Where are the men in the Church? On Saturday, March 12th many Catholic men will be filling the Cathedral of St. Paul under the leadership of Archbishop John Nienstedt. On Saturdays men might be found doing a variety of things – some more noble than others. I believe that God is calling thousands of men to come to the Cathedral that day to worship Him, to be fed, to be healed, to be inspired and to inspire and to stand up as a witness to love of God. God calls us every day to be near to Him and to receive His love. He also calls us to go out and bring other men to Himself. In last week’s gospel, Jesus called us to be the salt of the earth. Salt in the wound doesn’t feel very good, but it does heal. I’d like to encourage you to be salt to every man you know. Invite them to this year’s men’s conference.
We have a great line up of speakers. Archbishop Nienstedt will address us regarding the important role of men in the Church. Dr. John Buri is a professor of psychology at the University of St. Thomas and author of “How to Love Your Wife”. Beside his professional training and experience Dr. Buri has years of experience leading men in their path toward holiness and in particular in being the man their wife needs them to be. David Rinaldi spend several years as an Air Force pilot before giving up this career to serve as program director for NET Ministries. One of his primary responsibilities is forming young men and women into mature Christian disciples who are truly ready to give one year of their life to bring Christ to high school and junior high students. Both of these men will talk about what they see in today’s men – their struggles, their weaknesses and their strengths. More importantly they will talk about how to become the men that God is calling us to be and that the Church needs us to be. They will also be addressing how we can serve in the formation of other men in our lives. What’s the goal? How can we reach it? What do I have for support?
The new chaplain for the Archdiocesan men’s apostolate, Fr. Bill Baer, will also be speaking. Fr. Baer has a great gift for public speaking and particularly in the realm of encouragement. Once the mission is set before us, he will gives the motivation to pursue it with all of our will. We will also hear briefly from Minnesota Wild favorite Wes Walz. Though most don’t it, Wes is a very devoted Catholic man. He’ll talk to us a bit about being a Catholic man and a hockey player.
The Archdiocese has been sponsoring men’s events for 10 years now. This year, however, is the first year a men’s conference will be held at the Cathedral itself. After every event we have sponsor, we hear, “This was great! Why weren’t there more men here?” This year, I hope the answer to that question is, “ There just wasn’t any more room.”?