Wednesday, February 18, 2015

(152) Allen Hunt Featured in 2015 Steubenville Diocesan Men's Day of Renewal

AMDG

If the mother takes the spiritual lead in the family, the probability that the children will remain faithful to the Church as adults is about 40%.  If the father takes the spiritual lead, that probability doubles to 80%.  This is crucial because we are losing our youth.  As Danny Abramowicz of “Crossing the Goal” on EWTN likes to point out, “The children love Mom, but tend to follow Dad.”  Thus the participants are challenged to become true men of God.  

If the Men of the diocese are in good spiritual shape, the family is renewed.  If the family is renewed, the parish is renewed and so is the diocese.  The men must be spiritual leaders in their families.  The men must step up and be the pillars of the parish.......not only the women.  The men must put Christ into the marketplace and in their jobs.  Set the men on fire and we renew the parish, the diocese, and ultimately the Country, thus transforming Society.  That's what the Diocese of Steubenville, Ohio is trying to accomplish with the Men's Day of Renewal.

The goal of the Men's Day of Renewal is to focus on the spiritual development of the men of our diocese. Having spiritually strong men of faith and character translates into more solid families, more dynamic parishes, and better communities. This is crucial to the Church, now and in the future. It is also critical for nurturing vocations.

The 2015 Diocesan Men's Day of Renewal will be held on Saturday March 7 from 9:00 A.M. to 4 P.M. (optional Chaplet of Divine Mercy at 8:30 am) at St. Bernard’s Church in Beverly, Ohio on State Route 339 northwest of Marietta.  The theme of the conference is “This Old House: Ever Dynamic, Ever Newwith St. Joseph, model of a true man of God, as its patron.

Prior to the official start of the conference there will be an optional half hour of prayer with recitation of the Divine Chaplet at 8:30 am. This will be followed by a Holy Hour with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Rosary at 9 A.M.

This year’s program includes the popular speaker Dr. Allen Hunt, who will challenge the participants to be truly dynamic Catholics and thus more effective servant leaders in the home, the parish, the community, and on the job.  A Reconciliation Service will take place, and Mass will be presided by Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton, the Fifth Bishop of Steubenville. The priests attending will concelebrate with him.

Allen Hunt was the pastor of a mega-church in Alpharetta, Georgia outside of Atlanta.  Under his leadership, Mount Pisgah Church doubled in size to serve more than 15,000 people each week, one of the largest Methodist congregations in the world.  Dr. Hunt helped to develop comprehensive ministries with children and students as well as a Christian School with over 1200 students, a pregnancy resource center, a Counseling Center, and ministries for the poor and homeless. 


In 1992 Dr. Hunt presented a series of talks to a group of Dominican sisters at Monastery of Our Lady of Grace in North Guilford, Connecticut.  The nuns decided as a prayer project to pray for his conversion.  It took them 15 years.  Since discovering the truth, he went through 15 years of struggle to make the final decision to leave his mega-church and make a complete change of life and convert to Catholicism.  This act of courage and integrity meant being ostracized by colleagues and friends and losing his prestigious position.  Those in RCIA and others who have discovered the truth, but are struggling, can certainly identify with him.     
   
Thus Allen Hunt is in a unique position to speak on the theme of the Steubenville Diocesan Men’s Conference:  “This Old House: Ever Dynamic, Ever New”.  This theme promises to give all participants, especially cradle Catholics, a renewed appreciation of the beauty and splendor of the faith, motivating the men to deepen their knowledge and become more committed.  Today with the zeal of a St. Paul, this new Catholic evangelist works night and day to share his discovery of the faith.  He does this through talks all over the country, writing, and partnering with Matthew Kelly at the Dynamic Catholic Institute.  See www.dynamiccatholic.com.  He will talk on “The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic”…… prayer, study, generosity, and evangelization in the morning session.  His afternoon talk will focus on his journey to the true faith and how God revolutionizes our lives with His real presence in the Eucharist and its remarkable power for each of us.

Prior to full-time ministry, Allen Hunt worked for an international leader in the textile, apparel, and retail industries.  He also was a management consultant with Kurt Salmon Associates.  Dr. Hunt earned a Ph.D. in New Testament and Ancient Christian Origins from Yale University.

Dr. Allen Hunt is also a best-selling author of “Confessions of a Mega-Church Pastor: How I Discovered the Hidden Treasures of the Catholic Church”; “Everybody Needs to Forgive Somebody”; and “Nine Words: A Bible Study to Help You Become the Best-Version-of-Yourself”.  They can be obtained from his website at www.DynamicCatholic.com.

