Have you noticed how difficult it is to be a faithful Catholic man nowadays? The values of our culture have changed drastically in recent decades. Things that were unheard of not too long ago are now commonplace. Our society is awash in pornography and casino gambling, and few people think it’s a problem. We don’t allow living children to be born, and then call it “comprehensive health services.” Selfishness and dishonesty, narcissism and instant gratification are promoted as the keys to happiness. And the foundation of all strong civilizations—the intact family—is crumbling right before our eyes, and few seem to notice or care.
To be a Catholic man in our modern world is to be completely counter-culture. These days a guy could walk down Main Street dressed as Marie Antoinette and get fewer puzzled looks than if he told people he’s a faithful Catholic who loves Jesus and prays the Rosary. Go ahead, announce THAT at your next cocktail party, and see just how quickly people back away from you.
Even within the Church there are many obstacles. A lot of folks who go to Mass say it’s fine to be Catholic, as long as you’re not a fanatic. Of course, “fanatic” to them is defined as anyone who actually takes Church doctrines seriously.
It really is hard to be a faithful Catholic man in this day and age.
So, have I got a deal for you! On Saturday, October 24th, 2015, the 8th annual Connecticut Catholic Men’s Conference will be held at Goodwin College, 1 Riverside Drive in East Hartford, CT. It begins at 8:30 a.m. and concludes with Mass at 4 p.m., celebrated by Hartford Archbishop Leonard Blair. The head of the Office of Radio & Television, Fr. John Gatzak, will be the Master of Ceremonies.
The conference is fabulous. There are great speakers, great food, and great fun. They keynote speaker is well-known author Patrick Madrid. Also, many priests will be there hearing confessions. So you know what that means, guys: it’s the perfect opportunity to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation with a priest who doesn’t know who you are! How great is that?
But beware, a few years ago, the director of the Men’s Conference was in line to go to Confession, and just as he expected, the next available priest was in fact someone who did not know him: the Archbishop himself! The guy said afterward he was so nervous, his mind went blank when it was time to say the Act of Contrition. So the Archbishop prayed the prayer with him. When it was over, he realized it was a wonderful and memorable experience, his best Confession in years.
Besides the inspirational speakers and the opportunity to receive the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist (and I suppose if you’ve never been baptized, one of the priests will be happy to throw you into the nearby Connecticut River—no, just kidding!), the best part of the Conference is simply being together with four- or five-hundred other faithful Catholic men.
It’s nice once in a while to be reminded that you’re not the only guy in the world who loves Jesus and the Church He founded. There are other men in the world who have not completely succumbed to the secular and selfish spirit of our age.
So here’s my great deal: go online and register for the Conference, at: ctcatholicmen.org. It’s only $40, and that includes lunch. And if it turns out you think the Conference was a complete waste of time, I will personally refund your money. (Oh brother, what am I saying? Wait till my wife hears about this. She runs our family checkbook, and I could be in big trouble!) See you there, guys.