Conference was a dream come true for Bishop Kemme

Bishop Carl A. Kemme poses with Harrison Butker, left, and actor David Henrie. (Facebook grab)

The Men’s Conference Saturday, March 2, at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Wichita was a dream come true for Bishop Carl A. Kemme.

Not because he was able to meet Super Bowl Champion Harrison Butker and actor David Henrie, but because he dreamed years ago, when the idea was first discussed, that it would draw 1,000 men. The event fulfilled the bishop’s dream.

“I thank you men, husbands, fathers, grandfathers, sons and grandsons, uncles, seminarians and priests, for coming together to have a day just for us to ask the Lord to give us the graces we need as men to grow in faith and virtue, to take our rightful place as leaders in the church, in our parishes, in the domestic church, which is your family and in our society and culture, which for too long has sidelined men in their natural and irreplaceable role in the human family,” he said in his homily.

Bishop: Be men of God

He added that he prayed the event would challenge, inspire, encourage, and help them be the men of God they had been created and called to be.

“This conference is for us a call to arms, a call to the battlefield, if you will, where we will take up the spiritual arms of our holy faith for the people entrusted to our care. There is in each of us, we who are men, a deep understanding of our role as protector, provider, and warrior,” he said. “This is the DNA of men by our very nature, but even more so because of our faith.”

The church sees men as a reflection of our heavenly Father in relation to his Son as well as our Blessed Mother, who is a model and image of the church, Bishop Kemme said.

“The church therefore calls us in a particular way to protect, defend, provide for and battle for the lives and safety of our spouses,” he said. “And so, as protectors, providers, and warriors, I call you today to join me in taking up the spiritual arms that will help us fulfill the plan of God for the church and for all her members.”

Spiritual arms

Bishop Kemme then explained what those spiritual arms are.

• “She calls us to take the arms of prayer, fasting, and penance, but not just for a season, such as we do during Lent, but for a lifetime, for there are fewer things more spiritually powerful than these.

• “She calls each of you to take up the arms of daily Mass, daily reading, and reflecting on the Word of God and other spiritual reading, weekly confession, and adoration, so as not to lose strength in the battle, but to be ever strong and courageous.

• “She calls each of you to the arms of the rosary, which has been described by some of the greatest saints as the weapon of our times to fight the temptations and deception of the devil.

• “Finally, the church calls us to develop and foster healthy fraternity within men’s groups in our parishes, such as the Knights of Columbus, or other groups, not only for the enjoyment they bring to us, but more so for the spiritual strength they foster in our discipleship.”

Team up against Satan

Together men can withstand an attack of the devil designed to cause moral or spiritual collapse.

“In this new apostolic era in which we find ourselves, we clearly need each other and that is why days like today are vital and necessary for the church, for this diocese, and for each of you,” Bishop Kemme said.
Like the reading of the day’s Gospel, he said, strive to be like the Father, always on the lookout for his wayward son and ready to welcome him when he returns.

“Let us also recognize ourselves in the prodigal son, who needs to return to the house of the Father and seek mercy and forgiveness, and let us also resist becoming the elder brother who was full of resentment and bitterness; rather rejoice when a brother, a son, or a friend finds their rightful place back in the family of God. Together, we can rejoice in our common inheritance, which is eternal life as adopted sons of our heavenly Father.”

Remember Fr. Kapaun

The bishop closed his homily by reminding the battalion attending about the example of Servant of God Fr. Emil Kapaun.

“He was a man’s man, a true Kansan, a devoted priest, a dedicated chaplain in the army, who used his many and manly virtues to not only save lives but more so to save souls. Let his intercession be called upon today and each day by us, men in the church who find ourselves as he did on the battlefield of life so that his courage and unyielding faith will inspire in us the same.”

For more about Fr. Kapaun visit