Men of brave heart

Members of EWTN’s Crossing the Goal program Brian Patrick, Peter Herbeck, Danny Abramowicz and Curtis Martin will be featured speakers at the April 17 Boston Catholic Mens Conference. Courtesy photo

I love our Catholic faith.

That simple statement can sometimes be difficult for Catholic men to express, because in saying it, we may be asked to describe why we believe a complex aspect of our faith, explain a controversial teaching, or defend the Church in a culture that can often be hostile toward people of all faiths.

Loving and living our faith requires courage. The Boston Catholic Men’s Conference was founded six years ago as a simple step to strengthen the faith, courage, and solidarity of Catholic men in living our God-given vocations in the home, the Church and the world.

At the first men’s conference in 2005, one of the speakers articulated that “Christianity is a team sport” and that, to live it well, we need to “play team ball” and rely on the support of our teammates, other Christians, to help us grow in hope, love and faith. Because many men take pride in being self-reliant, the speaker suggested that relying on the help of others to grow in faith requires men of brave heart.

Through the grace of God, the first five men’s conferences have produced much good fruit. Many men have returned to the Sacrament of Confession. Many have returned to Mass or decided to attend Mass more frequently. Some men discerned a vocation to the priesthood or to the permanent diaconate after attending one of the conferences. Some of our world-renowned speakers have shared how much they were moved by the faith of the Catholic men here. Almost to a person, the men have been moved to be in the presence of thousands of other Catholic guys who are authentic, sincere, and down-to-earth -- men just like them.

The 2010 Boston Catholic Men’s Conference will be held April 17 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. We have invited the four leaders of EWTN’s Crossing the Goal program for men to be keynote speakers. Peter Herbeck will be speaking on ongoing conversion to be stronger disciples. Former NFL all-pro Danny Abramowicz will be addressing the topic of transformation to be more disciplined in living up to the high standards God intends for us all. Curtis Martin, the highest-rated speaker ever at our Men’s Conferences, returns to talk about our shared mission to live our faith in the world and to strive to do something beautiful for God. Catholic radio host Brian Patrick will facilitate a powerful question-and-answer session that will tackle a lot of the complex and challenging issues for Catholic men living their faith in 2010. Closing the conference will be Father Paul O’Brien, pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Lawrence, who will share the story of how a few Catholics in Lawrence, concerned with growing homelessness and hunger, founded the Cor Unum Meal center -- one of the most inspiring stories in our archdiocese over the past decade.

As a reader of this article, you are likely someone that takes your faith seriously. Please consider buying one of the few hundred remaining tickets for a Catholic man in your life that you hope can be renewed or strengthened in his faith. Through the inspirational experience at the conference and through the grace of God, this little investment on your part may change the course of someone’s life forever.

Please see the Conference website, www.CatholicBoston.com, for more information or to purchase tickets. Also, please pray for all the men that will be attending the Conference on April 17. God bless you.

Scot Landry is one of the organizers of the Boston Catholic Men’s and Women’s Conferences. He is also Secretary for Institutional Advancement at the Archdiocese of Boston.

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