Diocese of Syracuse Men’s Groups
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Men’s Group
3494 State Route 31
Baldwinsville, NY 13027
Every Saturday Morning at 8:00 AM
Inside the main entrance Gathering Area
Contacts: David Quilter, firstname.lastname@example.org; Gary Stelter, email@example.com
Holy Rosary Men’s Group
2596 Main St.
Maine, NY 13802
3rd Monday of the month, 7PM
Contact Person: Matt Karp (607) 760-2748
Holy Cross Men’s Group
4112 E. Genesee St.
Dewitt, NY 13214
Every other Thursday, 7AM
Church Music Room
Contact Person: Nathan Gunn Gunner721@gmail.com
St. John’s Men’s Group
8290 Soule Rd.
Liverpool, NY 13090
Every Saturday, 7AM
Contact Person: Len Gass 622-0736
Our Lady of Lourdes
11 Barton Ave.
1st Saturday of the month 8 am Mass then breakfast
Contact Person: Larry Hagan (315) 724-3155
First Saturday of every month at 9:00 am
Diocese of Rochester Men’s Groups
St. Leo’s Men’s Groups
167 Lake Ave.
Hilton, NY 14468
Three Men’s Groups
Contact Person: Dom Salamita (585) 392-2710
St. Stanislaus Men’s Group
1124 Hudson Ave.
Rochester, NY 14621
2nd Thursday of the month, 6:30–8:30
Religious Ed Center — Divine Mercy Room
Contact Person: Pat Donohue (585) 458-8780
St. Mary Our Mother
Contact: John Brennan (607) 739-1011
“Why Men Get Together”
From Catholic Men’s Fellowship Cincinnati
Many of the men that attend regular meetings of parish fellowship meeting have had an encounter with the person of Jesus Christ at some point in their lives. That encounter, as it has been told in thousands of meeting, is as varied and diverse as life itself. For many it marked a milestone event — a significant moment in which the man giving witness came to know the reality of the living Christ as he has never before experienced. For some the encounter was the defining moment — a moment of pure grace that made faith in Jesus Christ a compelling belief. For others the encounter with Jesus was a gradual commitment, a combination of many moments of grace that joined to make an undeniable mosaic of God’s goodness.
Given the breadth of reasons as to why men attend a fellowship meeting, it is not easy to distill its components down to one universal explanation. I have attended thousands of men’s meetings in the fellowship format for the past 23 years and have hear many testimonies and stories and I have often wondered what is the basic motivation for the success of the fellowship movement. I am convinced that it resides in the acceptance of our utter dependence on the grace of God that we have learned through bottomup experience. Most of us became acquainted with Jesus Christ and the Church he founded through top down teaching and education growing up in Catholic environs. However, many of us did not have that personal encounter with the Lord until later in life through an event that jolted us out of our complacency.
We come together in fellowship because we know from the school of hard knocks that we have at best a very limited control of our existence. Many men come to fellowship meetings because of a reversal of fortune, or perhaps better put, as a result of recognizing that the false gods of power, influence and money had finally let them down. A false god is any misplaced desire for happiness that has substituted for hope in Jesus Christ. It is great blessing, though generally not immediately recognized as such, to have these false gods come crashing down. It is a confrontation with reality that sets us up for a future grounded in the saving grace of the Lord and one of renewed hope and vitality. “I have come so that you may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Men return to fellowship meetings because they are reminded that they depend utterly on the grace of God and to be become aware of any creeping encroachment of new false gods.
We know too from experience that we share a common flawed nature that has stubbornly resisted our best efforts at reform. We have come to realize that good intentions and New Year resolutions to overcome our wayward conduct are not good enough – that there is a malevolent force that prevents us from doing the good. It is an evil force that seemingly compels us to do the wrong even against our best efforts and desires to do the right thing. This is known as the divided will.
