Registration for men’s conference opens

By GLENN RUTHERFORD, Record Editor

Registration has opened for the second Archdiocese of Louisville Catholic Men’s Conference, which will be held March 16 at St. Raphael Church, 2900 Bardstown Road.

The theme of this year’s conference is “It’s Awesome to be Catholic,” and organizers are hoping to attract a crowd of about 700 people, including grandfathers, parents and their sons.

David Such, the St. Bernadette Church member who has been at the forefront of organizing both this year’s and last year’s events, said this year participants can both register and pay their fee — $25 for adults, $10 for students — on the internet.

“You can register at www.cmclouisville.net and pay with a credit card, too, something we weren’t able to offer last year,” Such said in an interview last week.

For the first conference, many of the nearly 450 who attended went online to download their registration form and then paid by check. That is still an available option this year, too, Such noted. And he said people can download the registration form and ask to be billed later.

“We want to make sure that anyone who wants to take part this year can,” Such added. He noted that some areas of the archdiocese weren’t heavily represented at the inaugural event, and said this year “we don’t want any obstacles to be in the way of men who want to attend the conference.”

“We’ll find a way to get them here,” he said. “If they need help with a ride or with affordability, we’ll be there to help them. We want to have a full house; we want to have to go to the archbishop when we plan for next year’s conference and say ‘sir, we need a larger place to hold this.’ ”

Organizers are also making a special effort to encourage young people — students and young adults — to attend the conference.

“We’ve been going out and talking with youth ministers,” he explained, “and we’re asking the young men to encourage their fathers to come to the conference with them. If we can get 30,000 Catholics together for a football game (the annual St. Xavier-Trinity high school tilt) there is no reason we can’t fill a 700-seat church for a mens’ conference.”

This year’s conference will award two pizza parties to youth groups or schools — the winners will be selected in a drawing, Such said. “We think we have an excellent opportunity this year to draw a good number of young men to the conference.”

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz will be one of two keynote speakers for the conference; Jon Leonetti, a Catholic who demonstrated his faith in 2009 by walking from Ocean Park, Calif., to Ocean City, N. J., will be the other. Such said the breakout sessions, which will begin after the keynote speakers present their addresses, have conference planners excited, too.

“Our breakout sessions have been firmed up, and one of our presenters will be John Morales,” he said. “He’s a former ESPN sports announcer out of Chicago, and he presented a program to the youth at St. Patrick Church a while back. His session is called ‘Even the Greatest Champion Needs Christ.’ ”

Other presenters will be Benedictine Father Brendan Moss who will speak on “The Power of Prayer.” Father John Judie will present a program called “In Our Image — After Our Likeness.” Father Jeff Shooner’s presentation will focus on young adults and is called “Duc in altum — Put Out Into the Deep.” And Sal Della Bella’s presentation will be on “Faith Sharing for Men.”

Registration is available at cmclouisville.net, or by calling Linda McLemore at 448-8581, ext. 1324. Checks should be made payable to the Archdiocese of Louisville — CMC.

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