Programs offer spiritual growth opportunities for men
By John Gleason
There are several Catholic faith programs specifically for men offered in the Archdiocese of Denver. Some are offered on an ongoing basis, others at select times of the year.
Marked Men for Christ
Founded in 2001, Marked Men for Christ is a weekend retreat that allows Christian men the opportunity to develop a deeper, more powerful relationship with God. During the 44 hours, men embrace more fully the gift of the Holy Spirit and the mark with which they were sealed at baptism. Capuchin Franciscan Father John Lager, one of the program co-founders, said such spiritual growth starts by admitting that we are broken and wounded, emotionally and spiritually.
“In 1 Peter 2:24,” Father Lager said. "Jesus bore our sins in his body upon the cross, so that free from sin, we might live in holiness. By His wounds we are healed."
These wounds, and what they represent, are among the most difficult issues men deal with in their lives. They include deceit, fear, anger, sadness and loss, and shame.
The retreat gives men a chance to move out of their heads and into their hearts and to look at issues that sometimes prevent their call to holiness.
Following the retreat weekend, men are given the chance to expand on their experience, be accountable, and reflect on what they’ve learned. In the 10 years of existence, more than 3,000 men have been part of the weekend experience.
Weekend cost is $195 but financial assistance is available; no one is denied due to a lack of money. More information—including a list of upcoming retreat weekends, applications and testimonials—is available online at www.markedmenforchrist.com, or call 1-888-828-MMFC (6632).
That Man is You
That Man is You is a program developed by Paradisus Dei (Paradise of God), a Houston-based organization comprised of lay Catholics dedicated to finding God in the midst of marriage and everyday life. The program presents the vision of man fully alive and combines the teachings of the Church and the wisdom of the saints with the best research from modern science in an interactive, multimedia format.
That Man is You consists of a 26-week program divided into two 13-week semesters that follow the typical academic year. The fall semester is dedicated to developing a vision of man fully alive while the spring semester is dedicated to becoming “that man.” The spring semester includes an organized Lenten journey that participants make together. Weekly meetings provide men the opportunity to receive and apply relevant information to issues facing men today. Meetings consist of a fellowship meal, presentation and group discussion.
More information is available at www.paradisusdei.org, click on That Man is You. There you will find a list of the 25 Catholic parishes in Colorado where the program is offered.
Rocky Mountain Catholic Men’s Conference
The mission of the annual Rocky Mountain Catholic Men’s Conference is to promote and strengthen the spiritual growth of men throughout the Colorado dioceses and beyond to empower them to be spiritual leaders in their families, church and workplaces.
The conference seeks to help men experience conversion to Christ and develop a deep, personal relationship with him as well as mobilize them to become involved in parish life and to share their faith with others in their communities. The one-day event features keynote speakers, Mass and reconciliation. Information on the conference, which is held each spring, is available at www.rockymountaincatholicmensconference.co. There, you can sign up to receive the RMCMC newsletter and email updates regarding the 2012 conference as well as order copies of presentations of speakers from past conferences.
Gathering of Men
Since 1991, the Gathering of Men has provided opportunities for men to experience the awesome healing power and encouragement of Jesus Christ. That year a group of committed laymen, led by then pastor Msgr. Ken Leone, formed the foundation of an experience where men could speak openly and honestly about the challenges of living their faith.
Over the years the program, held each January, expanded and is now held at YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park. The weekend features talks, discussion, music, Mass and fellowship. Details on Gathering of Men, including information on spiritual direction and comments from past attendees, is available at www.gatheringofmen.org or email email@example.com.