January 11, 2012 // Local

Franciscan Father David Mary Engo calls men to holiness at Diocesan Men’s Conference

FORT WAYNE — The second annual Diocesan Men’s Conference, to be held on Saturday, Feb. 25, has slated a dynamic trio of speakers for the faithful men of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. Director of Apologetics and Evangelization at Catholic Answers Tim Staples, author and inspirational speaker Robert Rogers and Fort Wayne’s own Franciscan Father David Mary Engo will each offer their own brand of insight on “A Call to Lead.”

The conference, sponsored by Rekindle the Fire and the diocesan Office of Spiritual Development and Evangelization, will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum Expo Center, 4000 Parnell Ave., Fort Wayne, IN 46805, and open with prayer and a blessing followed by a discussion on Confessions. The speakers will inspire those in attendance throughout the grace-filled day until 4 p.m. when they will gather for a special Mass celebrated by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades.

Keynote speaker Father 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 — a program that began at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Fort Wayne as a men’s prayer group with the mission of calling men back to their faith.

“Rekindle the Fire has grown, and now they are offering this day as a ministry to the diocese to call men together to rediscover and enliven their faith, so they can live it out in radical ways,” says Father Engo.

Father Engo’s message to the men of the diocese will be simple but profound.

“I’ll focus on fatherhood,” says Father Engo. “And leadership in the family and the culture. John Paul II said in his address in Central Park, specifically addressing men, that they are to lead their families in holiness and prayer.”

Another key component of Father Engo’s encouraging message will be to inspire the courage it requires to pray with one’s spouse. “The most intimate thing is to pray together,” notes Father Engo. “Praying together creates real intimacy, and then the relationship is bound in unity with God.” This message will call the men in attendance to build a family of prayer, virtue and holiness.

Father Engo will also rally the men to defend their homes against the evils of the current culture.

“It’s a manly virtue … to need to defend their families from the culture that’s quickly turning from the values that we hold dear in our faith,” he says.

The current culture, he notes, has stripped men of fatherhood, their role in the family and their place in the Church.

“There’s this whole confusion about masculine spirituality,” says Father Engo.

It’s time, says Father Engo, for men to “step up and witness to the faith,” by bringing justice to the workplace, charity to the poor, and making sound decisions based on clear Catholic principles.

Father Engo hopes to see “every single man in the diocese there with their friends who are not Catholic.”

And he adds, “It’s very important for men to bring their sons, to see men on fire with faith and all gathered together.”

Young men of high school and college age are encouraged to attend the promising conference.

What does Father Engo hope the men of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend will take from the conference? “True manliness is found in true virtue — in living a virtuous life.  … I want them to know that Christ is the model for normal. Don’t measure yourself by what other men are saying. Rather ask, ‘am I as good as Christ.’”

Register soon

Registration fee, that includes lunch, is $35 for adults, $25 for seniors or students of high school or college age. Parking at the coliseum is $4 per car. Deadline for registration is Feb. 18, on-line at www.RekindleTheFire.net or by check mailed to “Rekindle the Fire” Office of Spiritual Development and Evangelization, attn.: Natalie Kohrman,
915 S. Clinton, Fort Wayne, IN, 46802.

For information call Joe Witulski at (260) 452-6875.

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