WILKES-BARRE – Hundreds of men gathered at Holy Redeemer High School on Oct. 7, 2023, to take part in the 8th annual ‘Be A Catholic Man’ conference.

The day of prayer and fellowship was an opportunity for the attendees to renew their faith and commitment to serving the church.

Attendees of the ‘Be A Catholic Man’ Conference listen to Rev. John Anthony Boughton, C.F.R., speak during the Oct. 7, 2023 event.

“The speakers that the team is able to pull together are ‘lights out,’” Paul Binner, Sr., of Tunkhannock, said. “They really help me connect with my faith at a deeper level, to hear their stories, to see the witness of their lives. It’s just very inspiring and it carries me through to the next conference.”

Conference speakers this year included Mark Houck and Sam Blair, a former Navy Seal Officer, who urged the men attending the conference to love the Lord unconditionally.

“The Lord doesn’t want a Sunday relationship with us. He wants a moment-to-moment relationship with us,” Blair explained. “I think a lot of us have decided that we’re going to do a Sunday relationship and that’s it.”

Rev. John Anthony Boughton, C.F.R., spoke about the power of the Rosary and the importance of going to confession at least once a month.

“Confession is critical because it keeps our communication line with the Lord open wide,” Rev. Boughton said.

The priest of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal compared confession to cleaning out your house.

“It’s like sweeping the house. Even if it doesn’t look that dirty, you always find dust in it. Even if the dust looks the same, who cares! You dust it out. If you do that, you keep your soul in a state of grace and you’re able to hear the voice of the Lord more clearly, you’re able to see the road ahead that He has for you and you’re able to make decisions that are godly decisions,” he added.

John Guarnieri, a parishioner of Saint Jude Parish in Mountain Top, attended the conference to “learn and hopefully take a deeper step into the faith.”

The conference concluded with the celebration of Mass with the Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, as principal celebrant. During his homily, he thanked all those who attended the conference.

“You are surely a sign of hope for our Church and for our world today, as we far too often confront countless obstacles and open hostility to the faith we profess and hold dear,” Bishop Bambera said.