Jesse Romero inspires men at First Annual Men’s Conference in St. Joseph

Jesse Romero, left, former cop and boxer, visits with a participant at St. Joseph’s first annual Men’s Conference.  Approximately a hundred men of all ages from twenty-six parishes attended the conference on May 26. (Sara Kraft/Key photo)

By Sara Kraft

“I want to become the spiritual leader of my family,” explained Mike Belding, father of eight. “This Men’s Conference drove me to be stronger in my faith so that my family can be stronger in faith.”

On May 26, the Saturday of Memorial Day, despite beautiful weather, approximately a hundred men attended the first annual Men’s Conference at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in St. Joseph. These men spanned a variety of age groups and states in life. Some participants were still in middle school and others were grandfathers. The goal of the conference was to inspire men in their relationship with God. Men hailed from twenty-six parishes and as far away as Omaha, Nebraska.

Catholic Lay Evangelist Jesse Romero, former cop and boxer, delivered four talks to inspire men to live up to their full spiritual potential. The talks encompassed prayer, spiritual warfare, and the need to be a protector.

“Men are supposed to be the spiritual leaders of the house,” explained Jesse Romero. “They are targets of the devil because God has given them a natural spiritual leadership in the home. If the father becomes faithful, it is easier to lead the family in faith and virtue. If the father is disconnected, it is almost impossible for the mom to lead the family in faith.”

The first stirrings of the conference really came in September 2016. Ten men gathered at 6:30 am on a Wednesday morning for Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish’s first Band of Brothers men’s group meeting. As the group grew, in June 2017, men from this group decided to host a men’s conference in St. Joseph. They hoped to inspire other men in their quest for holiness. They invited other men in the area to help plan the conference. At first, the group had difficulties finding the right speaker for the event. However, Jesse Romero’s son wrestled with one of the organizer’s son at Benedictine College, so a connection was made. Since Memorial Day weekend was Jesse’s only free weekend this spring, it was chosen. The conference began and ended with Mass. Throughout the day, Adoration and Confession were available.

Jesse and organizers had a very specific vision for the conference. “For certain men, my goal of this conference was to have them fall in love with Jesus Christ. For those who have already had a conversion, I want to take their love deeper, to give it more roots. These men, if they become radioactive Catholics, and buy in totally to the Catholic faith, will be natural ambassadors of their faith to family and friends. What I am doing today will hopefully grow exponentially to the tenth power,” explained Jesse.

“My mission before I have my ‘final exit interview’ is to make people fall in love with Jesus Christ,” explained Jesse, “To save as many souls as possible from Satan, and to dispel error and replace it with truth in hearts and minds.”

Additionally, Abbot Benedict Neenan, O.S.B. from Conception Abbey spoke during lunch. “Holiness is achievable for all of us because it does not depend on our own strength, but God’s strength which is grace,” Abbot Neenan explained.
Participants agreed the conference was a great opportunity to grow deeper in their faith.

“I realized I am responsible for getting my family to heaven. It’s a pretty big responsibility,” explained Roger Smith. This conference “is just more food for the soul to equip me for the battle ahead.”

“Because I feel I am better equipped, I hope to offer prayers and intercession to help protect my family and hopefully provide deliverance,” explained Garth Mussey.

The organizers hope the conference will get more men on fire with their Catholic faith.

“My hope is men will go back to their home and be the spiritual leaders of their home and to lead by example particularly in their devotion to the Eucharist so they can hand on their faith to future generations,” said Father Christian Malewski, Pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish.

Next year’s conference will be held during Lent on Saturday, March 23 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in St. Joseph.

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Tuesday
December 11, 2018
Newspaper of the Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph