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National Men’s Conference to focus on helping men find their role in the Body of Christ

Speakers at the March 25th event in Cincinnati include Bishop Earl Fernandes, Jonathan Roumie of The Chosen, Archduke of Austria Christian Habsburg-Lorraine, and Fr. Robert Spitzer, SJ.

Fr. Robert Spitzer, SJ.. and Jonathan Roumie of "The Chosen" are two of several speakers who will be at the National Men's Conference in Cincinnati on March 25, 2023. (Images:

The National Men’s Conference will be held on Saturday, March 25, 8 am to 5 pm in the Cintas Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. Formerly known as the Cincinnati Men’s Conference, the annual conference will begin with Mass celebrated by Archbishop of Cincinnati Dennis Shnurr, followed by speakers Jonathan Roumie of The Chosen, Archduke of Austria and grandson of Blessed Karl of Austria Christian Habsburg-Lorraine, Bishop of Columbus Earl Fernandes, and Fr. Robert Spitzer, SJ, author and host of EWTN’s Father Spitzer’s Universe. Additionally, there will be a panel discussion featuring Cincinnati Bengals center Ted Karras and Bengals assistant coach Mark Duffner, former offensive lineman for the Indianapolis Colts Joe Reitz, and Bengals chaplain Fr. Tom Ray.

“It’s time for good men to come together,” said Joe Condit, producer, director and chairman of the National Men’s Conference. “My Catholic generation has always been taught to pray about the obstacles they face and the culture we are living with an underlying assumption that ‘they’ will fix it. But I’ve learned that we are the ‘they’ and we need to build our men up to change the culture and the Church for the better and put effort forth to be the men that Christ is calling us to be.”

Condit noted that participants will be invited to join the social platform built by the National Men’s Conference so they may continue their conference experience after the event has concluded. “It is my hope,” he explained, “that all the men who coordinate men’s conferences in their own cities treat the National Men’s Conference like the Super Bowl of all the men’s conferences and take advantage of it to meet other conference leaders, share best practices and encourage their conference attendees to join with them.”

Condit, who is also founder of Catholic Speakers Organization, said that the first national men’s Catholic conference began in Cincinnati in 1994, and subsequent annual conferences would draw as many as 15,000. Many regional Catholic men’s conferences have sprung up since, he noted, but his hope is that the Cincinnati conference will be the one “where men can come from all over the world to meet one another.”

Each year’s conference has a theme based on the teachings of the Holy Father, he said, and this year’s will be “finding your role in the Body of Christ.” He anticipates as many as 7,000 to come to the conference in-person, and many more participating throughout the world online. He said, “We want people to have ‘watch parties’ in their homes and invite their friends over to watch the conference livestream as they might come over for a Super Bowl party.”

Among the speakers Condit highlighted included Christian Habsburg-Lorraine, archduke of Austria, of whom Condit said, “It is his first-ever U.S. talk and he’ll be speaking on being truly Catholic.”

The panel discussion includes two pro-football offensive linemen, Ted Karras and Joe Reitz, because, Condit said, “guys like sports.” Condit also opines that St. Joseph is the “unofficial patron saint for offensive linemen” because “they do the most important work in the game and don’t get any credit. They do their job silently and obediently, like St. Joseph. The offensive lineman’s job is to protect the football and quarterback; it’s a man’s job to defend his faith and family.”

Among the speakers is Fr. Robert Spitzer, SJ., who is making his second appearance at the conference; his first was more than a dozen years ago, while serving as president of Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. Fr. Spitzer said that when he was approached about speaking at the conference on the topic of the Eucharist, he was eager to participate. “When I’m asked to speak about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, it is a topic in which I’m very much interested. I’m very much involved in the U.S. bishops’ effort to promote Eucharistic revival.”

He recalled having a very positive experience at the conference years ago, saying, “I enjoyed the camaraderie of so many good men, and I enjoyed some good talks as well.”

Fr. Spitzer noted that his talk will begin by addressing several questions, including, “What did Jesus really intend at the Last Supper? Did he really offer His own Body and Blood, and what can we expect to happen if He really did such a thing? And, how can we understand it today from the vantage point of science?”

He plans to offer an overview of three recent Eucharistic miracles as well, each of which has been subject to extensive scientific study.

Fr. Spitzer pointed to a recent survey that indicated that only 30% of Catholics in the U.S. believe in the Real Presence, and added, “but after they hear my talk, I hope we get that number up to 100%.”

He blames widespread disbelief in the Eucharist on bad catechesis, but also “because we live in a skeptical age.” He concluded, “I hope I’m able to take the most hardened skeptic and give him hope, and that he will experience the transformative love of Christ in his life.”

Condit acknowledged the support of a variety of sponsors who have made the conference possible, including title sponsor GiveSendGo. Individual donations are welcome as well.

Men can participate either in person or virtually. Ticket prices are $45-60 for in-person participation, and $13 for online participation. Includes light breakfast and boxed lunch. Clergy and grade school age children are free, except for food costs if they participate in-person. Visit the website to purchase tickets and for additional information.

Watch Cincinnati Archbishop Dennis Schnurr’s endorsement of the National Men’s Conference and click here to see Catholic apologist Chris Stefanick’s endorsement of the conference.

Out-of-town visitors are encouraged to seek overnight accommodations at a discounted rate at the Hilton Garden Inn Cincinnati Midtown. Conference participants may also purchase video presentations from conferences, including the 2022 conference featuring actor Jim Caviezel, the 2021 conference featuring Fr. Mike Schmitz, and the 2019 conference featuring former NFL player Matt Birk. Click here to purchase past conference talks online.

• Promotional video for the National Men’s Conference:

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About Jim Graves 225 Articles
Jim Graves is a Catholic writer living in Newport Beach, California.

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