Together in prayer

Rachel Meyer, News Writer

As Kahlil Gibran, a Lebanese writer, once said, “Prayer is the song of the heart. It reaches the ear of God even if it is mingled with the cry and tumult of a thousand men.” On March 29, 2022, the 26th Annual Men’s Catholic Conference was held by the Archdiocese of Dubuque at Xavier High School. The conference was planned by Paul Burke, a priest from Atlanta, Georgia. Many deacons and priests, including Father Richmond Dzekoe, taught classes and helped with the mass. The theme this year was St. Joseph and the event happened to be held on his feast day and it aimed to assist men to live as disciples of Jesus. According to the Archdiocese, each year men from throughout the archdiocese gather to learn, pray, share and build relationships. Various activities were held throughout the day including: two masses, adoration, confession, speeches and classes. There was also time set aside for the participants to pray, share stories and learn from each other. There were two speakers this year: Mark Hartfiel and Devin Schadt. Hartfiel is the Vice President of Paradisus Dei, a national apostolate or Christian organization best known for their men’s ministry program called That Man is You. Schadt is a speaker and author of “The Path”, “Lead Daily Devotional” and “The Meaning and Mystery of Man.”He is cofounder of The Fathers of St. Joseph, an apostolate that works for the renewal of authentic fatherhood. Around 300 men attended the conference, with 200 attending in person and 100 attending online. Participants came from all across the Archdiocese of Dubuque, ranging from single young adults to married ordained men. The team who put together the conference are thankful for Xavier’s support. “The conference team is very thankful for Xavier’s generous support throughout the years. Mrs. Esker in particular has been very kind and helpful to me and the other team members in our preparations,” Burke said. Every year men throughout the archdiocese are excited to come and share their faith with each other through prayer and stories. Ultimately, they are able to grow their faith by building a stronger church and loving as Jesus’ disciples.