October 5, 2012

Seventh annual Catholic men’s conference set for Oct. 20

By Sean Gallagher

Hundreds of Catholic men from across the state will gather on Oct. 20 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis for the seventh annual Indiana Catholic Men’s Conference.

This year’s conference will feature several speakers, including George Weigel, distinguished senior fellow at the Washington-based Ethics and Public Policy Center and a biographer of Blessed John Paul II.

Father Michael Lightner, a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, will also be a speaker at the conference. Before discerning a call to the priesthood, Father Lightner was a National Football League prospect as a standout offensive lineman at Eastern Michigan University.

A Marian pilgrimage that he went on, however, changed his life forever.

Mark Houck, co-founder and president of The King’s Men, an organization dedicated to helping Catholic men grow deeper in their faith, will also speak at the conference.

Gus Lloyd, host of “Seize the Day” on Sirius XM satellite radio, is another conference speaker.

Although raised in the Catholic faith, Lloyd left the Church for a time. He and his family later returned after one of his daughters almost drowned.

Mike Fox, a member of St. Pius X Parish in Indianapolis, has been a conference organizer since its inception. Although he has participated in six conferences, he knows from experience that he will learn something new and be strengthened in his faith with each new gathering.

“I have said from the beginning that the conference is Holy Spirit driven, and we are not in charge,” Fox said. “We seem to always have the right speakers for the time and year even though we often wanted to bring in a different speaker. After the talks, we often say, ‘Wow, now we know why that speaker was to be in Indianapolis to give a talk.’ ”

Fox said he thinks this year’s conference can be especially helpful for Catholic men to respond to the growing challenge to the Church and religious freedom in society and governments at various levels.

“We are seeing a very big challenge to our Church all over the world and, of course, in our country—the Church and its charities as well as schools are under direct attack by the HHS [Department of Health and Human Services] mandate, the demeaning of the institution of marriage and, of course, the taking of innocent of human life,” Fox said. “Many good Catholics do not know why the Catholic Church stands firm with many issues. It is all of our responsibility to learn why. I am sure that some of this will be addressed in some of the talks at the conference.”

The 2012 Indiana Catholic Men’s Conference will begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 4:30 p.m. In addition to the speakers, the conference will also include Mass, eucharistic adoration and the opportunity for the sacrament of reconciliation.

For men who register before Oct. 8, the cost of the conference will be $45 per person or $40 per person for groups of 10 or more. The registration fee increases to $50 on Oct. 9.

Student registration is $25 per person. Seminarians and priests can attend the conference free of charge.

Lunch is guaranteed for all who register before the day of the event.

(For more information about the 2012 Indiana Catholic Men’s Conference or to register, log on to www.indianacatholicmen.com or call 317-924-3982 or 317-888-0873.)

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