What's the point of starting or joining a Catholic men's group? Aren't they usually just a handful of elderly men sitting in the parish hall, clinging to the final vestiges of a dying faith? Or some vague, shadowy sect your grandfather belonged to? Isn't it, well, a little un-PC to talk about men-only groups these days? Who knows what they get up to behind closed doors! So why start one?
Well, are you a man of faith who feels isolated in his faith? Do you value genuine friendships with other men, especially where they might support the practice of your faith?
Doesn't it seem more wholesome to go for a drink, a hike, a retreat with other guys who carry out ordinary daily jobs, have balanced social lives and 21st century interests, yet attend Mass each week, have a strong Rosary game and aren't embarrassed to greet their Brother and King at Eucharistic Adoration or visit their Mother on pilgrimage to Walsingham?
A key principle of Catholic Man UK's mission is to revitalise fraternity among Catholic men through the establishment of parish men's groups and, as a result, to rekindle the Faith in families and parishes and to send out a clear message of hope to the nation. These could be new groups arising from requirements of the men of the parish, or they could be an injection of energy into established groups like the Catenians or Knights of St Columba.
We believe that, perhaps now more than ever, men are key to the defence of the Faith. The Church goes by way of the family, and the family goes by way of the father: research shows that a father's example of attending church each week has more impact on maintaining the faith of his children than if the mother alone were the main churchgoer.
But men have lost the art of being men together and of unashamedly sharing their faith with one another. Society hasn't helped, by making men feel guilty if there are more than two of them at the scene and even worse if they happen to be religious. However, that's no reason to cower behind docile inactivity.
So, if you haven't already, find another man or two who regularly attend the parish that you do. Invite him/them to start a group; meet regularly; follow our basic principles for success - and let us know how you get on!