The 2016 NTX Men's Conference Was Great Experience For All!
A Big Thanks To Our Speakers and Musicians
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Thank You For Attending Our
2016 North Texas Catholic Men's Conference
April 24, 2016
What a beautiful, awesome conference. The speakers were great! The Music was Great!!!The attendee's were awesome!
The Knights did a good job with the food and the day was well organized.The Holy Spirit invaded our Conference!!!
I want to thank each attendee. We were thrilled to have you come and fellowship with us.
Thank you to all the members of the leadership team who dedicated the past 8 - 10 months into this conference. From parking to our greeters....and our registration team (Francis, Ivan and Women) was awesome....Francis, please thank your wife and all the women volunteers for their great service!!
Our Sacristan.....Trino did an excellent job with the most important part of the day....Holy Eucharistic Adoration. To have our Lord present with us as we listen to music and to have him speaking to the men was awesome. Great Job Trino and team!!!!
Jeff did a great job moderating the event and if you guys knew how many curve balls me and Joey and team was giving Jeff throughout the day, you would laugh......Blessed are the flexible and Jeff was very flexible and funny!!!
A big thank you to Marc and Bob E. and Ben for managing the Priest. Having 21 priest there was great! Thanks also to the ushers and Jeremy for helping with the reconciliation process. Thank you Bob E. for managing the planning and execution of the facility and for your great support behind the scenes.
A special thanks to our outside team lead by Scott, John Southerland, Wynn and John Silva for managing the volunteers, parking and vendors. I know you guys missed a lot of the conference, but your services are greatly appreciated!
Jim Cummings and Ralph Zuranski are special and talented people! Jim, the sound and presentation was awesome as usual. And Ralph, the video was great....we are looking forward to all the final videos!!!! I had folks asking if they could buy videos from the conference.
I also want to recognize Mark Haggard who should have been up there with the other four guys who I recognized yesterday for the 5 years of service. Mark has also been doing this for five years.....my mistake. I will get him a frame as well. Thank you Mark and sorry I missed you and thank you for managing the music....it was awesome!
Thank you Bill Kula for keeping our conference in Social Media throughout the day yesterday and all the great marketing for our organization! The signs and banners were great!
Thank you Mike McGee for all the things you do behind the scenes and thank you for paying our bills!!
Thank you Ron Harris for managing the Knights and the Food and for giving us the idea to do the conference and St. Francis!
Thank you Bob Duane and Kyle Eberlien for managing me and keeping me somewhat calm!! And Bob, thanks for your spiritual direction!
Thank you Greg Theisen for managing the sponsors and the beautiful music for our speaker dinner!
Thank you Fred Fedri for managing the programs. Blessed are the flexible!!
Thank you Jeremy and Wayne for outreach....we Sold out!!!
Thank you Tom Taylor for helping were ever needed. Tom, you were my other spiritual director for he day....thank you!
Thank you Mike O Rouke for managing the Speakers! You are awesome! You will have a uphill climb to top this years speakers!!
I big thank you to all the red shirt volunteers from all over the Metroplex and especially my Good Shepherd brothers....Larry Landry stepped up to manage the ushers thank you.
Thank you Chris Hamm for your legal services.
And a special thanks to Joey for his leadership year after year! You do so many things to make this happen and you are able to put up with me!!! Thank you!
You are all truly Disciples of Christ. Thanks for making this one of your missions for God! The Holy Spirit changed people at our conference!!
Many Blessings, Rick
Pray! Pray! Pray!
God doesn't care about our ability or inability, but our Availability!!
|Robert Smolen of St. Gabriel the Archangel Church in McKinney listens to Father Wade Menezes during the 2016 North Texas Catholic Men's Conference. (Photo by Lance Murray / NTC) MORE PHOTOS|
GRAPEVINE — More than 900 Catholic men joined together April 23 for the 5th Annual North Texas Men’s Conference at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Grapevine, where they heard inspirational messages about mercy and virtue.
The event, which attracted men from 110 parishes and five states, was organized as part of the ministries of the North Texas Catholic Brothers for Christ, a group of men from parishes throughout North Texas committed to building up Christ’s body.
