Written by Deacon Anthony Cioe
We are all called to be holy. We are called to live our lives with love for others; to be the face of Christ to all whom we encounter. For men, no matter where we are in our faith journey, that means being better fathers, better husbands, better sons, better employees, better Catholics — better men! So, to help men grow in their faith and become better men, the Diocese of Camden announces the first ManUp Men’s Spirituality Conference on Nov. 10.
Why is it so important that we focus our energies on helping others to grow in their faith and then send them forth to share their faith with others? It’s because we are called to do so. By our baptism, each of us is called to spread the Good News, and to share our faith. Pope Francis reminds us that “we cannot passively and calmly wait in our church buildings; we need to move from a pastoral ministry of mere conservation to a decidedly missionary pastoral ministry.” As a church we are called to be missionary disciples who know and live the faith and confidently share the Gospel!
“We are called to be missionary disciples.” That’s a message we can’t escape hearing. Pope Francis, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and our own Bishop Dennis Sullivan consistently proclaim this message. But what does it mean to be a missionary disciple and why has that call to missionary discipleship created the spark which ignites our work to bring a Men’s Conference to our diocese? It’s quite simple. The essence of missionary discipleship is meeting people where they are, understanding what they are seeking, and leading them to an encounter with Jesus Christ, the one who holds the answers to all that we seek. We are called to experience Christ and to witness to Christ. And that’s the mission of the ManUp South Jersey Men’s Conference. The conference will provide an opportunity to reinvigorate and unleash the Holy Spirit within our lives. Print Flyer
The theme of the ManUp South Jersey Conference is, “Missionary Discipleship —Be The Man That God Intended.” The conference will feature powerful speakers, Eucharistic Adoration, and tips on creating parish prayer groups. Priests will be available throughout the day for the sacrament of reconciliation. The spiritually inspired day will conclude with Mass featuring Bishop Dennis Sullivan as the main celebrant and homilist.
We know that if we encounter Christ, and continually re-counter Christ, then we will grow as disciples. And from that discipleship we emerge as missionaries unable to contain within ourselves that love we have experienced. The ManUp South Jersey Conference will provide that encounter.
Deacon Anthony Cioe is assigned to Saints Peter and Paul Parish in Turnersville.