Writing more than a century ago, the great English essayist and Catholic apologist G.K. Chesterton observed, “Evil always wins through the strength of its splendid dupes; and there has in all ages been a disastrous alliance between abnormal innocence and abnormal sin.”

It’s an observation with which the organizers of an upcoming men’s conference, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus (Council 9534), wholeheartedly agree.

On Saturday, June 8, at St. Matthew’s in Surrey, the Man’s Destiny 2019 conference aims to educate men about the nature of sin, give them the tools to battle the evil that is so corrosive in modern society, and ultimately help participants to lead more virtuous lives.

“We’re battling against the allure and distractions of the world, which often take us to places that, if we understood where that was leading us, we would not go,” says organizer Tim McKinnnon. “Our goal is to help men have a better relationship with Christ so they can lead better lives, which in turn leads to healthier families, a better society and, ultimately, eternal salvation.”

The conference, whose theme is “Be not afraid – through HIM we conquer,” will be led by a dynamic preacher, Deacon Ralph Poyo of Steubenville, Ohio, who will present four talks.

The first will challenge participants to take a hard look at the commitment they need to make in order to battle evil. As Deacon Poyo explains: “Do they really believe that if they stand for Christ, he will win the day? What will it cost? Are they prepared to pay?”

Deacon Poyo’s second presentation will focus on “the strongholds the enemy has already established within our hearts.” This is crucial, he says, for “to capture the heart of a man is to control his will. It is not enough to pledge allegiance to the Lord when your camp is filled with the enemy. We must see the truth of our lives and firmly resolve to kick them out of our hearts and our lives. “

The third will focus on how to draw strength from the Holy Spirit. “We will instruct the men on how to engage and grow in life and power of the Spirit. They will come to see that being strengthened by Him will enable them to do much more than they thought.” 

Finally, in a presentation entitled “Binding of Brothers,” Deacon Poyo will lead participants to the understanding that the battle against evil cannot be won by individuals acting along, but by working together through the Body of Jesus Christ. “We will unpack what that looks like and challenge the men to engage,” he says. “We all can learn to depend on each other by taking off our masks and bringing down our walls that keep us apart.”

Deacon Poyo says he wants the men to leave the conference understanding three clear truths and to commit to living them. They are: no one can enter the battle without authentic faith in Jesus Christ; we must be firmly committed to living for the Kingdom of God first; to fight for Christ is to commit to protect the members of His body.

Archbishop Miller supports the conference, observing, “Now more than ever before, Canada needs strong men of faith who courageously seek to live pure and holy lives that witness to God’s love and mercy.”

To learn more or to register, visit saintmatthews.ca/events/1196. As Tim McKinnon puts it, “We are called to truth and goodness, and we were created to love others. The challenge before us today is to truly live those truths.”