**1st and 3rd MONDAYS**
6:30pm: pray before the Blessed Sacrament at St. Mary’s
6:45 -8pm: St. Anne’s Hall
St Mary’s Men’s Group – Men of Jesus Christ
Identity of the Group:
Through the Blessed Trinity, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, may we listen and honor the life of Jesus Christ while serving, teaching, guiding, protecting and providing for the poor. We humbly ask for the intercession of ALL the saints and holy angels to grant us strength and courage, while we look to build up Catholic Christian men through prayer, education, formation, healing and service. Ultimately, our goal is to love and honor the Blessed Trinity so we can focus on the only goal in life that really matters: “HEAVEN.”
Core objectives of the group:
- Humbly pray together – for our protection, strength and courage for one another and request the Holy Spirit lead us to heaven and convert hearts to join us. We will pray for our enemies, which includes people with whom we do not agree or like at the moment, because at the moment God loves them, too.
- Continually learn about our Catholic faith – learning what the church truly teaches and not our individual interpretations or opinions. Through the Catholic Bible, catechism, Catholic books, CD, DVD, online Catholic media, and lives of the Saints, we will share these resources.
- Form group with engagement from all – setting days and times to meet, Keeping It Simply Structured (KISS) in which members will commit to teach a future topic or update men who could not attend. We each have Spiritual and human challenges that need development in the way of strengthening our hearts. We obtain healing through the holy sacraments.
- Demonstrate the gospel – showing it through our actions, including full participation in the sacraments and Holy Mass. We can read the gospel, but we also need to proclaim and live it.
- Not limit actions or Service – possibly making small individual changes to draw closer to God. One example could be to pray more. Service could be a community event to help the lives of others.
- Convert hearts and minds – Christ the King established his church. The One, Holy, Universal and Apostolic Church was formed, and with the Holy Spirit, we can be the lights that draw others to the Catholic faith.
- What is the Men’s Group all about? The group is about the Blessed Trinity and Holy Family, as well as how we can be both leaders of our families and be obedient like St. Joseph.
- What does the Men’s group do? As a group we humble ourselves before our Lord and Savior and pray like boys. We seek the Good Shepherd’s voice through education from Scripture, Catechism, lives of Saints and through interactions with each other. Actions based on the Holy Spirit move the members of the group to live their faith. Remembering God created us because of love, we need to slow down and spend quiet time with the Lord.
- What are the meetings like? They are unique experiences where we humble ourselves to our Heavenly Father, pray together and learn more about our Catholic Faith. Each meeting, a team member presents educational material with the help of Catholic books, CDs, DVDs, or online media, and crafts questions that challenge us to think about God’s teachings and become better men.
- We meet on the first and third Monday of each month for 90 minutes. If there is enough interest, multiple groups can be formed with a specific day and time for each group.
- 6:30-6:45 Silent Prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament 6:50-7:10 Opening Prayer- Men’s Prayer offering Guidance, Courage, Strength and Humility through a Patron Saint (St Joseph, St Peter, St Paul, St Thomas Aquinas, St Francis or another) Welcoming & Fellowship 7:10-7:35 Educational Topic (Scheduled Topic or if something pressing we should discuss and let members know prior as to the change) 7:35-7:55 Discuss Topic How does this help us as men? How can this help us become better men and leaders of our families? Can we make a commitment to making a change for the better over next couple weeks? If we live what we have learned will it make us better versions of ourselves? Will this help us get closer to heaven? The Commitment does not have to be giant leaps and it can be confidential. 8:00 Closing Prayer – Heartfelt prayer offered by someone in leadership or visiting Priest, Deacon and followed by Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be & Jesus, I Trust in You. Reminder of next meeting topic and thank everyone for coming and look forward to next one.
- How is the group organized and who runs the group and the meetings? We have core principles and values with only one goal: helping each other become better Catholic men and ultimately get to heaven. We try not to let personal opinions or human pride lead the group and look to the Holy Spirit for leadership, guidance, and inspiration.
- Since we do not collect dues or have a national organization, there is no rigid organizational structure, only an autonomous group of men learning from each other. The education and events (actions) are discussed in advance, and members choose, by consensus, a specific topic from a wide array of educational materials, including Catholic books, CD and DVDs or online media. A volunteer member prepares the presentation or specific questions related to the presentation.
- How does the group connect with all the organizations in the parish? The Men’s group will be aware of other Parish organizations and some will participate in other organizations. Men from other organizations are welcome. All are challenged to remember St. Mary’s is not “our church” – it’s God’s church, land, and people. God loves them first and they deserve love, dignity and welcoming.
- Is there a cost to join? No cost to join and no dues. The group may agree to purchase reading material or media and participation will be voluntary. Other than that, we remind members that the church expects us to support the parish by tithing. (Time, Talent & Treasure)
- What’s the difference between the Men’s group and the Knights of Columbus? The group is a parish group with faith, prayer, education and service at its core, very much the same as the Knights of Columbus. Unlike the Knights, the Men’s Group does not have a nationwide organization supporting it, does not collect dues and does not have rules or bylaws. It’s just an autonomous group of men learning about the Catholic faith and encouraging each other to live their faith. We hope each group will strengthen the other.
- What are the types of topics discussed at the meetings? We talk about the life of Christ and how that applies to us men today and what we can do to take steps towards heaven. We will discuss Catholic teaching, lives of the saints and issues of the day related to the church.
- Can non-Catholic men join? What if he is in RCIA? What if he’s thinking about becoming Catholic? Can Women join? Yes, men interested in learning more about the Universal Church can join. Studies will be based on the fullness of truth and Catholic teachings. We encourage women to purse their faith in greater depth, and groups such as the St. Mary’s Ladies Ministry might be beneficial. They are also welcome at our open events.
- How will new members be welcomed? New members will be welcomed by other members. They will be given an overview of the group, our mission, our core prayers, schedule of events and our educational resources, much of which is free online.
- Why can’t the men’s group just be about hanging out and having a good time? The men’s group is about hanging out and having a good time while praying and learning about our faith. Sharing it with one another will be a blessing with spiritual nourishment to spread with our families and community. We are only interested in eternal happiness and not the earthly pleasure principle.