2023 Catholic Men’s Conference Summary
Two hundred spirit-filled men of all ages gathered in the beautiful San Antonio Hill Country at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church (SEAS) for the 2023 Catholic Men’s Conference (CMC) sponsored by Pilgrim Center of Hope on Saturday, April 29, 2023. Attendees came from numerous San Antonio parishes and surrounding areas including Hondo, Uvalde, Fredericksburg, and even some from Austin, Houston, and Laredo. G. Simons expressed,
“I was amazed at the amount of men in attendance and happy to share my faith with other believers.”
This half-day conference encompassed Holy Mass celebrated by San Antonio Auxiliary Bishop Gary Janak who along with Fr. Ken Geraci of the Fathers of Mercy, gave inspiring talks to help the men deepen their love for Christ, affirm them in their Catholic faith, and challenged them to lead grace-filled lives. Bishop Gary focused on the use of “Amens” in the mass which hit home with men as it challenged them be more attentive to their “Yes!” to God throughout the liturgy and deepen their focus on the Eucharist. “Bishop Gary was incredible. His talk on the 12 Amens increased my love of the mass to new heights,” shared J. Nuccio.
Men’s hearts were touched during Fr. Geraci’s talk as he shared his conversion story and spoke of the importance of spending time with God. He encouraged men to break free from the world that pulls on everyone to aspire for wealth and vain glory. They learned the importance of being the spiritual leader of their home, always being receptive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in their lives, and to never stop becoming the men that God designed them to be. J. Viader shared Fr. Geraci’s impact on him:
“[I gained] a better understanding of [my] “true inheritance” and our relationship with the Father. Also, the emphasis that men, as leaders of a family, need to take a more active role in the spiritual development of our family and our relatives.”
Being in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament within the church and hearing encouraging words from Deacon Tom Fox and Emcee Mario Moreno along with engaging Christian music led by Steven Rendon, helped the men feel welcomed and united as brothers in Christ. Conference participants were receptive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit as 70 men received the Sacrament of Reconciliation and all were invited to draw close to Jesus’ healing presence in a deeply moving Eucharistic Adoration led by Fr. Geraci. Attendee G. Salazar expressed, “For me, this was the most powerful and moving experience with the Lord. It was truly the first time I really felt His presence with the Eucharist exposed. There was tremendous peace that I felt radiate throughout my body, and I felt that the Lord was speaking to me directly.” N. Link shared,
“The Eucharistic Healing with Father Ken was absolutely incredible and amazing. For me personally it made the entire conference.”
Pilgrim Center of Hope is incredibly grateful to the many people who volunteered their time and resources to plan, organize and ensure that this year’s CMC was spiritually rewarding for all who attended. Among those who deserve special thanks include our conference speakers, Bishop Gary Janak and Fr. Ken Geraci, the CMC Planning Committee, the confessors, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church staff, SEAS Catholic Daughters of America, SEAS Knights of Columbus, and all the conference sponsors and donors.
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