Father Dwight Longenecker is one of the speakers for the Man Fully Alive conference Saturday, March 30, at Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School in Wichita. (Courtesy photos)

In an era where masculinity is sometimes denigrated, the Catholic Men’s Conference is pushing against that criticism in an attempt to motivate men to embrace their God-given gift of masculinity.
“Man Fully Alive,” is the theme for this year’s conference Saturday, March 30. Bishop Kemme will open the event with Mass.

Hector Molina

Scott Carter, coordinator of the Father Kapaun Guild for the Diocese of Wichita, said he is excited about the two speakers: Hector Molina and Father Dwight Longenecker.
“They fit well with bishop’s vision for the diocese,” he said. “Becoming Fully Alive and how we can do that as men.”
Carter added that Bishop Kemme’s vision is to have 1,000 men and 100 priests attending the event. “This is a great vision of how, we, the laity, and the priests work together to build up our families in our parishes.”
The goal of the men’s conference is to inspire men to go back home and take what they’ve learned back to their families, into the parishes, to transform the community, he said.
Representatives have been asked in about every parish in the diocese to recruit men to participate in the conference. “We have a good group of guys coming from the southeast corner of the state, from Pittsburg and Cherokee County,” Carter said. “We’re excited that it’s not just a Wichita thing.”
The event is sponsored by the Diocese of Wichita, Kapaun’s Men, and Knights of Columbus Council 4118.
Samour said the Office of Marriage and Family Life sponsors the event “because when men are committed and engaged in their marriage and family lives, then everything seems to thrive and be better. In many respects, men hold the key to the future of the family, the future of society.”
He added that the three groups were proud to welcome the two nationally-known speakers “who will ignite a fire in the men who participate and help them become Fully Alive!”
Molina’s first presentation will focus on the same Bible verse Bishop Carl A. Kemme chose for his pastoral plan: “I have come that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10).
Samour said Molina will reflect on the need for men for ongoing conversion and renewal through the lens of the raising of Lazarus in the gospel of John.
In his second talk he will focus on the need for men to move from a maintenance centered vision of their role as leaders but to a missionary, evangelizing zeal, “we can change the world” type attitude and conviction.
Fr. Dwight Longenecker’s presentations will bring to light the role Christ should play in each man’s life, Samour said.
If Jesus Christ fully reveals to man who he is, or maybe more accurately, who he is meant to be, then imitating Christ is our task as men, Father Longenecker says, adding that that entails laying down our lives for others: our wives, children, friends, our community, in the end every single person we come into contact with.