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4,000 Catholic men gather for fellowship, spiritual strength

.- Nearly 4,000 men, ranging from pre-teens to the elderly, attended the 10th annual Catholic Men's Conference, March 20, organized to help men grow in spiritual strength.

The conference was organized by the Catholic Men's Fellowship of Greater Cincinnati at Xavier University's Cintas Center under the theme “Answer the Call”.

Although the number of participants dropped by 1,500 from last year, it wasn’t obvious given the spirit of the event.

Declan O'Sullivan, trustee of the Catholic Men's Fellowship, told the Cincinnati Enquirer that the conference is designed to help men understand "they can't conquer evil on their own.” Some speakers emphasized that the issue at stake is freedom from evils prevalent in society, such as pornography, alcohol and drugs.

Some participants admitted that the conference helps them focus on their responsibility toward and relationships with their wives and children.

Marianist Father Ken Sommer, one of the co-founders of Cincinnati's Catholic Men's Fellowship and its spiritual director, challenges the men to adopt a four-part approach to enriching their spiritual lives. Pray one hour a day; fast regularly; seek spiritual direction and prayerfully share personal concerns with other brothers in the Lord.

The Greater Cincinnati Catholic Men's Fellowship offers more than an annual conference. It has about 185 groups throughout the region that meet in local parishes.

The group also has 70,000 members throughout the U.S. and has spread to 22 other states. Its national office will soon launch a Web site providing support materials for starting an affiliate (http://www.catholicmensresources.org).


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