Diocesan News

Men’s Conference Encourages ‘Taking the Lead’

LINCOLN (SNR) - Created by men, for men, the fourth annual conference hosted by the men’s fellowship of Lincoln’s Saint Joseph parish promises a day of spiritual inspiration, fun and good food.

Titled “Raising the Bar,” the event will be held Saturday, March 27 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the parish hall. The agenda includes Mass celebrated by Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz and opportunities for adoration and the sacrament of Reconciliation. Lunch will be catered by Lincoln’s popular Valentino’s restaurant.
This year, the conference speakers are Peter Herbeck, Curtis Martin and the Diocese of Lincoln’s own Father Brian Kane.

Mr. Herbeck and Mr. Martin will each deliver an address and lead breakout sessions, where there is more chance of questions and answers.

Peter Herbeck is a well-known author and broadcast personality. He is vice president and director of missions for Renewal Ministries and co-hosts a weekly television program on EWTN called “The Choices We Face” as well as a daily radio program, “Fire on the Earth.”

His expertise is in helping laypeople discover their role in what Pope John Paul II called the “new evangelism.” Men who attended last year’s conference were very enthusiastic about Mr. Herbeck’s message.

“He’s definitely back by popular demand,” said Matt Hecker, one of the coordinators of the event.

Curtis Martin is president and founder of FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. FOCUS is currently one of the fastest growing programs in the Catholic Church.

Mr. Martin is an award-winning speaker, employing humor, memorable stories, and personal anecdotes to encourage listeners to live out their faith in God.
“We’re just very excited about what he can do for the conference,” Mr. Hecker said.

Following these presentations and the breakout sessions, conference attendees will enjoy a delicious (and man-pleasing) meal catered by Valentino’s.

Then, they will regroup to hear from Father Kane, principal of Bishop Neumann High School in Wahoo. He currently is preparing to begin a one-year tour of duty in Iraq as a military chaplain. His special talk, entitled, “My Last Homily,” will lead into adoration and confession.

Bishop Bruskewitz will close the eventful day with Mass.

“I’m looking forward to it,” said Mr. Hecker.

Each year, more men and their high school or college age sons have signed up for the conference. This is a testament to the quality of the speakers and the structure of the conference.

“The real issue is that if we’re meeting the needs of men, hopefully men will respond positively,” Mr. Hecker said.

The Saint Joseph men’s fellowship is a loosely organized group that presents various events to encourage community and spiritual growth among men. It includes Bible study, sports leagues, community service opportunities, a quarterly breakfast featuring an interesting speaker, etc.

The annual conference is open to men of all parishes who wish to further their understanding of their roles as spiritual leaders in their homes, on the job, in their parishes and in the community at large.

Organizers intentionally plan the conference to give “regular guys” the opportunity to bolster their faith in a setting that they find appealing. Speakers are selected for their ability to inspire men and provide productive breakout sessions. Even the choice of caterer was based on a desire to serve the meal (and quantities) that men enjoy.

Post-conference feedback has been consistently positive.

The pre-registration cost is $20 per adult and $10 for each high school or college student with a school ID with a family cap of $40. Tickets at the door cost $5 more. This fee includes a continental breakfast, a buffet lunch and snacks, all catered by Valentino’s.

Men who would like to attend the conference can pre-register by calling Ken at 402-432-3571 or by completing an online form at www.stjosephlnk.org.

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