Former pro-hockey player to speak at Men’s Conference

| February 13, 2014 | 0 Comments
Brian Bonin

Brian Bonin

Having grown up with hockey, St. Paul native Brian Bonin had what many men only dream about. He was a standout high school and college hockey player and played for a short time in the National Hockey League with both the Pittsburgh Penguins and Minnesota Wild.

But he didn’t take the time to appreciate and engage in his Catholic faith until he was injured and had to retire early in 2005.

At the annual Archdiocesan Men’s Conference March 22, Bonin will present “Men of this World or Men of God: Where are the Sports of Today Leading You and Your Family?”

The event is sponsored by the archdiocesan Office for Marriage, Family and Life.

As a husband and father of three boys — ages 12, 9 and 7 — he wants to re-examine what families are doing and teaching.

Four key points that Archbishop John Nienstedt addressed at last year’s conference resonated with Bonin. The archbishop called for men to provide, protect, nurture and lead. During his testimonial, Bonin will talk to men about how to figure out that balance.

“The nurturing and the leading — we’re doing a terrible job of that, I think,” Bonin said. “What are we nurturing in our families? You can figure that out by what you’re doing. So, write it down, list it out — what are your priorities, what are you doing? Do you get to Mass every day, do you just go once a week, do you say your prayers before every meal, do you say a rosary before bed? How often are you running around to practices, how often do you say no to your children?”

Bonin wants to open a conversation with attendees to help put priorities in check. He said in general, sports can take over our lives if we let them. At the conference, he plans to share his experience firsthand.

“I was just kind of walking through life with a lukewarm faith,” he said. “As much as I would’ve said I’m a pretty good Catholic . . . I don’t think I was necessarily a very good Catholic at all.”

Bonin said he wants to help attendees gain perspective in what he calls a chaotic world. That means evaluating how we’re filling holes in our lives. He’ll encourage attendees to share their stories, too.

Keynote speaker and University of St. Thomas alum Douglas Bushman from the Augustine Institute in Colorado will present “Set a Steady Course.”

The event is from 8 a.m. to noon at the Anderson Fieldhouse on the University of St. Thomas campus. It includes adoration, confession, Mass, fellowship and, of course, food.

“This is all about being guys,” Bonin said. “I hope to empower as many as I can.”

To register online, visit the Men’s Conference event page; adults are $20 and students are $10. For more information, call (651) 291-4488.

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Category: Faith and Culture