The 2022 IGNITE Catholic Men’s Conference will be held on Saturday, March 26, 2022, at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church on Route 31 in Baldwinsville, a new venue for the very popular annual event. Convenient to I-481 bringing direct access from the NYS Thruway and I-81, the location is easily accessible from all corners of the Diocese of Syracuse and beyond.

Dc Bob Rice - IGNITE Men’s Conference invites attendees to ‘Live in His Presence’

Deacon Bob Rice

Ed Kirk chairs the program planning committee for IGNITE. He explained that the COVID-19 impact on attendance the past two years sparked the move to the Seton parish facility.

“We are coming out of a very challenging time with COVID. … It’s isolated a lot of people, isolated families and, in particular, it has isolated our Catholic community.” Kirk adds that “this is a great opportunity to come back out and get reconnected … with other Catholic men, with friends and with your faith.”

This year’s theme—“Live in His Presence”—reminds all that faith is the cure for isolation. Past conferences have been attended by as many as 1,000 men from the area. The St. Elizabeth Ann Seton campus provides ample room for the anticipated crowd this year while allowing the intimate nature of the worship space to make for a grace-filled day.

The day begins with registration, followed by Mass with Bishop Douglas J. Lucia. As in past years, the organizers have put together a stellar lineup of presenters for this year’s conference:

Matt Birk - IGNITE Men’s Conference invites attendees to ‘Live in His Presence’

Matt Birk

Matt Birk is a former All-Pro NFL player, a six-time Pro Bowl player who also won a Super Bowl title with the Baltimore Ravens. Knowing that maintaining a healthy faith life can sometimes be a challenge, Birk says that “I don’t feel like I’m strong enough at times to do it on my own. The good news is God didn’t make us to do it on our own. He built us for community.”

Father Jim Walsh is a civil engineer turned parish priest and pastor in the Diocese of Albany. Attendees might notice a recurring theme in that Father serves as Chaplain for the New York Giants when they are in Albany for training camp each summer. While success comes from keeping one’s eye on the ball, he shares that for Catholic men “it’s keeping our eyes on our faith and on Christ.”

Deacon Bob Rice was ordained to the Permanent Diaconate in November 2021 and brings a rich background to his ministry. With a Ph.D. in theology, Deacon Bob serves as Professor of Catechetics and Director of the Master of Arts in Catechetics and Evangelization at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He looks forward to events like IGNITE, saying that “when we take time to get together like this, with other brothers in Christ, and worship the Lord, we become abundantly blessed.”

FrJW 5 - IGNITE Men’s Conference invites attendees to ‘Live in His Presence’

Father Jim Walsh

There is an online option at registration for those who cannot attend in person or have lingering COVID concerns. Kirk says special accommodations have been made to create a socially distanced, in-person space as well.

“People are cautious in this environment so we do have an area in the church for social distancing for those who may have concerns but still want to attend in-person.” First-time attendees are warmly encouraged and welcomed.

There is still time to register and take advantage of early registration discount admission. Visit the conference website—ignitecatholicmen.org—for all information on the day. As in the past, there will be opportunities for Confession, interaction with vendors, participation in Adoration and Benediction … and there will also be something new.

“We have a special treat this year. … Lunch is being catered by Fat Jack’s BBQ of Cortland.” Kirk promises a “top-notch lunch” for attendees to go along with a superb day of faith, fellowship and fraternity among the men of our community.


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