About 1,100 Catholic men attended the 2016 Catholic Men’s Fellowship of Maryland Annual Conventions, on March 7th. The event featured Raven’s coach John Harbaugh. You can read Erik Zygmont’s full account of the event, in his Catholic Review article, here (includes photos.)
Zygmont’s article includes an interview with Men of Joseph’s Jim Hamilton and Doug Brown on how they started the MOSJ chapter at St. Joseph – Fullerton parish:
Jim Hamilton noted that his parish, St. Joseph in Fullerton, which sent about 30 men to the annual conference, follows Harbaugh’s lead and takes a team-oriented approach to faith. Six years ago, he and a couple other men decided to form a men’s group after meeting at daily Mass.
“A few of us got to talking afterward,” remembered Hamilton, a 48-year-old self-employed accountant. “If we had three men sitting outside talking afterward, then that was probably about half the men at daily Mass.”
One of those men, Doug Brown, a 54-year-old career-coach, remembered that an older man threw him a CD from the Lighthouse Catholic Media kiosk in the church foyer, and then nodded toward Hamilton and said, “You guys are around the same age; you should talk.”
They did, and the idea of starting a men’s group evolved.
“I’d always felt we should have more of a presence at St. Joseph’s,” Brown said.
Hamilton went to his pastor, Monsignor Kevin T. Schenning, to run the idea by him, but the priest beat him to it, saying, “We need to start a men’s group.”
“The Holy Spirit was working through these guys,” Hamilton said. “I couldn’t ignore that.”
Hamilton and Brown formed a small group and connected it to the Men of St. Joseph, an international Catholic association that encourages men to meet for weekly prayer, with the goal of serving as effective spiritual leaders of their families.
“The network was there,” Brown said. “They gave us a lot of coaching and information to get started.”
The group – which includes parishioners from St. Joseph, St. Ursula in Parkville and St. Isaac Jogues in Carney, meets Tuesdays at 6 a.m. and takes a Saturday 2 a.m. shift for perpetual Eucharistic adoration at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Towson.
Taking the call to evangelize seriously, the Men of St. Joseph spoke after Masses as Lent began, offering free tickets to the annual conference, a highlight for members.
“I discovered it four years ago, and I’ve been to every one since,” said Pat Reid, another member of the Men of St. Joseph. “Last year my wife was trying to organize a trip to go to Arkansas to see our daughter, and I said, ‘No no – not that weekend.’”
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