Subconsciously, many men know that fraternity will make humbling demands of them. It will challenge them to do the things they should be doing, but don’t because there is no one keeping them accountable. Isolation makes us inert, inertia makes us susceptible to temptation and sin, and sin further isolates us from our brethren and from God.
For Catholic men's groups to have real meaning and purpose, they must follow the example of Christ and reach out to all on the periphery, saying Come and see! See what it means to be welcomed, to be accepted as you are, to be part of something bigger than oneself, to experience fraternity, moral support and shared faith. Come and see what it means to be a Catholic man, an authentic man, a beloved son of God.
Commitment lies in the expectation that something better is going to happen as a result of that commitment. People rarely commit to something in order to see it fail. The ultimate consequence of commitment is hope.
As far as possible, keep the group centred within the parish and made up of parishioners. Forming social and spiritual bonds are easier when you see each other regularly at Mass and at parish events. The parish will also benefit from your regular and committed presence.
Aren't Catholic men's groups just a handful of old men clinging to the final vestiges of a dying faith? Aren't the Knights of St Columba or the Catenians 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!
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