The most remarkable thing about the conference was how many fascinating men were in attendance. Since Chris, Felix and I had our "Street Evangelization" table, I was able to sit back and meet and listen to the stories of many good Catholic men. It also helped that our table was right next to Fr. Calloway who always invites a long line of greeters and book-buyers. I met a burly, Hispanic retired police officer (a friend of Jesse Romero) who shared his tales of evangelization while on duty. He was a remarkable man, intrepid and creative in sharing the faith, and with a heart fashioned by Christ. I met Richard, a Vietnam vet whose experiences in the war led him to be a street evangelist and a protestant pastor. He entered the Church a couple years ago, and would make a great addition to our "team" if he ever drives up here from Cottage Grove. I had a faith-filled chat with this fascinating young man, who renewed his marriage and life after re-discovering the faith "once-delivered". Finally, I met a widely-read gentleman who had a special devotion to our patron, Blessed Charles de Foucauld. In fact, as I queued up to communion, I noticed the man kneeling in prayer, and a gentle burst of divine love came from my chest, where my relic of Blessed Charles rested. Blessed Charles has a pure, heavenly love for the man, interceding for him before the good God. If only we knew how great and busy the saints are on our behalf! We develop an idle interest in a saint, feel a little kinship, and meanwhile the saint burns with heavenly love on our behalf. It boggles the mind!
Chris and I were operating on very little sleep at the conference, and Chris admitted that he would probably sleep through half the talks. But that was before Fr. Calloway, Jesse Romero and Deacon Sivers got going. Then Chris was held in rapt attention, and I kept teasing him, "You're not asleep yet?" No one sleeps during those talks. We hope to attend next year's conference, slated for October.