By Karen Bonar, The Salina Register
HAYS — Some familiar faces will be present at the Seventh Annual Diocesan Men’s Conference on Aug. 11 in Hays.
Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M., Cap., who hails from Concordia and attended St. Francis Seminary High School in Victoria, will be one of the two speakers at the conference, which is themed “Men of God.” He will be joined by nationally known radio host John Martignoni, who hosts “EWTN Open Line” on EWTN Radio.
Archbishop Chaput said he is delighted to be returning to his home diocese for the conference.
“Kansas has its own special beauty, and a lot of that beauty comes from the people who live here,” he said. “You can take the boy out of Kansas, but not Kansas out of the boy.”
The annual men’s conference is hosted by the Salina Diocese office of Family Life. The event will feature the speakers, as well as Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, Reconciliation and lunch.
The conference theme is one both speakers laud.
“To be men of God means making a daily effort to be holy; to consciously develop the virtues of courage, honesty, justice, prudence, self-discipline and patience,” Archbishop Chaput said.
Martignoni, who has spoken previously in the diocese, said he thinks the man’s role in the spiritual formation of a family has been de-emphasized. Studies have shown that children whose fathers regularly attend church are 85 to 90 percent likely to attend church themselves as adults. If only their mother attends church, the chance is about 25 percent.
“The impact of the father on the spiritual formation of the children is so great that adult men need proper formation right now,” he said. “In this environment we’re living in, it’s so much more important to get to the male right now.”
He said the female’s role in the Church is equally important, but “the male has been neglected and overlooked, we have some catching up to do.”
Archbishop Chaput said today’s culture focuses on “toxic masculinity.”
“There’s also an undercurrent of real contempt for male dignity and leadership that’s very unhealthy for society and demoralizing for young men,” he said
Archbishop Chaput said he plans to discuss how young men “become real men in a Christian sense, despite all the conflicting pressures.”