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December 3, 2008
Colorado Springs retreat expected to draw 1,500 men
COLORADO SPRINGS—What started out as an idea for a special Catholic men’s conference for the Diocese of Colorado Springs’ 25th anniversary next year has turned into a statewide event that could draw 1,500 men to the area.
The conference will take place 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. March 21 at Holy Apostles Church and will feature a full day of talks, testimonies, music, confessions and Mass. Bishop Michael Sheridan is scheduled to attend and will conclude the day with a Mass. The conference is cosponsored by the Diocese of Colorado Springs and the Archdiocese of Denver.
Christian Meert, co-director of the diocesan Office of Marriage and Family Life, is part of the organizational committee for the conference. He said that this conference is, in part, an opportunity to inspire more men to attend church.
“We realize that it’s natural for the mother and kids to go to church, but we don’t always see the men,” Meert said. “This is a chance to get men involved.”
Nationally known Catholic musician Steve Angrisano, who led music at the U.S. pilgrims’ Mass at World Youth Day in Sydney this summer, will provide music throughout the day. Speakers include Peter Herbeck of Renewal Ministries; Luis Soto, director of the Archdiocese of Denver’s Office of Hispanic Ministry; Sean Dalton of FOCUS campus ministries; professional triathlete Brad Seng and Capuchin Franciscan Father John Lager of Marked Men for Christ.
“Having been involved with the Catholic men’s movement both nationally and locally, I think there is a growing conviction that we must mobilize Catholic men if we desire to strengthen our families, our parishes, and our Church to meet the challenges that lie ahead. Locally, in both Colorado Springs and in Denver men are making themselves available for masculine oriented formation activities such as Bible studies, retreats, men’s breakfasts, the Knights of Columbus, and conferences,” said Rich Cleveland, a member of the organizational committee for the conference and the leader of the monthly Holy Apostles Men’s Breakfast.
Cleveland said that these kinds of events can foster conversions on many levels.
“Christ works from man to man, friend to friend,” he said. “Accountability amongst men results in their renewed commitment to moral issues and a willingness to engage in the advancement of the Gospel through their service and witness.”
Cleveland said that today’s culture steers men away from Christianity and diminishes religion altogether.
“I think it is important during this 25th anniversary of the Diocese of Colorado Springs to communicate to men that it is time to step down from the bleachers and take their place on the playing field of world evangelization,” he said.
Pre-registration costs $35 for men 18 years and older ($50 the day of the conference). College students pay $25 and high school students are free with a father’s or guardian’s registration. Clergy and seminarians can attend for free but need to register for the meal count.
Registration is available online at holyapostlescc.org/ rmcmc_reg.html.