Wednesday, March 10, 1999

Conference calls to men

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Answer the Call V has a little something for everyone.

        A priest who organized a boycott of the Jerry Springer Show.

        An abortion-provider-turned-abortion-opponent.

        And a coaching legend with his own spiritual journey to recount.

        New Orleans Saints coach Mike Ditka will headline Answer the Call V, a daylong conference March 20 at Firstar Center. Sponsored by the Catholic Men's Fellowship, the annual event encourages men to place a higher priority on their families and faith, and to join small groups for prayer and accountability.

        Mr. Ditka, who coached the Chicago Bears from 1982 to 1992, is famous for his red-faced rants from the sidelines. But in recent years “Da Coach,” whose health problems have included a 1988 heart attack and two artificial hips, has become increasingly vocal about his religious faith.

        The Rev. Mike Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina Catholic Church in Chicago, will speak to the fifth annual conference. Known for his assaults on liquor and tobacco companies, Father Pfleger organized a boycott last year of Mr. Springer's show because of its reliance on violence.

        Dr. Bernard Nathanson was a top official in the National Abortion Rights Action League and at one time operated the largest abortion clinic in New York. He eventually became an anti-abortion activist and a Roman Catholic and now heads the Catholic Alliance.

        Answer the Call V begins at 8:45 a.m. March 20 and closes with a 3 p.m. Mass celebrated by the Most Rev. Daniel E. Pilarczyk, archbishop of Cincinnati. Tickets are $25. Information: 321-4673 or


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