Some 1,700 men gather for prayer, inspiration

| March 17, 2013 | 2 Comments

 

Archbishop Nienstedt visits with Karl Skogan, left, and his sons Elliott, a student at UST and Paul, 16, during the breakfast break. The Skogans are members of St. Jude of the Lake in Mahtomedi. Nearly 1700 men from around the archdiocese gathered at the University of St. Thomas March 16 for the annual Archdiocesan Men’s Conference. The event began with a Mass and included presentations from Archbishop John Nienstedt, Raymond de Sousa and Glenn Caruso, UST football coach.

Archbishop John Nienstedt visits with Karl Skogan, right, and his sons Elliott, a student at UST, and Paul, 16, during the breakfast break. The Skogans are members of St. Jude of the Lake in Mahtomedi. More than 1,600 men from around the archdiocese gathered at the University of St. Thomas March 16 for the annual Archdiocesan Men’s Conference. The event began with a Mass and included presentations from Archbishop Nienstedt, Raymond de Souza and UST football coach Glenn Caruso. The day also featured eucharistic adoration and reconciliation.

As Archbishop John Nienstedt looked out over the audience at the annual Archdiocesan Men’s Conference March 16 at the University of St. Thomas, he was humbled by what he saw — all 1,600 chairs filled and about 100 more men standing.

He was the final speaker in an action- and faith-packed morning, which kicked off with Mass at 8 a.m. and was followed by three speakers — Raymond de Souza, director of evangelization and apologetics for the Diocese of Winona, Glenn Caruso, head football coach at the University of St. Thomas, and the archbishop.

“It’s an exciting time to be a Catholic,” said Jim Lodoen of Holy Family in St. Louis Park, who was there with his newly-married son, John, and noted that the conference came just days after the election of Pope Francis. “It’s a real important time for the Church.”

By the time the archbishop walked up to the podium to give his remarks and final blessing, it was almost lunch time. But, by then, the men had been fed spiritually, and the archbishop gave them a final offering of inspiration and encouragement. He zeroed in on fatherhood and laid out a vision for what that looks like for men of faith.

“Being made in the image and likeness of God, we learn what it means to be a good earthly father by mirroring those attributes that we find in Jesus’ description of the heavenly Father,” the archbishop said. “These fatherly characteristics at their core are what anchors our masculinity, defining for us what it means to be a man. For whether we are biological fathers or not, we definitely become better men by striving to live those elements of fatherhood that we find in God. If God is Father, then it follows that fathers ought to be God-like.”

 

The men gathered for the annual conference listened to Archbishop John Nienstedt talk about what it takes to be a good dad. He said that the priorities in life should be God first, then wife, children and job.

The men listen to Archbishop Nienstedt talk about what it takes to be a good dad. He said the priorities in life should be God first, then wife and children, and then one’s job.

Leo Avenido and his son Ryan, 14, members of St. Joseph in Rosemount prayed during the conference, which was  sponsored by the archdiocesan Office of Marriage, Family and Life.

Leo Avenido and his son Ryan, 14, members of St. Joseph in Rosemount, pray during the conference, which was sponsored by the archdiocesan Office of Marriage, Family and Life.

Archbishop Nienstedt talks with a participant during the breakfast break.

Archbishop Nienstedt talks with a participant during the breakfast break.

Terry Ndifuanja, right, from St. Peter in North St. Paul, peruses items for sale at the St. George Catholic Books table.
Terry Ndifuanja, right, from St. Peter in North St. Paul, looks at items for sale at the St. George Catholic Books table.

University of St. Thomas football coach Glenn Caruso spoke about the influence of the men in his life, and the importance of family.

University of St. Thomas football coach Glenn Caruso speaks about the influence of the men in his life and the importance of family.

 

Scott Hussen, a member of St. Hubert in Chanhassen, laughed during Glenn Caruso’s talk.

Scott Hussey, a member of St. Hubert in Chanhassen, laughs during Glenn Caruso’s talk.

 

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  • http://craigberrymedia.com/ Craig Berry

    Love seeing the diversity of ages here. Sounds like a great day!

  • http://craigberrymedia.com/ Craig Berry

    Love seeing the diversity of ages here. Sounds like a great day!