St. Paul describes this part of our nature in his Letter to the Romans in Chapter 7 “For what I am doing I do not understand, for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but am doing the very thing I hate” (verse 15) and “For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want” (verse 19). Here is the great St. Paul describing how his self-discipline and will power are overwhelmed by the power of evil. In the end he relies utterly on the saving grace of the Cross and no thing else. “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks to God through Jesus Christ Our Lord! (verse 24 and 25). We too have come to know that the only antidote to the divided will is to surrender to the will of God.
If resolving and correcting our selfish and sometimes very destructive conduct was amenable to correction by educational programs or behavior modifying drugs, the solution to obsessive, addictive habits would have been found long ago. Some of these measures are no doubt valuable and important aids in improving habits and conduct but as Alcoholics Anonymous has proven, without much contradiction, the ultimate solution is by surrendering to the Higher Power, which for all Christians is Jesus Christ. Alcoholic addictive men who are able to make that leap of faith know they are unable to stay sober by their own efforts and the best efforts of corrective regimes of all sorts. They know that to resist the overwhelming compulsion to alcohol and remain sober they need the grace of the Higher Power and the fellowship of men who share the same condition.
Similarly, the men who come to fellowship meetings know that they share a common propensity to concupiscence that cannot be overcome without the grace of Jesus Christ and the help of other men. Men come to fellowship meetings because they realize that it is difficult to overcome habitual sinfulness without the brotherhood of men who share the same flawed condition. They have come to know that without the constant support and encouragement of other men sharing the same convictions they will lose momentum and eventually revert to the pre-existing condition of distance from Jesus Christ. Without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and active communion with other men we will not stay “sober.”
— Declan O’Sullivan, August, 2008
The following resources have been taken from the National Fellowship of Catholic Men’s website: www.nfcmusa.org
Signposts, How to be a Catholic Man in the World Today by Bill Bawden and Tim Sullivan. Signposts was specifically developed by two Catholic deacons who are heavily involved in the Catholic men’s movement, and is ideal for a small-group setting or individual study. The individual lessons are broken down into four different categories: Man and God, The Measure of a Man, Man and Family, and Man and His World.
Discipleship for Catholic Men helps a group of men grapple with the question of what it means for Jesus to be Lord of our life and to be disciples in the modern, secular world. The book is broken into 38 practical studies on prayer, spiritual battle, the Holy Spirit, growth in holiness, examination of conscience, evangelism, and mission. Discipleship for Catholic Men, sponsored by the National Fellowship of Catholic Men, has an excellent appendix of how to transform a fellowship group into a group of on-fire disciples.
Spiritual Workout of a Former Saint by Danny Abramowicz, former All-Pro wide receiver for the New Orleans Saints. (IGNITE 2009 speaker) This book, based on proven NFL workout techniques, is a practical, encouraging, step-by-step method to help you grow spiritually; add new life to your relationships with the your spouse, family, and friends; and re-energize your soul as you deepen your love of Christ and His Church.
How fathers and grandfathers can have a positive effect on their children’s (and grandchildren’s) lives, consider using Velvet and Steel, A Practical Guide for Christian Fathers and Grandfathers by John Ream. This book also provides practical ways for husbands to be more effective fathers and to relate to their wives as full partners in marriage and family life.
Boys to Men, The Transforming Power of Virtue by Tim Gray and Curtis Martin. Each chapter is on a different virtue, with challenging questions at the end of each chapter. This book is ideal for Catholic men's groups who want to find out why "real men" choose the virtuous life.
Embracing the Kingdom: A Bible Study on Conversion by Rich Cleveland. This study emphasizes applying God’s Word in Scripture to our daily lives, importance of prayer, importance of being part of a community of believers, ongoing work of conversion, and deepening of our faith.
Mission of the Messiah by Tim Gray. This study presents the messianic mission of Jesus as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. It also shows how the plan of God revealed in the Old Testament is fulfilled in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The review questions at the end of each chapter provide fresh material for group discussion (or individual reflection).
Mystery of the Kingdom by Edward P. Sri. This study focuses on the "kingdom of God" and why it is the heart of Jesus’ teaching. The provocative study questions at the end of each chapter make this book ideal for group study (or individual study).