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‘Experience Jesus in the Eucharist’ was annual men’s conference theme

News of the Diocese

March 7, 2024

‘Experience Jesus in the Eucharist’ was annual men’s conference theme

A sold-out crowd of more than 400 men filled the ballroom at the Holiday Inn Rockside in Independence on March 2 for the Diocese of Cleveland Catholic Men’s Fellowship Conference. Theme of the event was “Experience Jesus in the Eucharist,” which ties into the ongoing national Eucharistic Revival.

The day featured three main speakers, Father Thomas Blau, OP, Joe Heschmeyer and Auxiliary Bishop Michael Woost. There also was adoration, confession, fellowship, a question and answer session, Mass celebrated by Bishop Woost and an opportunity to visit displays from vendors and Catholic organizations.

Bishop Woost spoke on “Encountering the Eucharistic Christ: Celebrating the Mass with Meaning.”

‘Experience Jesus in the Eucharist’ was annual men’s conference theme

Father Blau is known as an “itinerant preacher” in the Diocese of Columbus. He has led more than 100 parish missions in Ohio alone. Father Blau lived in Honduras and Guatemala on an extended service mission, which sparked his interest in a religious vocation.

Ordained in 1990, he has been assigned to Dominican outreaches at the University of Virginia and Providence College. He was assigned to St. Patrick Church (Diocese of Columbus) as a parish vicar in 2010. Currently, he is one of the pontifical missionaries of mercy of the Catholic Church. He also is an inducted magistral chaplain for the Knights of Malta and the local chaplain for the Columbus Legatus chapter.

Heschmeyer, a staff apologist for Catholic Answers, is also an author, speaker, blogger and podcaster. He discerned the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Kansas City 2012-2017.

‘Experience Jesus in the Eucharist’ was annual men’s conference theme

Formerly a practicing attorney, he is a regular contributor to Catholic Answers Live, Catholic Answers Focus and Catholic Answers magazine. He also has blogged at his own “Shameless Popery” website and co-hosted a weekly show, “The Catholic Podcast.”

In his presentation, Bishop Woost reminded the faithful that the Eucharist is an encounter and it should begin with the conviction that we will encounter the presence of the living God in the celebration of the Eucharist. This happens in the presider and other ministers, in the word proclaimed, in the people gathered and in the sacraments, uniquely in the Eucharist.

“We should walk out different from the way we walked in because of this encounter,” the bishop said. Some ways to do that are to read and pray the Scripture readings before Mass, listen to the proclamation of the word of God and listen to the homily.

He also encourage conference attendees to see themselves as placed upon the altar. They also should have a desire to be transformed as we are caught up in prayer.

When we receive the Eucharist, we are encouraged to take and eat, take and drink. This is done so Jesus will be with us, we can be joined to his ongoing sacrifice and we can grow in community.

‘Experience Jesus in the Eucharist’ was annual men’s conference theme

At the end of Mass, we are sent on a mission at the dismissal, the bishop said.

“Choose to make a difference,” he told conference attendees. He also asked them to witness and reflect on how they encountered the presence of the living God in the celebration of the Mass.

“Then become what you receive,” he added.

Click here for more information on the Cleveland Catholic Men’s Fellowship, which has men’s groups throughout the diocese that meet regularly, in addition to the annual conference.

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