By Richard Meek

The Catholic Commentator

Secularism and relativism can often blur the lines of truth but spiritual infallibility can only be found in the Scriptures. Defining that truth is the theme of the fourth annual Men of the Immaculata “Call to Battle,” scheduled Feb. 29 beginning at 8:30 a.m. at St. George Church in Baton Rouge.

The conference will feature national and local speakers, as well as chef John Folse preparing lunch and offering his own personal testimony. Priests will also be available throughout the day for confession.

“Pilate asked Jesus, ‘What is truth?’ ” conference chairman Mark Herman said. “And that is our theme.

“In today’s society, where there is no real truth, but it’s what people think or feel, we are trying to draw it back to the spiritual truth and the Scriptures and the word of God.”

Speakers include Father Wade Manezes CPM, a popular fixture on EWTN television and radio, and Jeff Cavins, creator of the Great Adventure Bible Study series that many church parishes use as an evangelization tool.

Closing out the day will be a presentation by St. Helena Church in Amite pastor Mark Beard, a dynamic speaker who often sprinkles in bits of his own humor to drive home points.

“(Father Beard) is quite energetic and will give us a good chance to send the guys off on fire and ready to go out and tackle the challenges of the world and faith,” Herman, in his second year as chairman, said, “He will give us the call to action and to recognize the everyday things we can do to stand up to truth in the world in which we live. He will send the men forth with that sense of direction and fight for the truth.”

Bishop Michael G. Duca is scheduled to welcome the expected crowd of 1,200 men, and he will also celebrate Mass.

Herman said the speakers’ talks will be geared toward the theme, focused on having the man continue to return to prayer, specifically back to Scripture and the sacraments, because that is where the truth is ultimately found.

“We need to have that beacon of truth, which is Jesus Christ,” he said. “We as Catholics receive it through the sacraments and are blessed to have Christ present in the tabernacle, in the Eucharist. We can’t stray from that. If we do we are going to get caught up in the confusion of the world.”

The rosary, which Herman calls a “spiritual weapon” to fight the daily spiritual war, will be led by Sister Dolce Maria Flores HMSS at 2 p.m.

Father Manezes will lead off the conference at 8:30 a.m., explaining the challenges society faces today, and encouraging the men to turn to the Bible for the truth. Father Manezes, who is based in Auburn, Kentucky, will often spend one to two weeks at a time at EWTN headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama, celebrating the televised daily  Mass.  He is also the host of Open Line Tuesday on Catholic Community Radio and one who not only utilizes digital media but also radio and television to discuss the tenets of the faith.

“He’s a great speaker and a very intelligent priest and does a really good job of taking things and bringing it to the lay person in a way they can understand,” Herman said. “He enjoys speaking on the tenets of the faith, especially the graces we receive through the sacraments, and how that can be applied through everyday life.”

Herman said Cavins’ talk will focus on the Bible and the truth through God’s word.

Herman said St. George pastor Father Paul Yi, who has attended the conference in the past, will offer remarks throughout the day, and the conference chairman is also hopeful he will be able to persuade Father Yi “to bless us with his beautiful voice. I want the men to hear the gift he has been given.”

Included in the gathering will be about 40 seminarians from Notre Seminary in New Orleans, a group that is being organized by Deacon David Dawson of Baton Rouge.

Each man attending will be given a bag that includes multiple books, including a Magnificat Lenten guide. Herman is hopeful that if someone does not have a Lenten plan established, the books will serve as a guide to help each man grow and be a different person when the Easter season arrives.

The cost is $60 per person, or $30 for those from 13 to 25, and that includes lunch prepared by Folse.

Visit Menoftheimmaculata.com to register.