LINCOLN (SNR) - North American Martyrs Church in Lincoln hosted a “Men’s Night” April 27.
The event was called “Into The Breach,” and was inspired by Bishop Thomas Olmsted’s apostolic exhortation of the same title. More than 100 men from more than a dozen different parishes attended.
The night started with a holy hour, including a meditation on male spiritual leadership by Father Brian Connor, pastor of North American Martyrs. After the holy hour, the men moved to the parish hall for a catered meal and three short talks on male spirituality.
Seth Weidel, now a FOCUS missionary at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, spoke about his conversion to a deeper Catholic faith when he was approached by a FOCUS missionary during his freshman year at UNL. The FOCUS missionary helped open Scripture to Seth’s fairly sedentary spiritual life and the effect was a profound conversion for Seth which has continued to grow since that day.
Because of his growing faith, he said he now strives to introduce students to a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ just as he had been introduced several years ago.
Herb Reese of Lincoln spoke about how his Catholic faith matured once he and his wife started their family. It was then that Herb realized he was placing too much importance on financial success and worldly entertainment and possessions and too little attention to his faith in Jesus Christ, he said.
Herb talked about how his conversion has led to a much deeper life of prayer as well as a number of very fruitful endeavors within the diocese such as Leadership Camp, Campin’ With the Marians, Regnum Christi and others.
Vern Steiner of Lincoln spoke about his long journey to the Catholic Church by way of evangelical Christianity. A large part of Vern’s conversion to Catholicism came from his love of Scripture and, eventually, his study of the early Church. Through his extensive study, Vern came to understand that the Catholic Church has always taught and continues to teach the fullness of the truth. While he remains very thankful for his evangelical roots, he is excited and very thankful to have found a home in the Catholic Church.
After dinner, the men returned to the church for Benediction. The hymns were led by the Augustinian Choir of St. Cecilia Church in Hastings.
One of the purposes of the event was to bring Catholic men together to strengthen each other in prayer, witness and brotherhood.
A second purpose was to introduce Lincoln-area men to an upcoming event at the Newman Center in Lincoln: “Faith & Reason Distilled – A Seminar for Catholic Men” will take place at the Newman Center Saturday, June 18. The event starts at 1 p.m., and includes short talks by Father Joseph Faulkner, Father Michael Zimmer, Matt Simmons, Martin Canon and Ed Morse.
Attendees will have a ribeye steak dinner, a free whisky and bourbon demonstration and tasting and the opportunity to stock up on books, CDs and devotionals that will be available during breaks. The seminar will conclude with Mass at 8 p.m. in St. Thomas Aquinas Church, celebrated by Father Michael Zimmer. Although the seminar is for men ages 16 and older, all are invited to the 8 p.m. Mass.