RENTON – Organizers of the Seattle Catholic Men’s Conference are working to ensure the momentum from the April 14 event reverberates throughout the archdiocese.
Men attending the annual conference often leave energized about their faith, but don’t really know how to get involved in their parishes afterward, according to Jeff Riley, a member of St. Anthony Parish in Renton. So the event organizers have been busy setting up a network of parish “captains” to help men get involved in church programs and ministries. So far, 60 captains are active in 55 parishes.
“The idea is to keep that momentum going throughout the year,” said Riley, who serves as a captain at St. Anthony’s.
In its sixth year, the all-day conference (also known as “Iron Sharpens Iron”) at St. Stephen the Martyr Church in Renton will begin with Mass, followed by presenters including Archbishop J. Peter Sartain. Presentations will be given in English and Spanish, said Allan Murray, one of the conference organizers.
“We really try to integrate cultures the best we can,” Murray said, noting that 350 Hispanic men were among the 850 participants in 2017. (There is still room to attend this year’s event. See box for details.)
This year’s theme is “The Prodigal Father,” a different take on the biblical story of the prodigal son. The theme refers to a firm but compassionate father who loves his kids, Murray said. And it points to God the Father being abundant with his blessings, Riley said.
“If a man is serious about his role in society, than the church will be better off because of it,” Murray said.
Riley said he hopes men attending this year’s conference will volunteer to be parish captains. Last year, 44 men signed up, with another 14 joining the effort during the year, Murray said.
Seattle Catholic Men’s Conference
The Seattle Catholic Men’s Conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 14 at St. Stephen the Martyr Church, 13055 S.E. 192nd St., Renton. This year’s theme is “The Prodigal Father.”
Presenters include Archbishop J. Peter Sartain; Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers, an EWTN host who is assigned to a Portland parish; Jesse Romero, a Catholic author and radio host; and Father Jack Shrum, pastor of St. Anthony Parish in Renton. Presentations will be given in English and Spanish.
Cost is $45 per person, including lunch. Registration on the day of the event is limited to space available.