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Don't Miss Statewide Men's Conference
Dynamic speakers and mens fellowship are on tap for the first ever statewide Mens Conference to be held Saturday, June 26 at Eastern Michigan Universitys Convocation Center. Hosted by the Archdiocese of Detroit, the event organizers hope to attract a record crowd for the day-long conference, setting a goal of more than 9,000 men to attend. If the goal is attained, the conference would be one of the largest in the United States. Opportunities for Catholic spiritual development for men continue to grow. The Archdiocese of Detroit has been hosting a mens conference every year since 2003; the Diocese of Gaylord hosted their first conference for men last year; the Diocese of Marquette hosted one in April. The committee planning the Statewide Mens Conference has been working directly with each diocese in Michigan to promote the event. The theme is Doing All Things in Christ Tapping into Real Power in a Power Hungry World and will include speakers and subjects that will appeal to males age 12 and up. First on the agenda for the day will be Curtis Martin. Martin is the President and Founder of FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. He holds a Masters degree in Theology and is co-host of the ground-breaking show Crossing the Goal, on EWTN. He is a co-author of Boys to Men: The Transforming Power of Virtue and Family Matters: A Scripture Study on Marriage and Family as well as a contributing author of Catholic for a Reason, Vols. I, II, III and IV. The second speaker will be Matthew Kelly. Kelly began his lay ministry in 1993 and has traveled in more than 50 countries to speak to over three million people. He has written twelve books which have appeared on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today best seller lists and been published in twenty-five languages. The majority of his work today is here in the United States speaking to students from primary school through college, lay adults, priests and seminarians. Also on the docket will be Fr. John Riccardo. Fr. John is the Pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church in Plymouth. Ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Detroit in 1996, Fr. John is the host of Christ is the Answer on Ave Maria Radio. His previous assignments included St. Anastasia, Divine Child Catholic Church, and the Cardinal Maida Institute for Youth and Family. Bishop Earl Boyea will also speak at the event. Bishop Boyea attended Sacred Heart Seminary High School and College; the North American College and the Gregorian University in Rome. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1978 and then ordained an Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Detroit in 2002 before being named the fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Lansing in 2008. The Youth Break-out session will feature Father Stan Fortuna. Fr. Stan, who was the keynote speaker for the Gaylord Sr. High Youth Rally in 2004, is one of the eight original members of the Community of Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. He has been involved with community development and the implementation of various social programs in his neighborhood of the South Bronx for over two decades when the religious order was established by John Cardinal OConnor in 1987. That same year, Fr. Stan founded his non-profit company, Francesco Productions mixing music and message with proceeds going to help poor and impoverished families in the area. According to the National Fellowship of Catholic Men (NFCM), the rapid growth in regional Catholic mens conferences has been phenomenal over the past decade. In 2001 there were a dozen Catholic mens conferences nationwide. Two years later, that number more than doubled. It doubled again in 2008. By next year there will be more than 60 conference held across the United States. Some of the conferences are sponsored by dioceses; many are grassroots efforts. On average, the majority of these conferences have attracted around 1,000 men. Most offer attendees similar programs; talks, prayer time, confession and Mass. All address a common set of issues sexual integrity, apologetics, conversion, spirituality and all share the same goal: to renew and strengthen the faith of Catholic Men. Fathers and sons are encouraged to attend the event together and parishes are encouraged to promote the event and send as many men as possible. Tickets for the event will be $40 for adults and $25 for students and can be purchased online by visiting ChristsChosen.com or by phoning Eastern Michigan University at 734.487.2282. For more information you can also call 313.237.4689.