By Richard Meek

The Catholic Commentator

Reaching Jesus through Mary will be the theme of the 19th annual Men of the Cross Men’s Conference scheduled Aug. 10 at Holy Rosary Church in St. Amant.

Holy Rosary pastor Father Joshua Johnson and St. Helena Church in Amite pastor Father Mark Beard are the scheduled presenters, addressing the theme “To Jesus through Mary.”

Father Johnson’s presentation will focus on St. John Paul the Great’s Letter on the Rosary. Father Beard is scheduled to share his conversion story and the Blessed Mother’s role in his vocation.

The conference will include talks on the Blessed Mother, followed by intentional small group sharing, Father Johnson said.

“We hope the men who attend this conference will have a better understanding of Mary’s role in salvation history, the need to lean on every member in the body of Christ, including the Blessed Virgin Mary,” Father Johnson said. “Mary always points us to Jesus and during this conference we believe she will invite her sons to encounter Christ in the sacramental life of the Catholic Church.

“It is an occasion for individual spiritual growth achieved through prayer and personal reflection. The Holy Spirit will be our guide throughout the day.”

He added that he and Father Beard will administer the sacrament of reconciliation throughout the conference.  Eucharistic adoration will also be available and Father Johnson will lead the men in a decade of the rosary. The conference will include a concluding Mass.

The conference, which is open to the public, is presented by Holy Rosary parishioners, who started the planning before Easter, with the official kickoff being the annual Good Friday Walk with the Cross.

Organizers said the conference is an opportunity to hear and discuss how men live as Catholics in a modern, complex society. Men share their testimony to the challenges they face with the increasing demands of everyday life.

“Jesus Christ, our savior, is offering you a chance to respond to a closer and deeper relationship with him,” Father Johnson said.  “Sacraments are the focal point of the day.”

Registration for the conference, which is expected to draw more than 150 men although capacity is 500, begins at 7 a.m. Mass is scheduled for 4 p.m. with a meal to follow.

The suggested donation is $30 and includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

For more information, call Tim Lessard at 225-715-5103 or visit