The men’s ministries of St. Mary Parish, Barnegat, will host the first “Legacy of Virtue” April 22 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the St. Mary of the Pines Church and Parish Center, Manahawkin. Mass, breakfast, a keynote address by Daniel C. Duddy, who serves both as pastoral minister of athletics and guidance counsellor in Donovan Catholic High School, Toms River, and a commissioning ceremony for men and boys are scheduled.
The event was inspired by Fred Kutner, a member of St. Mary Parish and founder of its Bagels & Bible faith sharing group, who realized fewer men were attending church and their roles as faithful leaders in their families were being challenged.
In an interview with The Monitor, Duddy spoke of how over the centuries, generations of men have known that one of their main responsibilities has been to form their boys into competent men of good character, teaching them the virtues of wisdom, courage, self-control and justice.
“Jesus improved upon those virtues with the addition of faith, hope and love. Christian men have the greatest model of virtuous manhood in Jesus, and of his legacy, in his commissioning of the apostles to carry on his work and help others fulfill God’s purpose for them,” he said. “The purpose of this ‘Legacy of Virtue’ event is to strengthen our faith and renew that tradition, by emphasizing the heroic nature of the Christian virtues and the importance of men passing on the Great Commission to their songs. Restoring this tradition rekindles holiness, empowering all of us to fortify what is perhaps the most dear to our Heavenly Father: family. Jesus calls every generation to follow him. Let’s answer his call together.”
Duddy has been married to his wife, Maura, for 32 years and they’ve been blessed with eight children. He was a high school football coach for 38 years and has been inducted into four halls of fame, including Sports Faith International, sponsored by the Chicago Bears NFL football team, for the injection of authentic Catholicism into his football programs. Duddy is co-host of the radio program “Talk About Faith,” which airs in the Boston area.
In addition to his work in Donovan Catholic, Duddy also coordinates the national chapter for Catholic Athletes for Christ, writing the CAC curricula for grades kindergarten through 12 and on the university level, inspiring the students to live the Gospel in every aspect of their lives including on the field, court and arena.
The day will begin with 9 a.m. Mass in St. Mary of the Pines Church, 1 Bishop Lane, Manahawkin, with pastor Msgr. Kenard Tuzeneu as principal celebrant. Participants will proceed to the parish center for breakfast and Duddy’s keynote address entitled “We Are the Answer.” A commissioning ceremony with a presentation of a gift to the young men will round out the day.
Duddy stressed that the event is not only intended for young men with fathers, but also for those raised solely by their mothers or surrogate fathers.
“We want to show them they are not alone,” he said. “I served as a kind of surrogate father for 38 years as a football coach.”
The event is cosponsored by the men’s ministries of St. Mary Parish (Bagels & Bible, Knights of Columbus and the “That Man is You” faith-sharing group), as well as the parishes of St. Barnabas, Bayville; St. Francis of Assisi, Long Beach Township; St. Pius X, Forked River, and St. Theresa, Little Egg Harbor.
Registration is $15 for two family members or $20 for three or more members. Send a check payable to St. Mary Parish alone with name, address, phone, email and number of guests to St. Mary Parish, Attn: Steve Seeley, P.O. Box 609, Barnegat, N.J. 08005. The registration deadline is April 8 or when capacity is reached.
For further information, including a video about the event, see http://legacyofvirtue.org.