Thomas G. Cronin
Thomas G. Cronin
It’s time for men to ‘Step Up’ their faith! That’s why the Diocese of Albany is hosting the Step Up Men’s Conference on Saturday, Aug. 20, at Our Lady of Martyrs Shrine in Auriesville.

Recent research has shown the decline of men practicing their faith. According to a Pew Research Center survey entitled “Religious Landscape Study,” the following stats represent American Catholic men: 49 percent pray daily; 35 percent attend Mass at least once a week; 22 percent read Scripture at least once per week; and 15 percent participate in prayer, Scripture study or religious education groups at least once per week.

These statistics and associated trends are concerning, but what’s more alarming are the details regarding a father’s participation in the faith and how that influences their children’s religious practices. The National Catholic Register recently detailed excerpts from a Swiss government study. It stated: “The religious practice of the father of the family determines the future attendance at or absence from church of the children. If a father doesn’t attend church, no matter how faithful his wife’s devotions — only one child in 50 will become a regular worshipper. If a father does go regularly, 75 percent of the children will continue as churchgoers.”

We need to take action and journey with men in their faith. The Step Up Men’s Conference is intended to start a movement for men to unite as brothers in Christ and support their families and church families. The “domestic church” (aka the family) is in a state of crisis. Our faith needs to be reinforced in the home and the research shows there is much room for improvement.
The goal of the conference is to give men the tools needed to grow in holiness in their everyday lives. Our mission is to grow in our love and relationship with Christ, empower men to live a more virtuous and holy life, develop relationships and a brotherhood with each other, and to establish a plan to bring this energy back to our families and parish families. 

Please personally invite and share information about the Step Up Men’s Conference with everyone you know. Your invitation may be a critical turning point in someone’s life and may be the call to action that a guy needs to decide to attend.
The event will include presentations from Father Donald Calloway, a well-known speaker and author, and Father Roger Landry from the Diocese of Fall River (Mass.), who works for the Holy See’s Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations. The day will also include the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Adoration, Rosary, time to connect with men from across the Diocese, and Mass with Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger.

Pope Francis stated: “Family is the foundation of society.” Please join me in praying that the Step Up Men’s Conference will help fortify the foundation of society and lead men and their families in knowing and loving Jesus Christ.

Please contact me with any questions about the Step Up Men’s Conference at Thomas.Cronin@rcda.org or by visiting https://www.rcda.org/StepUp. Follow me on Instagram: tom_rcda