In his message before the event, Conference Lead Rich Self said, “In this, the Jubilee Year of Mercy, we have a beautiful opportunity to incorporate the Corporal and Spiritual Acts of Mercy in our everyday lives.”
It was a message that resounded through each speaker’s presentation.
Attendees heard from Denton resident Jared Zimmerer, the author of Man Up: Becoming the New Catholic Renaissance Man; Father Wade L.J. Menezes, CPM, a member of the Fathers of Mercy; Vinny Flynn, the man who sings the Divine Mercy Chaplet on EWTN; and Arkansas resident Jim Drake, who spoke about his family’s journey of faith after his daughter, Mary, was critically injured in a 2009 car crash. Curtis Stephan was the featured Catholic composer/musician for the event.
In the day’s final address, Drake spoke about the crash and its aftermath, as Mary and his wife, Patti, sat nearby in the audience. Drake held the men in rapt attention as he recounted how faith in God helped his family get through the ordeal.
|Jim Drake embraces his wife, Patti, after talking with attendees about the crash involving their daughter, Mary (left), that led their family on a journey of faith and divine mercy. (Photo by Lance Murray / NTC)|
Mary Drake was 16 in 2009 when she was involved in a head-on crash on Interstate 530 south of Little Rock, Arkansas. She was driving home with her boyfriend, Blaine, after a day of raking leaves for her grandmother, Jim Drake said.
While driving, Mary attempted to swat a bug away and ended up swerving into oncoming traffic.
Mary was the only one of the people involved in the crash who received serious injuries — bones were broken in every limb, and she received a traumatic brain injury.
The family wasn’t sure she would survive and had to make many important decisions in the first days following the crash, including allowing doctors to open a piece of her skull to relieve swelling. In doing so, “We had to rely on God,” Jim Drake said.
Unable to be with Mary as she received immediate treatment at the hospital, Drake said his wife prayed to the Blessed Virgin to hold Mary for her until she could. Soon, Jim and Patti weren’t alone.
“Within 24 hours, our family surrounded us at the hospital,” he said.
To keep family and friends updated on Mary’s condition, the family used CaringBridge.com to post updates throughout her hospitalization and rehabilitation.
They ended each entry on the website this way: “Jesus, we place our trust in you.”
As Jim Drake spoke, a video titled “Miracles for Mary,” played on a screen nearby, enhancing the power of his words about having faith in God.
|Father Wade Menezes talks about how virtue gives us a blueprint for our lives at the 2016 North Texas Catholic Men's Conference.(Photo by Lance Murray / NTC)|
“If you let Him, He will make good out of misery,” Drake said.
Mary underwent numerous surgeries and was hospitalized for eight months before being released.
The Drakes’ church family at Christ the King Church in Little Rock made sure the family had dinners each night, and Mary’s school family at Mount St. Mary Academy joined together to support the Drakes with fundraisers to help cover medical treatments and expenses.
Miracles for Mary Foundation fundraising events continue to this day through a golf tournament that raises money to help other families who have endured a life-changing event, Jim Drake said.
Today, Mary uses a wheelchair for mobility and is unable to speak. She graduated from high school in the class of 2011, completing her requirements by answering test questions with the assistance of a keyboard.
Patti Drake has been her daughter’s constant caregiver, and sat lovingly holding her daughter’s hand Saturday while listening to Jim Drake’s address.
He said that during her hospitalization, Mary did not spend one night alone as family and friends supported their family.
“Where does this love come from, if not from God,” Drake said.
|Men pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet during the North Texas Catholic Men's Conference in Grapevine. (Photo by Lance Murray / NTC)|
The journey has changed him personally, and made his family stronger, Drake told the men.
“My encounter with Divine Mercy has been a blessing on me, and on my family,” Drake said.
Drake said Mary continues to have strong faith.
“She has the will to live, but she recognizes it is God who has brought her this far,” he said.
“Never, ever give up,” Drake said. “Expect a miracle, or you won’t see one.”
Earlier in the afternoon, attendees heard Fr. Menezes speak about the qualities of virtue and mercy, and Vinny Flynn, who sang the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Zimmerer incorporated fitness and physical challenge into his message of faith.