Men’s apostolate chaplain to offer inspiration

| March 1, 2011 | 0 Comments

Father Baer

Before Father William Baer says a word at the annual Archdiocesan Men’s Conference March 12 at the Cathedral of St. Paul, he will smile at what he sees — an audience of several hundred men looking for spiritual inspiration.

Father Baer will be happy to oblige. That’s part of his job as the new chaplain of the archdiocesan men’s apostolate. He believes it is important for men to come together, not just to listen to speakers such as himself, but to find support for being a Catholic man in a culture that seems increasingly hostile toward that idea.

“One of the real purposes of this conference and this apostolate is to bring [men] into contact with each other,” said Father Baer, pastor of Transfiguration in Oakdale. “There’s something incredibly inspiring about men gathering together.”

Dads need support

Father Baer is one of four keynote speakers at the conference, which starts at 8 a.m. with Mass and goes until noon. The other speakers are Archbishop John Nienstedt, John Buri, psychology professor at the University of St. Thomas, and Dave Rinaldi of NET Ministries.

Father Baer’s theme is, fathers need fathers. “I mean that in three different ways,” he said. “The first is that dads facing the challenge of raising their children and being good spouses to their wives need the support and example of other dads who are doing the same thing.”

The second way is that today’s men need the influence of those who have gone before them — their own fathers, grandfathers and other “spiritual fathers.”

The final way is to recognize that every man is called to be a father in some way, whether to his children, or as a priest, or as a single man who teaches or helps men and boys.

“There’s so much I’ve learned about my vocation from watching fathers,” he said. “By coming together with hundreds of other men, you catch a vision.”

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