet the Keynote

Rev. Domenic A. Rossi, O. Praem. BioFr. Domenic Rossi was ordained a Catholic priest in 1974 and is a member of Daylesford Abbey of the Norbertine Order.  In 1979, with the help of a prayer group that he led at the Abbey, he founded Bethesda Project – a ministry to the homeless of Philadelphia.  Starting with one residence for homeless women suffering from mental illness, Bethesda Project has grown into a premiere provider of compassionate service to the homeless operating out of 12 facilities ranging from shelters through permanent supportive residences serving over 2,500 different individuals per year.

In 1991 with his assignment to a parish in Albuquerque, Fr. Domenic left direct ministry to the homeless but felt God’s inspiration to reach out to the large Hispanic immigrant population there.  In 1997 Fr. Rossi was called back by his community to become pastor of St. Norbert Parish in Paoli where he gave special attention to youth and adult evangelization and renewal. In 2010 he was asked by the Board of Directors to return to Bethesda Project as Executive Director. In 2013 he received the St. Norbert College Alma Mater Award – “for a lifetime of service to those in need.”

In 2014 he was made Pastor of Saint Gabriel Church in the Grays Ferry section of Philadelphia. Although he retired from his full-time responsibilities at Bethesda Project in April 2015, Father Domenic continues to assist in that ministry and serves on its Board of Directors. He has written a book, “Listening to God’s Whispers,” describing his personal spiritual journey.