While travel time and distance may be far for many, it gives the conference a pilgrimage flavor, and Lent is truly all about sacrifice and spiritual growth.  Since St. Bernard Beverly is in the geographic center of our far flung diocese, the Steering Committee is hopeful that the men of Steubenville in the north and the men of Ironton and Chesapeake in the south will be able to participate.   Nevertheless, this mini-pilgrimage is still a Lenten sacrifice of early rising and a long trip with great fellowship in a van or bus as the men pray together, discuss the talks and other events of the Conference, and deepen friendships.  A bag lunch is provided. 

It should be a great day of enjoyable fellowship and spiritual invigoration. In each of the last three years men returned reinvigorated, enthusiastic, and spiritually refreshed.  Expect the same this year.  It is awesome to hear the men lift up their voices in song and be moved by the beauty and power of the faith.  But mostly, through God’s grace, we will have more good spiritually strong men for the kingdom of God as well as the battle against secularism and other evils that trouble our society. We will have men that will exemplify Christ in their professions. We will have men who will become more knowledgeable in their faith and better prepared for a joyful Easter and an eternal closeness to God.  The Men's Day of Renewal is growing into an annual event in our diocese, thus fulfilling a great need.

Promotional Help Needed. One or two men are urgently needed in each parish to ensure the success of this event. To ease the burden on our pastors, we are depending upon our men to offer their assistance as parish representatives to mobilize the men, register them, and organize van pools.  Word-of-mouth advertising is essential to maximize the promotion of the Men’s Day of Renewal throughout each parish. We ask participants of past years to tell their friends about this awesome opportunity for spiritual renewal.  Equally important, women can be most valuable in encouraging their husbands, sons (including teens), fathers, fianc├ęs, etc., to attend. This is a very important part of the new evangelization.”  Father and son can make this day an unforgettable shared experience in which they become closer to each other.

Each prospective parish representative is asked to make his availability and contact information known to the Chair of the Steering Committee, Chuck Schneider at (740)782-1877, (740)338-9091, or cjschn1964@yahoo.com.  Men may register individually or the parish representative may collect the registration forms with payment and send them to Roger Huck; %Men’s Day of Renewal, P.O. Box 54; Beverly, OH 45715.  This would save considerable time waiting at the door.  Checks for the Registration cost of $25.00 per person are to be made payable to the Diocese of Steubenville with “Men's Day of Renewalwritten on the memo line of the check. 

Transportation Needs. A carpool, vanpool, or bus saves on fuel costs and allows for fellowship opportunity while traveling to and from the event—especially for those traveling greater distances. Please assist with the organization of transportation for those attending in your parish.

Donations Needed. It is very expensive to put on a conference of this magnitude and feature today’s top speakers. While the Steering Committee does its best to minimize the cost for each participant, we are seeking donations from businesses, parish organizations, the Knights of Columbus, and individuals. Please send donations to Chuck Schneider as shown above. 

Ads in the Even Program Brochure.  Details on placing the ad for a business or community organization, or Knights of Columbus Council are in the Conference Blog or call Roger Huck at 740-984-2234 or 740-336-9128.

More information is available from your pastor, from Chuck Schneider above, or Paul Sebastian at (740) 245-9404 or paulrsebastian@yahoo.com. The Men's Conference Blog (diosteubmen.blogspot.com) has a wealth of promotional materials (possible bulletin and pulpit announcements, a possible bulletin insert, promotional ideas at the parish level, crucial role of the parish representative, possible talk by one of the men after Mass, etc.), interesting articles, and other information. After the conference and throughout the year, articles will be added to help men keep in good spiritual shape.  

Please submit your registration as soon as possible. Registration will be accepted at the door; however, doing so in advance makes our planning more efficient and also helps to minimize waiting at the conference entrance.

BENEFIT SUMMARY OF WHAT THE MEN'S CONFERENCE CAN DO FOR YOU:
 Get you into good spiritual shape
 Have a great day of enjoyable fellowship and spiritual invigoration with fellow parishioners and participants at the conference, resulting in deeper friendships and parish cohesion
Develop ourselves as men of character and spiritual strength as we obtain the graces to cope with problems and conquer problematic issues that trouble our society
Be an effective spiritual leader to your family as a better husband and father
Prepare our hearts for the great feast of Easter as we become closer to God
Become more knowledgeable about our Catholic faith and grow in Christian maturity

Become a more effective soldier of Christ, and help strengthen His kingdom on earth 


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