Over 500 men of the Allentown Diocese took up spiritual arms in the 11th annual diocesan men’s conference Nov. 19 at DeSales University, Center Valley. Themed “Warriors for Christ,” the event was sponsored by the Diocesan Commission for Men.
The purpose of the conference, as Bishop Alfred Schlert told the attendees, was “to deepen your faith in Jesus Christ, to confirm yourself in the Catholic faith, and to find more ways to live your vocation of Catholic men as husband, as father, as son.”
Keynote speakers were Devin Schadt, cofounder of the apostolate Fathers of St. Joseph; Dr. Edward Sri, host of the film series “Symbolon: The Catholic Faith Explained”; and Father Patrick Lamb, pastor of Queenship of Mary Parish, Northampton.
Keynote speakers for the Spanish track were Father Manuel Jose Berrios from Colombia and motivational speaker Mario St. Francis.
In his talk, Father Lamb applied the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-Step program to the spiritual life.
The first step, Father noted, is to admit that we are powerless. “We think we’re in control, and we need to let go of that…. I can’t. God can. I will let Him. That’s a mantra you and I can take with us.”
Encouraging sacramental confession, Father said, “Don’t be afraid of your sins. Bring them out before God and watch what God does.”
Dr. Sri spoke on relativism and asserted that the culture has a “very skewed view of love.”
“God is love. If you don’t get that, you’re going to get everything wrong.”
Sri advised fathers to “talk to your children about love,” otherwise, “they’re going to be getting an alternative view that’s going to choke their faith out.”
Devin Schadt shared a poignant lesson that he learned as a husband and father. “We are a link between God the Father and our children,” he said, “the eyes, the voice, the face, the touch of the Father.” If their fathers are absent, “children will look somewhere else” for those things.