Men’s conference opportunity to strengthen, model faith

Keynoter Damon Owens was recently honored with medal from Vatican

The 2018 Catholic Men’s Conference will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3, at St. John’s University in Collegeville. This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the encyclical “Humanae vitae.”

“Blessed Pope Paul VI took great courage and wisdom to give this teaching to the faithful, the truth about human sexuality, marriage and responsible parenthood,” said Chris Codden, director of the Office of Marriage and Family for the St. Cloud Diocese.

Damon Owens

“It is modeling his witness of being a man of integrity that we model with this year’s conference: ‘Men of Integrity: A Call to Responsibility.’ It is with great pleasure that we bring this excellent conference to the men of central Minnesota.”

In its 15th year, the Catholic Men’s Conference is a day-long retreat for men to renew their faith, learn, experience fellowship and grow in relationships with their families, church and communities.

“Our keynote speaker, Damon Owens, has spent his life teaching and witnessing to this truth,” Codden said, “and he was recently recognized with the Benemerenti Medal, the highest award a lay person can be given by the Vatican.”

Owens was the first executive director of the Theology of the Body Institute and served as chairman of the 2016 International Theology of the Body Congress. He and his wife, Melanie, taught natural family planning for 14 years, and they served as NFP coordinators for the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey.

Owens will speak on “When a Man Loves a Woman” in the morning and “Embracing the Radical Demands of Love” in the afternoon.

The conference begins with registration and refreshments in the Great Hall, followed by opening prayer. Lunch will be served at 12:15 p.m. in the Great Hall.

The sacrament of reconciliation will be at 12:30 p.m. in Assumption Chapel (lower Abbey Church). The conference ends after the celebration of the Eucharist at St. John’s Abbey Church.

A courtesy shuttle, donated by Trobec’s Bus Service, will take men to the Great Hall from the parking lot.

This event is co-sponsored by K-YES Radio, The Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of St. Cloud, Catholic United Financial, Minnesota Kinghts of Columbus and the Bishop’s Annual Appeal.

Men of faith (including male confirmation students) are encouraged to make this an integral part of their Lenten journey.

Registration is non-refundable and includes lunch and refreshments.

The fee after Jan. 24 is $50 per person ($45 per person for groups of five or more registered together).

Register online at For more information, call 320-252-4721.

Conference workshops

Three workshop sessions — two in the morning and one in the afternoon — are part of the day. Men can choose from the following:

  • Father Gregory Mastey: “Rural Life, Men and Their Parishes”
  • Eric Skanson: “The Social Media Father: Raising Your Kids With Empathy, Kindness and Compassion in a World of Social Media”
  • Father Tom Knoblach: “In Life and Death We Are the Lord’s: Leading Our Culture Towards Life”
  • Mike Heroux: “The Joy of Children”
  • Glen Lewerenz: “Are You Sending the Right Love Language?”
  • Jason Adkins: “Three P’s of Leadership – Protect, Procreate and Provide”
  • Deacon Ernie Kociemba: “Icons of Hope! The Role of the Diaconate”
  • Dan Pfannenstein: “St. Joseph and Other Saints as Examples of Men of Integrity”
  • NFP Witness Panel: Jay Vogel, Sol Sukut, Rob Stay, Tom Chevalier: “NFP: It Takes Two”
  • Phil Polipnick and sons: “How to Use Scripture and Saints in Intercessory Prayer”
  • Joel Nathe: “The Door Swings Both Ways: Offering and Receiving Forgiveness”
  • Jim Otremba: “Transform Your Marriage Through the Power of the Eucharist”
  • Father Randal Kasel: “Evangelization Through Apologetics”
  • Steve Gottwalt: “Pornography and the Call to Holiness: Every Man’s Responsibility”
  • Mike Stalboerger: “The Power of Choice”
  • Seminarians Steven Wielenberg, Kevin Soenneker and Nikolas Zabinski: “Our Vocation Story”

Author: The Visitor

The Visitor is the official newpaper for the Diocese of Saint Cloud.

Leave a Reply