Inspired by their own experiences at men’s conferences, two men of the diocese, Troy Kroening of St. John the Baptist Parish, Marshfield, and Galen Pittman of Blessed Sacrament Parish, La Crosse, spearheaded the effort to organize Men of the Cross with Matthew Canter, assistant director of the Office of Marriage and Family Life of the Diocese of La Crosse.Website: menofthecross.org
The idea for a men’s conference first began to percolate, Kroening said, when he realized that Catholic men’s groups in the diocese were on the rise.
“We had been working for a while to set the foundation for a men’s conference,” he said. “I felt like we had a sufficient foundation of men’s groups throughout the diocese. The plan was to have them feed the men’s conference and the men’s conference feed the men’s groups. Waiting any longer just seemed like stalling to me.”
Pittman was also inspired by other men’s groups he has attended over the years, especially the annual Men of Christ Conference sponsored by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.
“I was blessed that I could attend a few of those Milwaukee conferences, and came away with great inspirational feelings about manhood and keeping God in our life,” he said. “About three years ago, Jeff Heinzen, president of McDonnel Area Catholic Schools, assembled a group of men in the Diocese of La Crosse whom he believed would be interested in men’s conferences and men’s organizations. Six of those men have continued with this inspirational concept of a men’s conference in the Diocese of La Crosse. Bishop Callahan chose La Crosse as the location for the inaugural men’s conference.”
Fr. Larry Richards - Relevant Radio
Doug Barry - EWTN / Battle Ready
Tom Peterson - Catholics Come Home Network
Fr. Conrad Targonski - Viterbo University
Bishop William Callahan - Diocese of La Crosse
In related news, Bishop Callahan did speak for the local Catholic men's group in La Crosse in August. Some photos here.