August 29, 2014

Indiana Catholic Men’s Conference on Sept. 20 seeks to build faith

By Sean Gallagher

Catholic speakers from near and far will help strengthen the faith of Catholic men from across the state on Sept. 20 at the 2014 Indiana Catholic Men’s Conference in Indianapolis.

In addition to a full slate of speakers, the conference will include a midday Mass with Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin serving as the liturgy’s homilist. After lunch, eucharistic adoration and Benediction will take place in the afternoon. The sacrament of reconciliation will be available throughout the conference.

Marians of the Immaculate Conception Father Michael Gaitley will give two presentations during the event.

“The people who know of him have raved about him,” said conference organizer Mike Fox, a member of St. Pius X Parish in Indianapolis. “He’s a younger priest, in his 30s. He’s written several books. He’s very, very dynamic. He is definitely one [speaker] that people are excited about.”

Father Michael’s religious community is based in Stockbridge, Mass. Another speaker, Hector Molina, is a staff apologist for Catholic Answers, a Catholic apologetics and evangelization organization in El Cajon, Calif.

Fox is looking forward to hearing Molina explain the Church’s teachings related to various controversial issues facing society today—marriage redefinition, pro-life issues and others related to religious liberty.

“He’ll touch on quite a few things that will be very helpful for us everyday Catholics—to help us know more about why the Church believes what it believes,” Fox said.

Other speakers come from central Indiana. Deacon Rick Wagner, vice president for mission and ministry at Bishop Chatard High School in Indianapolis, will talk to conference attendees about the importance of fatherhood.

Father Brian Dudzinski, pastor of St. John Vianney Parish in Fishers, Ind., in the Lafayette Diocese, will give a reflection during a period of eucharistic adoration. Father Patrick Beidelman, executive director of the archdiocesan Secretariat for Spiritual Life and Worship, will welcome the conference participants and lead them in prayer to open the event.

Ken Ogorek, archdiocesan director of catechesis, will serve as the conference’s master of ceremonies.

This is the first time that the men’s conference has been held since 2012. Fox said that the fact that it wasn’t held in 2013 revealed how important it is for many Catholic men across the state.

“There are men in groups from different parishes that look forward to that day,” Fox said. “There’s a pilgrimage group of two busloads from Evansville coming up.

“They just really enjoy it because we’ve had a history of very dynamic speakers. Even if you don’t know who they are [in advance], you walk away and go, ‘Wow. That was a wonderful day because we learned about our faith, and we heard about it from some great presenters.’ ”

Fox encouraged men interested in the conference to bring friends or relatives with them. He likened it to the way many people prefer going to sports events with other people.

“There are a lot of people who want to come, but they don’t really want to go by themselves,” Fox said. “And especially for those people who have come before, invite somebody who hasn’t attended it.”

This year’s event will take place at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, 350 W. Maryland St., in Indianapolis. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. and the conference will conclude at 4:30 p.m.

Registration for the conference, which is sponsored by the Marian Center of Indianapolis, is $45 per person, $40 per person in groups of 10 or more and $25 per person for students. Clergy and seminarians may attend free of charge.

(To learn more about the 2014 Indiana Catholic Men’s Conference or to register, log on to or call 317-888-0873.)

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