News and Recent Events
Lewis Palmer High School Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA)
In May Matt was in invited to come speak to FCA students from Lewis Palmer High School in Monument, CO about living their faith at school and discernment. Matt encouraged and challenged all in attendance to reach out to those in school who tend to look and feel alone, unappreciated, left out, etc. The goal being to be courageous leaders and to recognize others who have been left out, picked on, teased and to help pull them in to be a part of the school and to know the value they bring to the school each day. The specific challenge he gave them was to sit with someone at lunch who seems all alone and then to encourage others to do the same.
Founder Matt Allner Speaks at Statewide Knight's of Columbus Men's Retreat in South Carolina
Founder Matt Allner was called on a last minute cancellation of a speaker and within hours flew to South Carolina to deliver a message to men at a Statewide Men's Retreat being hosted by the Knight's of Columbus of South Carolina. Click on the link below to read about the event and speaking highlights from the weekend.
Founder Matt Allner Delivers Keynote to Fresno & Visalia California Catholic Business Group
Founder Matt Allner traveled to California to give two separate keynote talks to Catholic business groups in both Visalia, CA and Fresno, CA as part of a monthly event scheduled by the Fresno Catholic Diocese in conjunction with their Catholic Professional and Business Group. Matt spoke to audiences that ranged in all ages and were made up of business professionals and leaders in the community. Matt's experience in the community provided him with an insight that needed to be shared with others in the United States, that regardless of the loud liberal and secular voice coming from California's political leaders and the entertainment community, there is a "light" in California that is the opposite and this community is in the Central region of the State. There is real opportunity to engage this community in deeper discussions surrounding our nation's youth, their future with vocations as leaders of their communities and within the Catholic Church, and the overall movement to bring secularism to the entire Christian community and social culture here in the United States. As Matt discussed with them while there: "When Will We Have Enough?: A Culture Focused on Money, Possessions, Careers, and Personal Achievements". Click on the podcast below to hear a portion of Matt's keynote message while there. For more information about the Fresno Catholic Professional and Business Group go to https://www.cpbcfresno.org/
Founder Matt Allner Talks About the Teen Suicide Crisis in Colorado Springs, CO
On Sunday February 4, 2018 Founder Matt Allner joined Colorado Springs Bishop Michael Sheridan on the
Bishop's radio show for a talk about the Teen Suicide Crisis in Colorado Springs. In this two part interview
Matt discusses at length his experience on the topic from when he was a teacher, having taught high school at
Discovery Canyon High School, a District 20 school in Colorado Springs. Discovery Canyon High School
and theDistrict 20 School District were featured in a Newsweek online article from a massive string of suicides
that took place during the 2014-15 school year that made it the high school with the highest suicide rate in
the United States. Matt encourages listeners and parents to take a look at some key factors he feels people
are overlooking -- heavy workload issues, an inability to have a proper and healthy work-life balance, among
others. You can listen to the podcast of the radio show event by clicking on the player below.
"Embrace Vocation Day" held at St. Mary's High School in Colorado Springs, CO
On Tuesday, Jan 30, 2018, St. Mary's Catholic High School in Colorado Springs, CO hosted its second annual "Embrace Vocation Day". A day dedicated to helping middle school and high school students across the Diocese to discern the vocations God is calling them to through the many talents he has blessed them with. This year's event saw volunteers, speakers, and activity facilitators from both the religious and lay community come to partake in helping support these amazing students as they journey down the path towards higher education and vocational decisions. At this event, a "career" and a "vocation" are differentiated such that career is a job or profession that people choose because of the financial value it brings or the alignment with a talent and/or interest the person may have in that career. But the vocation is a "calling" -- and one that comes directly from God, where one uses the talents the Lord has blessed them with to move into a career path that finds them serving others in a capacity that is pleasing to the Lord. Most adults would probably agree that they find their vocation later in life, more so than earlier on, but in this event students are encouraged to start the process of discerning their vocation and praying that the Lord guide them with the help of the Holy Spirit to find this path and trust the Lord as they pursue it. It was an honor to be invited to support this event again this year and see how much it has improved and grown. Below is a short excerpt from my talk and activity I did with the students I worked with.
"What are my talents? And how can I use these talents to find my vocation and serve God in this capacity?"
How many of you know what your talents are? Did you ever think of them as being gifts from God? We have all heard of the saying "God-given talents', but what does this really mean, and do we believe in what we say when we use the term and phrase? In the vocation session I facilitated at St. Mary's High School, we discussed these questions at length and more. Students were reminded of bible passages where Jesus had talked to crowds and to the disciples through parables about serving others, and talents. Students were encouraged through an engaging activity to identify their talents, share these talents with others in their small groups, and then think about how as a good Catholic and Christian they could support others in the development of their talents but in a capacity of using our talents to serve God and his people here on Earth. Most people are taught to use their talents to compete against others to win or for survival. But in this lesson students were encouraged to sports, work, life, etc. to "compete with themselves, and to cooperate with others". It's a different concept, but one that in the sports arena exemplifies the true sportsman -- one who appreciates and looks forward to a good competition but not at the expense of destroying the dignity or reputation of their opponent while trying to beat them. In a world and society that tells us competition should be carried out with little to no moral or ethical value in the equation, as Christians God calls us to be better than this and when we are he can favor us and help us to be successful, as when we live by his standards and laws and we win, others don't just see us winning, they see our Christian values and qualities, which is where they get a glimpse of and a brief moment with God. The podcast below is one of the talks I gave at the vocation day. My apologies for the sound quality as I used my amateur iPhone to record it since I didn't have my film crew with me :-)