WOODBRIDGE, N.J. (ChurchMilitant.com) - An upcoming Catholic conference will discuss what it takes to be a strong, Catholic man.
The 2019 Crusade Conference is scheduled for May 18 at the Columbian Club in Woodbridge, New Jersey. The event is sponsored by Crusade Radio and the Latin Mass Society of Central New Jersey.
Serving as the theme for this year's conference is "raising chivalrous young men in an increasingly decadent society."
There will be four speakers at the conference: Catholic talk show host Mike Church, Catholic psychologist G. C. Dilsaver, professor Joseph Pearce and Br. Andre Marie of the St. Benedict Center.
Church Militant reached out to Brother Andre via email on Thursday. When asked about the purpose of the conference, he replied, "To be blunt, there is all around us an epic failure in manhood. Men are in crisis, which means fathers — both familial fathers and spiritual fathers — are in crisis. The only remedy to this crisis is the truth, goodness and moral beauty of Catholic chivalry."
He continued, "The speakers are going to address the causes of the crisis, but, more importantly, the remedies to be found in the perennial wisdom of Catholic doctrine and Christian civilization."
Church Militant inquired about the target audience for the May 18 conference. Brother Andre Marie explained that the conference is for "young men themselves," for "any parents or even grandparents who have male children or grandchildren" and for "anyone who has a vested interest in healing a broken manhood and forging a new Christendom here in America."
Brother Andre opined that the conference could also help young women "who want to know the good traits to look for in a future husband."
Brother Andre said about the obstacles young Catholic men face:
Where to begin? Pandemic pornography that attacks the virtue of chastity and any authentic experience of love; addiction to "social media" and the related technological devices that keep boys in a "virtual reality," freezing them like a caricature of Peter Pan in a perpetual immaturity; the loss of the authentic ideal of masculine friendship, and its replacement with homosexuality as the way men can "love" one another; a false sense of autonomy; a rejection of Catholic notions of the hierarchy of society with the husband being the head of the family. We could go on and on, but the real challenge is the spirit of anti-Christ that dominates secular society and has invaded the Church. To counter it, we need a strong supernatural outlook on the human person, the family and society. And, with God's grace, we need to acquire the virtues necessary to live that supernatural outlook.
Statistics show that pornography addiction is a major problem for young people today. According to many studies, the average age of first exposure to pornography is about 11 years old.
Brother Andre told Church Militant that a solid Catholic family life can help combat the many problems young men face in today's world.
"In the family setting," he wrote, "the challenge is to make the Christian home a true domestic Church — both a refuge from the spirit of the world and a place of training and prayer that will confront and overthrow the world, the flesh and the devil."
Brother Andre added, "To do this with love, with balance and with battle joy requires a spirit of selflessness and sacrifice. Right now, in this crazy world, just to be normal requires heroic virtue."
"That is a challenge," Br. Andre admitted. "But when He challenges us, God also gives us the grace to meet the challenge. We can't do it ourselves, so the home has to be a place where we also receive grace."
Admissions for this year's conference will be $30 a person or $60 for a "VIP" ticket that includes a meet-and-greet dinner. All four speakers will touch on issues related to Catholicism, chivalry and masculinity.
For example, Church is slated to speak on "Chivalrous Men: Guiding Young Men by the Lamp of Experience." Likewise, the title of Br. Andre's talk is "Chivalrous Vocations." Pearce's presentation is titled "Readings for Knights: Chivalry in Modern Literature." Dilsaver will present "The Three Marks of Chivalrous Manhood."