Theologian hopes to help men ‘catch the Breath of Truth’

| Kristi Anderson for The Catholic Spirit | February 26, 2014 | 0 Comments

Douglas Bushman to speak at Archdiocesan Men’s Conference

Douglas Bushman

Douglas Bushman

Douglas Bushman’s Minnesota roots run deep. A Twin Cities native, he attended the University of St. Thomas, then called the College of St. Thomas, graduating in 1976, the final year it was an all men’s liberal arts college.

He later served as a lay theologian at St. Charles Borromeo in St. Anthony for four years and then spent six years in the Diocese of Duluth’s education office.

Bushman, who now resides in Colorado where he holds the Blessed Pope John Paul II Chair of Theology for the New Evangelization at the Augustine Institute, is excited to return to Minnesota as the keynote speaker for this year’s Archdiocesan Men’s Conference March 22.

“Men’s conferences are an important sign of the times,” Bushman explained. “We have to ask, ‘With all of the responsibilities that men carry and the access they have to so many activities, why would they set aside an entire morning, a day, or a weekend for a conference?’”

“Clearly, men’s conferences are meeting a profoundly felt need,” he said. “My view is that ultimately all their aspirations and hopes, their drive to live a meaningful life and to make a difference in the world — in their families, in the workplace, for their communities and nation, for the poor — can only be fulfilled by becoming disciples of our Lord, Jesus Christ. And, they find him in the church Christ established, its teaching and sacraments and in the fellowship they experience with one another.”

Register online

The Archdiocesan Men’s Conference is from 8 a.m. to noon, March 22, at the Anderson Fieldhouse on the University of St. Thomas campus.

To register online, visit the Men’s Conference event page.

Adults are $20 and students are $10.

For more information, call (651) 291-4488.

Setting the course

Bushman will speak on the theme “Set a Steady Course: Christian, Recognize Your Dignity,” which he said comes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

“Following the Second Vatican Council, Pope John Paul II often reminded us that human dignity is rooted in being people of conscience,” Bushman explained. “So, I proposed to talk about conscience and truth. I would say that God is the one who sets the course for our lives. And our job . . . is to trim the sails of our freedom in order to best catch the Breath of Truth that he sends to sustain us on the pilgrimage of faith.”

In addition to his theological studies and teaching, Bushman’s experience as a father of six ignites his passion for sharing what he has learned.

“What I want most for my children is that they become men and women of conscience,” he said, “that they encounter Christ there, in their conscience, and that they live in the certainty of being loved by him. If they have that, they will be men and women able to bear witness to Christ, they will be able to love others as they have been loved. They will be active contributors to the new evangelization.”

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 food. St. Paul native and former standout hockey player Brian Bonin will also speak on “Men of this World or Men of God: Where are the Sports of Today Leading You and Your Family?”

Bushman hopes the time spent together will be an occasion of grace and inspiration for all who attend.

“I hope that these men have a new encounter with Christ, precisely in their consciences,” he said. “That is to say, I hope that they will have their best instincts reinforced and that they might recommit themselves to daily prayer, a daily examination of conscience, and regular celebration of the sacrament of confession and regular study.”

“Now, these are lofty hopes, and it is a certainty that I cannot make this happen,” he continued. “I am fond of saying to my students, ‘What takes place in the human heart, in the conscience, is a management issue, and I’m only in sales.’”

“Only Jesus can accompany these men into the secret recesses of their own consciences,” Bushman said. “If my words are received as encouragement to meet him there, to talk with him there, then I will be satisfied to have done my part, to have made a sales pitch.”

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