November 18, 2011

Young men attend conference to deepen their faith and draw closer to Christ

Gus Lloyd, host of the Sirius XM radio program “Seize the Day” and author of A Minute in the Church, encouraged people attending the Indiana Catholic Men’s Conference at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis on Oct. 29 to devote at least 60 seconds a day to prayer. (Photo by Bryce Bennett)

Gus Lloyd, host of the Sirius XM radio program “Seize the Day” and author of A Minute in the Church, encouraged people attending the Indiana Catholic Men’s Conference at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis on Oct. 29 to devote at least 60 seconds a day to prayer. (Photo by Bryce Bennett)

By Bryce Bennett (Special to The Criterion)

One of the striking parts of the Indiana Catholic Men’s Conference on Oct. 29 was the number of young Catholics who attended, wanting to develop their faith and draw closer to Christ.

“There is a renewal happening right now in the Church,” said speaker Tim Staples, director of apologetics and evangelization at Catholic Answers, as he gave his “Truth or Consequences” talk.

Many young Catholics felt that sense of renewal during the conference at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis.

“I try to come every year,” said Paul Thoman, 18, a senior at St. Theodore Guérin High School in Noblesville, Ind., in the Lafayette Diocese. “I liked this year because the speakers were engaging and interesting.”

A major emphasis of the conference focused on what it means to be a Catholic male in the 21st century—and the dangers that can lead people away from God.

Some of the young men and the youths at the conference said they believe that today’s younger generation has different challenges in living their faith compared to their parents’ generation. The issue of technology was prevalent in the discussions, ranging from being considered a force of good to an instrument that can lead the modern Catholic male to lose his faith.

“In this age of information, people have no idea of humanity and who God is,” Staples said during the afternoon portion of the conference.

Asher McHaffie, 14, a freshman at Carmel High School in Carmel, Ind., in the Lafayette Diocese, agreed with Staples’ assessment.

“Younger people have grown up in a different society,” Asher said. “There are pressures every day, especially from technology. Modern technology can lead you astray from your faith.”

The solution for many young men is a return to the Bible and a life devoted to prayer, Staples said. He concluded that to be a “lion breathing fire”—the theme of the conference—one must be in tune with the Bible and Jesus’ teachings.

“We truly become lions breathing fire when we have the knowledge of the Bible within us,” he said.

Gus Lloyd, host of the Sirius XM radio program “Seize the Day” and author of A Minute in the Church, called on the men to devote at least 60 seconds of each day to prayer. He led the audience in a demonstration that praying the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be all could be done in less than 60 seconds.

“The 60-second challenge is something that is tangible, hands-on and will rock your world,” Lloyd said.

Young Catholic men often struggle to grow in their faith, according to Steven O’Keefe, 25, youth minister at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Carmel, Ind.

The advice they hear at the conference can help them to discover the faith and truth in their lives, he said.

“There are many young people out there that want to understand why they are here, and this conference helps with that discovery,” O’Keefe said. “As people learn more about the Church and its teachings, they become more faithful.” †

 

Related story: Conference participants encouraged to evangelize and be men of Christ

Local site Links:

Like this story? Then share it!