Breakout Sessions

“How Pro-Life Men Can Make a Difference”
Presented by Jim Burke

This session will help you recognize the importance of getting involved in the life and death issues that comprise the pro-life movement. You will learn how to most effectively counter the attempts to silence you, such as the assertion that men shouldn’t have a say in issues like abortion. Then you’ll hear about the many options available to advance the culture of life. The threats to life continue to grow, and you can have a significant impact in very little time doing things that are really easy.

Jim has been involved with pro-life activities throughout his adult life, ranging from non-profit work with the Coalition for Life of Iowa to political work with the Iowa PAC for Life, and many things in between. He’s led several 40 Days for Life campaigns and tries to help people defend the pro-life position using the most effective and proven methods.


“How to Witness Your Faith”                                                                    
Presented by John Waldorf

We need to create generations of Catholics who are on fire for Jesus Christ. It starts with our families!

John is married to his wonderful wife of 40 years and has been an active member of St Elizabeth Ann Seton for over 25 years. He loves to share to Good News of Jesus Christ to the lost, hurting and fallen away.


“Eucharistic Adoration”
Presented by Gary Smith

Mother Teresa said “Time spent at Eucharistic Adoration… will be the best time you spend on earth”. In this session, Gary Smith will help explain the importance of Eucharistic Adoration. How can a Holy Hour change our faith life? What are some of the “Fruits of Adoration” and how can I get started?

Gary and his wife Teresa have three adult children with five grandchildren; Gary is known throughout Cedar Rapids for his involvement in CEW and CEO ministries as well as the men’s groups at St Matthews and Immaculate Conception Parishes. Those who know Gary know a man of faith. He often can be found sitting quietly in the Adoration chapel at St Patrick’s.


“Be Strong in the Lord”                                                                              
Presented by Russell Yount

“Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from His mighty power.”  Ephesians 6:10.  Can physical strength also glorify God?  In this session, we will discuss how physical fitness, and specifically strength training, can help men grow in virtue and into a deeper union with God through our physical nature.

Russell found his way “home” to the Catholic Church in 2004. He has been married to his wife Bonnie for 17 years. Russell works as an accountant for Four Oaks and is a volunteer firefighter. He serves as a district deputy for the Iowa Knights of Columbus in Cedar Rapids.


“Make a Good Confession”                                                                      
Presented by Pete Mathison

Why do less than 15% of all Catholics participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation?  Do I really need to confess my sins to a Priest?  What does un-reconciled sin do to ME?  Pete Mathison will share why this Sacrament is so beautiful, special, important and unique to the Catholic faith.

Pete is a cradle Catholic, who eight years ago was inspired by the Holy Spirit to put his God-given talents to work to accomplish what GOD wanted done. Known for his heart of service, humility and friendly smile Pete attributes these things to Grace and uses confession to stay close to God.


 “Compassion and Authority”                                                                     
Presented by Ron Smith

Does supporting building a border wall conflict with Catholic social teaching? Can one claim to be Catholic and support building a border wall without being a hypocrite? How does one reconcile the sovereign need / right for a nation to protect its citizens but at the same time, embrace the human needs of migrants trying to make a better life in our beautiful nation? Come and listen to Ron Smith review official Catholic position and opinions on how best to approach this highly politically charged and controversial subject of building the wall and related immigration reform.

Ron is the father of ten children with Debbie, his wife of 29 years. He is a contributor and leader in the Sons of the Holy Ghost Men’s group at Immaculate Conception. Among these men he is known for his humor, wit, good sense and compassion.