By Todd Brechbill
Conquest is about being “forged in virtue” and “called to serve”. Formation and apostolate go hand in hand, and you really cannot have one without the other. The Conquest St. Piux X group located in Northern KY has been busy this year helping those unfortunate and in need. Matt Stegman, the Conquest leader, has a team of outstanding dads on every level from the weekly faith formation aspects to the big apostolic projects they take on as they fulfill their call to serve. This past fall, the Conquest group organized meals for the people at the Henry Hosea House, a local home helping to serve those in need in Northern Kentucky (https://henryhoseahouse.com/). Kenneth Doggett, an dad and volunteer leader said “The boys all made snack bags for the people in need, which contained a bologna & cheese sandwich, a wipe, cheese crackers, granola bar, fruit snacks, candy, holy card and a juice bag. We had all the boys in the group set-up in assembly lines and passed the bags down the table. These were then delivered and passed out to the patrons at Hosea House during Christmas Week.”
The leaders also asked the boys to each bring a bag of newly purchased pack socks to donate. They rolled them into balls and then had an indoor snowball fight. Now that’s a fun service project! The socks were also provided to the Henry Hosea House for a foot clinic they run for the homeless.
The Conquest group also organized help for another small local parish in need. They promoted the need in their parish for household goods and furniture to help families in need at Good Shepherd parish in Campton, KY. They received so much furniture, that they had to rent a 26 foot truck to deliver it all!
See all the details of the story in the parish newsletter HERE.
In order to pull all of these projects off, the boys must have motivation through formation. When asked about the formative aspects of the group, I was told they begin early, in the younger programs. Timothy Grothaus, the Father & Son leader said “I truly enjoy leading the father/sons group, although I have a small role in actually leading this group. Eric Nienaber along with all of the other fathers that are there on a weekly basis makes this an easy task. The most satisfying thing to see is how the boys “come around” as the program progresses.”
“The Catholic setting and the way faith and virtue forms these boys is a wonderful thing to watch as the year moves on. It is great to hear them tell each other why something is or isn’t a part of one of the virtues we have covered. They learn more from each other, at times, than they do from me. I think this is because the Conquest program gives them the tools and structure to develop and practice their virtues. Joey, Nate and Kurt (our High school team leaders) have been a wonderful influence on the boys. They know how to relate to them and get them motivated. The boys really look up to them. They are great examples for the boys with virtue and the actual practice of these virtues we learn about.”
“The service project where we made care packages for the local homeless was awesome. It really sank in with most of the boys that other people “really” don’t have enough to eat and they “need” help. Packaging up all of the food, and the Halloween candy the boys donated was an awesome project that made these young boys think beyond themselves and their world. That isn’t an easy accomplishment in today’s culture. Yet Conquest and its leadership made it happen.”
Paul Edwards leads the Junior group, along with the help of other dads. When asked about what he thought about the service aspect of the program he said “The Conquest Junior group at St. Pius has spent much time focusing on really learning and living the virtues. They enjoy learning about virtue in action through the lives of the saints. Getting them involved in the older boys service projects help them feel like they have something to offer others in need. It seems that the more hands on the learning becomes, the more they hold onto. The best thing, in my opinion, is the local Conquest Father& Son Campout at Camp River Ridge, where the boys can grow in spirituality together with their dads and can create lifelong memories. I have enjoyed the program. Overall, it is a wonderful opportunity to lead!”
We can all learn a lot from this Conquest group. The boys are never too young to be involved in service to others.