In a world filled with constant noise and distractions, taking the time to nourish one’s faith, deepen their understanding of the Divine Liturgy, and connect with fellow men of faith becomes increasingly important. The 8th annual “Called to be Holy” Men’s Conference & Retreat, which has already come to a successful conclusion, provided an opportunity for just that. This year’s event, held on October 27 and October 28, was an enriching experience for attendees who sought to learn, laugh, and pray while growing in faith.
The Liturgy of Life: From Table to Mission
At the heart of this year’s conference was the theme “The Liturgy of Life: From Table to Mission.” The event emphasized the importance of the Divine Liturgy, where attendees are nourished by the Word of God and partake in the Eucharist. But the message extended beyond the chapel’s walls, focusing on how this spiritual nourishment prepares individuals to approach life with gratitude, evangelize, embrace discipleship, and embark on a mission, regardless of their place in the world.
Fr. Matthew Hysell served as the keynote speaker, sharing insights and wisdom that resonated with all attendees. Through his words, he encouraged the participants to reflect on the profound connection between their spiritual nourishment at the Table of Our Lord and their actions in the world.
A Day of Spiritual Enrichment
The day began at 8:30 am with an opportunity for confession in the chapel, providing attendees with a chance to cleanse their souls and prepare for a day of spiritual growth. Refreshments were available to ensure everyone felt welcomed and comfortable.
The official program commenced at 9:00 am with the Third Hour prayer and instructions for the day. This set the tone for a day of reflection, growth, and fellowship.
Bishop David, in a thought-provoking video presentation, reminded attendees of their identity as “People of the Eucharist.” This powerful message reinforced the central role of the Eucharist in the lives of the faithful.
A refreshing break allowed participants to recharge before they delved into the heart of the program. Attendees had the opportunity to choose from three engaging breakout sessions, each led by esteemed speakers:
– Deacon Cyril Kennedy discussed “The Eucharist Makes You Stronger,” emphasizing the spiritual strength gained through participation in the Eucharist.
– Matthew Hysell elaborated on “The Eucharist and Divinization,” exploring the transformative power of the Eucharist in one’s life.
– Sub Deacon Bill Lewchuk, and Evan Ropp provided insights into “My Everyday Life; Living the Eucharist,” helping attendees bridge the gap between their spiritual life and daily experiences.
The day continued with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, a deeply spiritual and unifying experience that served as a pinnacle moment for the conference.
Afterward, a communal lunch allowed participants to connect, share experiences, and strengthen their bonds with fellow men of faith.
The afternoon session resumed with another inspiring video message from Bishop David, reinforcing the theme of being “People of the Eucharist.” Attendees then had the opportunity to attend their second breakout session.
The day concluded with a final gathering, where a panel of speakers answered questions and provided further insights into the central theme. The event concluded with a final prayer, encouraging attendees to reflect on their experiences and set their intentions for future spiritual growth.
As the official program concluded, Vespers were held in the chapel with Canadian bishops and seminarians, creating a sacred and communal moment to close the day.
The 8th annual “Called to be Holy” Men’s Conference & Retreat proved to be an enriching, spiritually rejuvenating event. It provided men of faith with the opportunity to come together, deepen their understanding of the Divine Liturgy, and explore how their spiritual nourishment at the Eucharistic table can guide their lives and missions in the world. The event’s various sessions, keynote speakers, and communal moments left a lasting impact on all who attended, reinforcing the importance of faith and community in the lives of these men. It’s clear that this annual event continues to be a source of inspiration and spiritual growth for all who are called to be holy.