Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Calling All Men: Catholic Men’s Fellowship Expands at St. Barbara’s

Do you experience the pressure of society’s demands on you as a Catholic man? Does time seem too short? Are your responsibilities sometimes overwhelming? Do you feel that traditional values have eroded? That many community support structures have collapsed? Do you, like many men, find it more difficult to stay true to yourself and your Catholic faith and values?

St. Barbara’s Men’s group recently joined up with the Catholic Men’s Fellowship of Pittsburgh (CMF Pitt) to provide greater opportunities for men to deal with these difficult issues. CMF is part of a growing national men’s ministry, the National Fellowship of Catholic Men. Catholic men’s fellowships and men’s groups are springing up all over the country to respond to the needs of men. St. Barbara’s is now part of this growing phenomenon.

Our men’s group, formerly St. Joseph Covenant Keepers, has been active for the past seven years, offering opportunities to married men and fathers to grow in their spiritual lives and to become the kinds of husbands, men and fathers God wants them to be. This has been done through ongoing studies of the Catholic faith and helping men develop their spiritual life through prayer.

With the formation of the National Catholic Men’s Fellowship and CMF Pitt, St. Barbara now has the ability to grow and become part of something much bigger. This will allow us to direct our efforts and offer opportunities to all men, married or single, to help them become more involved in their faith, and to grow their spiritual life.

As part of this new direction, Catholic Men’s Fellowship (CMF) of St. Barbara’s will begin a new informal fellowship group this October, “Signposts: How To Be a Catholic Man in the World Today.” This series focuses on issues men face in their everyday lives and will meet every other Saturday morning at the church. There is no commitment to attend all sessions, participate in as many sessions as you are able. The nice thing about the Signposts study is that it is open to all men who may join at any time and sessions will be kept to one hour on Saturday mornings.

St. Barbara’s CMF will sponsor a men’s weekend retreat to St. Emma’s November 2-4, 2007. We will also promote and be a part of the Annual Conference of Catholic Men in Pittsburgh, which in March 2007 drew over 1,700 men to Palumbo Center for a day long conference of International Catholic Speakers, Eucharistic Adoration and procession, and Holy Mass celebrated by Bishop Paul Bradley.

CMF will continue to offer the same kinds of learning opportunities and studies that it has offered in the past as well. We will continue to strive to bring ourselves closer to Our Lord through through prayer and study.

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