Former Green Bay Packer delivers keynote at 1st Greensburg Catholic Diocese conference
Mike McCoy called up a volunteer Saturday from an audience of about 600 Catholic men.
The former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle asked the volunteer to shove him in the chest.
After a firm shove, McCoy staggered backward a few steps. Then he planted his feet, lowered his center of gravity, and asked the man to try again.
This time McCoy didn’t budge.
The lesson, McCoy said, is that men need to have a firm foundation supporting their faith.
“What is the foundation of our life?” he asked. “Is it rock, or is it sand?”
McCoy was the keynote speaker Saturday at the first Greensburg Catholic Diocese men’s conference at Greensburg Central Catholic High School, which brought hundreds of men together for workshops, worship and prayer.
“It’s been overwhelming; I can tell that God has blessed our work,” said Michael Walker, leader of the diocese’s men’s ministry leadership team.
Organizers had originally hoped for about 200 attendees. They tripled that goal.
The conference was a priority for Bishop Edward C. Malesic, who saw the impact of a similar event when he was a pastor in Harrisburg.
“One of his goals when he came to this diocese was to bring the men of this diocese closer to Christ,” organizer Charles Boyer said.
McCoy criticized an American culture obsessed with “sex, drugs and alcohol,” calling on the men assembled to rise above it.
“We have a problem in our culture today, a real problem,” he said.
McCoy of Erie was a star lineman at the University of Notre Dame in the 1960s and was the second pick of the 1970 NFL Draft. He spent 11 seasons in the NFL, leading the Packers in sacks for four straight years.
After his retirement, he began working with various Christian and civic groups, eventually starting his own organization, Mike McCoy Ministries. He travels the country giving talks, mostly to students.
His mantra is “Decisions Determine Destiny.”
After McCoy’s talk, attendees were able to choose from 24 workshops covering topics like marriage, addiction and technology.
“Every man is here looking for something,” said Father Matthew Morelli, parochial vicar of Blessed Sacrament Cathedral. “They’re looking to be refreshed, and God is going to meet them here.”
Organizers hope to make the conference an annual event.
Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jacob at 724-836-6646, [email protected] or via Twitter .