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From California to Outback thanks to God’s grace

Cindi Menne (left) attended Men of St. Joseph Outback Retreat in Mobile in 2015 and with her daughter, Megan (right), in 2016 despite living in California.

By CINDI MENNE

I went to my first Men of St. Joseph Outback with my husband, Dan, in October 2015. We were able to go to the MOSJ Outback in Mobile only by God’s grace.

It all started back in August 2015 at JH Ranch in Etna,California. You see,we live in Fort Jones — about 20 miles away — and I was attending a teen/parent summer camp program. During that camp, God made sure to put some really wonderful people in my path. I thought the JH programs were great, don’t get me wrong, but to me, they just seemed to be missing something. Like a puzzle missing some pieces, they just didn’t make a complete picture for me.

While attending one of the parent talks, a man got up and started speaking. That man was Mike O’Neill. Mike talked about how a group called MOSJ had been able to use the JH Ranch Outback America program, but added in the Catholic sacraments.

That’s when the clouds parted and the Angels sang. I knew I had to speak with him after the talk was over. Long story short, he met with my husband and me and asked us to come out to participate in the Men of St. Joseph Outback in Mobile.

The MOSJ Outback husband/wife program gave my husband and me new ways to view, improve and put into action our love relationship with God, each other, as well as with our family members and friends. It also gave us something other programs didn’t have to offer — the Sacraments. For me, this element completed the picture and finished the puzzle.

As a result of Outback, we made some really positive changes that have helped with our communication and within our prayer life. One of the things we do — pretty much everyday before Dan leaves for work — we take the time to pray together.We still have our issues, but we are bringing them to the Father together in prayer and asking for His help.We are realizing without His Divine help, we only change for a short period of time when we try to do things in our own power. We need to give Him our consenting hearts in order for a lasting and entire transformation to take place. I can honestly say participating in a MOSJ Outback weekend has been life-changing for our family.

I would whole-heartedly encourage anyone who has the opportunity to spend 2 1/2 days with a loved one, in an extremely loving, inviting and joyous environment to attend a Men of St. Joseph Outback weekend. You will not come away disappointed or empty-hearted.

The weekend re-ignited and inspired my love for my God, His Holy Catholic Church, as well as a passion to help my family and friends come to know Him, love Him and serve Him, so that we may all spend eternity in heaven happy with Him.

The MOSJ Outback weekend really gave me a desire to know, ask and receive all that is available with our Catholic faith for myself, my family, my friends and community. God has, and continues to offer so much to us in His beautiful church.We just need to give our hearts to Him in order to receive it. By the way, I loved the weekend so much I went back for a second time with my 17 year old daughter in March of 2016!

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