January 8, 2013 // Local

Diocesan men’s conference to be held Feb. 9 in South Bend

SOUTH BEND — Matthew Kelly, Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers, and Franciscan Father David Mary Engo will highlight the third annual Diocesan Men’s Conference to be held this year at the Century Center in South Bend. Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades will celebrate Mass to close out the day.

The event, sponsored by Rekindle the Fire and the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, is scheduled Feb. 9. Registration is available now at www.rekindlethefire.net.

The nationally renowned speakers will focus on the theme, “Faith, Do I believe?”

The day will include prayer and blessing, Reconciliation, lunch and talks.

Franciscan Father David Mary Engo has a long, illustrious history of inspiring deepening or rediscovering faith in audiences across the country. His own powerful experience of rediscovering his faith as a senior in a New York high school led him to join the Franciscan order in 1986. Eleven years later he was ordained into the Franciscan priesthood.

Father Engo, who founded and is superior of the Franciscan Brothers Minor community under the authority of Bishop Rhoades, speaks highly of the diocesan-wide conference that is a ministerial outreach of Rekindle the Fire — and will offer preparation for Reconciliation and return for a keynote talk in the afternoon.

Matthew Kelly, a Catholic author and speaker, will offer morning and afternoon addresses.

Born in Sydney, Australia, he began speaking and writing in 1993. Since that time he has travelled to more than 50 countries and spoken to over 4 million people. He has written 12 books, which have appeared on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller lists and been published in 25 languages.

His efforts help individuals become “the-best-version of themselves.”

Kelly convincingly communicates this message as God’s desire for each person. And he insists that it is the desire of parents for their children, husbands and wives for each other, CEOs for their companies and employees, pastors for their communities and members, and managers for those they lead and instruct.

“I am really looking forward to my visit,” Kelly told Today’s Catholic. “Men play a unique role in the society and the life of the Church. I will be speaking about what it takes to establish a vibrant and consistent spiritual life, and how this will impact our marriages, families, workplaces and health.”

The conference’s third speaker Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers is becoming one of the most sought-after Catholic speakers in the U.S. and across the globe. Residing in Portland, Ore., with his wife, Colleen, and their four children, Deacon Burke-Sivers’ message offers a passionate approach to evangelization and the truth of the Catholic faith. He will bring his role as husband and father to the talk at the conference.

Deacon Burke-Sivers is dedicated to teaching and promoting Catholic values in complete faithfulness to Holy Scripture, sacred Tradition and the Magisterium.

During this Year of Faith, Deacon Burke-Sivers told Today’s Catholic in a telephone interview from his Portland, Ore., home, he will talk with men, “to try to get them to think more deeply and spiritually about the connections between the faith that we learned in our head and the faith that we live in our hearts — to make a deeper connection between the head and the heart.”

He encourages men to make their faith “part of their every day lived experience: Who is God calling me to be as a man; what does that look like; and how do I engage the living God in every aspect of my life as a man?”

Being a man of prayer, being a man of God, is “exactly following the example of Jesus Christ,” Deacon Burke-Sivers said.

He plans to use a lot of Scripture, he said, so the men “will need to bring their Bibles for sure,” he encouraged.

“We are also going to make some deep connections with the holy sacrifice of the Mass. We’ll talk about the power of prayer and how men can use the rosary, the Chapel of Divine Mercy and all the resources we have in the Catholic Church to really deepen that spiritual life as men.”

He also plans to talk about — as St. Paul writes — putting on the armor of God.

The deacon encourages men of the diocese to attend the conference. He will offer suggestions of “what kind of things can we do concretely as men as we leave the conference, go back to your home and everyday living experience to build connections in simple ways every single day. How can we support each other as men?” he added.

Bishop Kevin Rhoades will conclude the conference with the celebration of the Mass. The message of his homily at the Mass will be the fourth powerful talk of the conference.

To register, get additional information about the third annual Diocesan Men’s Conference, visit www.rekindlethefire.net.

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