Leave ‘comfort zone’ for God, men’s conference speaker says

BOSTON -- Catholic men should live, love and speak about the truth, said Catholic apologist Patrick Madrid who will speak at the Boston Catholic Men’s Conference on March 17. The third annual conference will be held at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in South Boston. The Boston Catholic Women’s Conference will be held in the same location on March 18.

Patrick Madrid, who will give two talks at the day-long conference, said that he hopes to inspire the men to witness to the truth in the workplace, social settings and their families.

“We live in a culture, especially in the United States, where we are conditioned to be quiet and not speak out on issues that are important,” he said.

Many times, people of faith are afraid to speak up because they may be perceived as pushing their faith on others, he added.

“That is a false message that society has put on us. We should speak out. We should be forthright and evangelical,” he said.

Madrid said that his talks are designed to help Catholic men know what to say and how to say it so that their words will have the maximum effect. He added that he would like his listeners to feel a sense of boldness and courage to be active apostles for Christ.

“There are miraculous things waiting to happen, according to God’s providence, that simply require us to be able to step out of our comfort zone,” he said.

Madrid worked in sales before he became involved in Catholic apologetics. He was the vice president at Catholic Answers from 1988-1995 and spent those years giving at least 1,000 seminars. He is the author of several books, started Envoy magazine in 1996 and is the host of four EWTN television and radio series. Recently, The Pilot began publishing a series of his columns entitled “Where’s That in the Bible?”

Patrick is currently com-pleting a master’s degree in theology at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Colum-bus, Ohio, where he lives with his wife Nancy. They have been married 26 years and have 11 children and three grandchildren.

Karl Wirth, a member of the men’s conference organization team and master of ceremonies for this year’s conference, said he hopes Madrid’s talks about the Catholic faith will leave the men with answers to questions they have and better prepared to answer questions from others.

“We invite everyone to really consider coming, to come hear Patrick and join us for this exciting day,” he said.

The goal of the conference is to give Catholic men in the Boston area the opportunity to gather during Lent and grow in their faith, he added.

Wirth compared membership in the Church to participating in a sports team. Players practice every week, but in order to take a big step forward for their team and for themselves, they attend annual training camps. In the same way, the men’s conference can be a time to take spiritual steps forward and gain a renewed energy to follow Jesus, he said.

That renewed energy will strengthen individual Catholic men as well as the entire Church team, he added.

Madrid said he is excited at the prospect of having a day of fellowship at the men’s conference.

“I’m certainly expecting to personally and spiritually receive a lot. I’m not there simply to give but to receive,” he said.

For more information on Patrick Madrid, visit www.patrickmadrid.com.