Called to lead: Bay Area Catholic men’s conference inspires attendees to evangelize culture
By Ed Hopfner
Catholic men from five neighboring dioceses gathered on Saturday, February 25 at St Pius X Catholic Church for the annual SF Bay Area Catholic Men’s Conference. Attendees heard presentations by Catholic speakers and had the opportunity to share practical ideas to live out their faith in discussion with other Catholic men from throughout the Bay Area.
Keynote speaker Tim Glemkowski, who directs the June 2024 National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis, began the day by focusing the men on the Church’s fundamental mission: to bring the love of Christ into a confused and hurting world that is now largely post-Christian. He challenged the men, emphasizing the essential role lay Catholics play in this apostolic endeavor of evangelization. In his first talk, he retraced the story of our creation as man and woman who were designed by a loving Father to live in freedom, how the loss of that freedom to sin, and the mission of Christ to set humanity free once again. In a second talk, he used the story of Gideon (Judges 6 and 7) to remind attendees that their mission, the work of God, is ultimately the work of the Holy Spirit. We are called to “cry out to the Lord” in our need, knowing that Jesus will always be faithful and supply what is necessary to accomplish His ends.
Father Kevin Lixey, LC, superior of the local Legionnaire’s of Christ community, spoke briefly to the men on five ways to ‘stand out’ in modern culture, again to bring the message of Christ to our contemporary world, and illustrated each with examples and antidotes. The five challenges are: to live each day to protect the vulnerable; be ambitious about the right things; relish the real and forsake the fake; seek true support through true friendships; and focus cultivating a deep spiritual life.
The day was highlighted by a beautiful Mass, celebrated by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone with music by the Benedict XVI choir.
In his homily, Archbishop Cordileone emphasized the universal call to follow Christ according to own circumstances, talents and vocation in life, based on the call of Matthew in the Gospel. Just as St. Matthew followed the call “leaving everything behind” so too we are called to forsake everything that is unnecessary to “persevere and live well one’s vocation.”
Ed Hopfner is the director of the Office of Marriage and Family Life for the Archdiocese of San Francisco.
Photos by Eduardo Banos.