Annual men’s conference to focus on mission of men

Hays — Catholic men aren’t wimps.

That’s one topic that will be addressed by Dr. Ray Guarendi at the sixth annual Salina Diocesan Men’s Conference on Saturday, Aug. 12 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church.

Dr. Guarendi is the father of 10, is a clinical psychologist, author, professional speaker and national radio and TV host.  “In my experience as a psychologist, I’ve seen a lot of wimpy men,” he said. “They let their wives carry the domestic load, the discipline load and the Church load.  “I can’t tell you how much a wife complains about men not standing up and being men. The women are not happy about carrying all of that load.”  Dr. Guarendi will also talk about his reversion to the Catholic faith in his talk “The Logic of Being Catholic.”

The day-long conference will begin at 8 a.m. with the Rosary. Other aspects of the conference include Eucharistic adoration, Reconciliation, Mass with Bishop Edward Weisenburger, lunch, and Q&A.  Capuchin Father John Lager, who is the national chaplain of Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), will also present two talks: “Living in Integrity and with Purpose” and “Being a Christian Man in a Secular and Superficial World.”

The theme for the conference, which is open to all men high school and older, is “Men on a Mission.”  “My experience is that if there isn’t a clear direction or mission we are called to keep our eyes on, it’s easy to be distracted and manipulated by culture. It’s easy to get lost,” Father Lager said.

In addition to FOCUS, he is the co-founder of Marked Men for Christ, an international men’s ministry.  “The whole purpose is how do we continue to deepen our own personal spirituality and prayer life,” Father Lager said. “How can we be leaders in our families and parishes and marketplace in today’s world? Without a clear vision of a mission, that will never happen.”

A native of Angelus, Father Lager attended minor seminary in Victoria. His intention was to study for the diocesan priesthood, but the seminary formation drew him to the Capuchin life.

 

Married for more than three decades and the father of 10 children, Dr. Guarendi’s radio show “The Dr. Is In” is on more than 440 radio stations, as well as on Sirius XM channel 130. His TV show, “Living Right with Dr. Ray” is aired in 140 countries.

“It’s going to empower the men and it’s going to use a lot of humor doing it,” Dr. Guarendi said of his talks. “They’re going to learn how to be men in the finest sense of the word — for their wives, for their kids, for their families. They’re going to take on the role God meant them to have.”

Gathering in community for a men’s conference or retreat should be a priority.  “You become stronger when you’re around like-minded people who think well,” Dr. Guarendi said, adding the inverse is also true. “At these conferences there are like minded men who will support strong thinking. You need to have people around you who think like you do because you doubt yourself if you don’t.”

The conference is open to high school teens through adult men. A special rate applies for fathers who bring their sons to the conference.  “My hope would be that my message is for all kinds of men, both young teenagers and college men, especially in terms of living out their vocation and call to holiness,” Father Lager said. “This whole approach to keeping their eyes fixed on Christ and what he call us to do, which is continued transformation and conversion of the heart.”