Marian Center to host first Indiana
Catholic Men’s Conference

By Sean Gallagher

Men in parishes across the archdiocese are growing in their faith through renewal programs like Christ Renews His Parish and Cursillo and through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.

In response to this, the Marian Center in Indianapolis will host the first Indiana Catholic Men’s Conference from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 23 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis.

The title of the conference is “Lions Breathing Fire: Why be Catholic?” It is taken from a homily of St. John Chrysostom, where the fourth-century saint described what people should be like after receiving Communion:

“[Christ] has allowed those who desire him not only to see him, but even to touch, and eat him … Let us then return from that table like lions breathing fire, having become terrible to the devil; thinking … about the love which he has shown to us.”

Mike Fox, a member of St. Pius X Parish in Indianapolis, is helping to organize the conference. He thinks that it will help men apply their faith more strongly in their everyday lives.

“This type of an event can help men grow closer to Christ, and become better husbands and fathers,” he said. “We hear from different people that that’s something that they would like to have an opportunity to do.”

Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein will open the conference by welcoming participants. Other archdiocesan speakers will be Father Jonathan Meyer, director of the archdiocesan Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, and Father Daniel Mahan, executive director of the Marian College Center for Catholic Stewardship in Indianapolis.

National speakers will be Tim Staples, a staff apologist at the San Diego-based Catholic Answers; Bowie Kuhn, the former commissioner of Major League Baseball; Franciscan Father Francis Mary Stone, the host of the Eternal Word Television Network’s show “Life on the Rock”; and the Rev. Jerry Kirk of Cincinnati, the founder and chairman of the board of the National Coalition for the Protection of Families and Children, an anti-pornography organization.

In a recent telephone interview, Kirk said he planned to share with the conference’s participants “God’s call to sexual purity,” and to give them practical advice to help keep themselves and their families safe from the “tsunami of the sexualizing of America.”

Kirk noted that Catholics have traditions that are helpful in this regard.

“You all have some special gifts, frankly, in confession and in spiritual directors and mentors that Protestants so often don’t have,” he said.

For Kirk, a Presbyterian pastor for 50 years, to be speaking before an audience largely made up of Catholic men is not unusual.

He has been involved for many years in ecumenical activities in the fight against pornography. In particular, he has worked closely with Cardinal William Keeler of Baltimore.

Kirk noted that four of the 10 most influential people in his life have been Catholics: Cardinal Keeler, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, Pope John Paul II and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.

Kirk described the ecumenical outreach among Catholics and other Christians in protecting families as “important as anything happening in the country.”

“I believe that we are facing such a massive assault of pornography from the Internet, through the wireless industry,” he said. “In these next months and years, every child in America will be impacted, either directly or indirectly.

“And so I’m going to call these men to not only stand up and allow Christ to purify their own lives, but to enter in to the battle that is necessary to reclaim virtue in America.”

Mass is included in the conference schedule. The primary celebrant will be the archdiocesan vicar general, Msgr. Joseph F. Schaedel. Priests will be available for confession throughout the day.

There is an early-bird fee of $35 per person for those who register before Sept. 6. The fee increases to $40 per person after that date. The fee for high school and college students is $15. Clergy and seminarians may attend at no charge.

All registrations received before Sept. 18 will include lunch.

Walk-in registrations on the day of the event are also welcome.

(For more information about the Indiana Catholic Men’s Conference, call 317-924-3982 or 317-888-0873. To register online or to gain more information about the conference, log on to †


Local site Links: