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February 12, 2018

7 Reasons to attend the Diocesan Men’s Conference

Could it be here already? The 2018 Diocesan Men’s Conference!

Yes, the time is now to register for what has become the largest annual diocesan event in the Diocese of Harrisburg. Last year, 1,100 men registered for and attended the Men’s Conference.

This year’s conference will be March 10 at Bishop McDevitt High School in Harrisburg. The theme is “Men of Mary, Mercy, and the Eucharist.” This conference will emphasize the absolute centrality that the Eucharist must have in our lives as Catholic men if we are going to bear fruit, and that Mary is the most direct path to the merciful Heart of Christ.

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This year’s will be the seventh of what has, since 2014, been an annual event. Seven is an important number in the Bible. It signifies fulfillment, completeness, perfection. We certainly don’t claim anything near perfection, but we do have one impressive Men’s Conference that continues to grow every single year. Here, in no particular order, is a Top Seven List of Reasons to Attend the Men’s Conference.

Fellowship with 1,000+ Men – The conference has grown every year. Many who are reading this remember the 1980s sitcom, “Cheers.” There was a line in the theme song that went, “…Taking a break from all your worries it sure would help a lot. Wouldn’t you like to get away? Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came…”

At this conference, you can take a break from your worries, get away for a while and have fellowship with 1,000 men who will be glad you came. And everyone gets a nametag, so everyone will know your name.

Great Keynoter – Father Chris Alar, MIC, is a dynamic and knowledgeable speaker and one of the foremost authorities on the Divine Mercy apparitions and message. After answering God’s call to the priesthood, Father Chris entered the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, a religious community entrusted with spreading the message and devotion of Divine Mercy. He lives in Stockbridge, Mass., home of the National Shrine of Divine Mercy, where he serves as Director of the Association of Marian Helpers. His presentation will break open the theme of the conference, with concrete specifics on how true devotion to Mary, complete trust in the mercy of God, and adoration of Jesus in the Eucharist are the keys to happy, blessed and fruitful lives.

Gold-Medal Panel of Workshops and Presenters – Normally we would use the term blue-ribbon here, but since it is an Olympic Year, we’ll go with Gold Medal. We have many outstanding priests and laymen from within and outside of our diocesan boundaries who are presenting this year, including Bishop Ronald Gainer, who is giving a workshop entitled, “Leading after the Example of Jesus.” Just a few of the other workshop titles include: Prayer for the Busy Man, The Four Last Things, The Power of Catholic Books, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Life in the Spirit, the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist, Defense Against the Dark Arts of Heresy, Our Lady of Fatima’s Message for Today, Angels and Demons, Book of Revelation, History of the Pro-Life Movement in the USA, and Biblical Apologetics. Please see the website www.hbgdiocese.org/men for more details.

Confession: Washed Clean by the Blood of the Lamb – Maybe you go to Confession regularly. Maybe you don’t. Maybe you have not been to Confession since your first Confession. There is no sin too great, no amount of sins too many, no period of time too long to return to Jesus, our compassionate, Eternal High Priest. Whatever your personal situation, there will be more than 25 priests on hand to hear Confessions throughout the day. He is waiting for you. Don’t miss the grace!

Breaking Bread, Conversation, and Relaxation – Attendees will be fed well by Two Gals Catering, which will provide tasty breakfast fare and a hearty lunch. After lunch, you will be able to peruse the wares of a wide variety of Catholic vendors, or just relax and talk with friends, new or old.

The Holy Eucharist: Font of Mercy – The Eucharistic Holy Hour is one of the most powerful moments of the day. At the end of the conference each year, many comment on how powerful it was to hear the voices of 1,000 men strong raised in praise and adoration of the Lord as we sing together O Salutaris, Tantum Ergo, Holy God We Praise Thy Name and then chant the Divine Praises. This, and all the day’s events, culminate in the greatest reality this side of Heaven, namely, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the principal celebrant of which is our Chief Shepherd, Bishop Gainer.

The Fruits – Many men have told us through the years, both in oral and written form, what a great day this is and how important and even life-changing it has been for them and, in some cases, for their families. We have heard from many pastors the great feedback they have gotten from the attendees from their parishes. For a number of men, this will be their seventh Diocesan Men’s Conference. Enough said!

Register online at www.hbgdiocese.org/men. Hard copy registration brochures have been delivered to every parish. Registration fee includes breakfast fare and lunch. For more information, please contact Sherri Ney at sney@hbgdiocese.org, or at 717-657-4804, ext. 321.

By Jim Gontis, Special to The Witness

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