Thanks to the men who came last night

My warm thanks to the many men who attended the "Argument of the Month" last night at St. Augustine’s in South St. Paul, MN, as well as to the organizers and the pastor, Fr. Echert.

It was a great success.

I am sure there will be reports to come.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Craig says:

    Well done Father! It was my first time attending AOTM (is that the right acronym) and I enjoyed your talk and the fellowship with other Catholic men.

    You made a persuasive argument and I hope these discussions continue.

    I didn’t ask a question last night…line was too long (and thanks for your generous response to the hilarity at times), but one has stuck with me for awhile.

    From a mystical point of view…what is the Holy Spirit trying to say? Why the Novus Ordo? Since only the Holy Spirit can convoke a Council (through the Holy Father) can we discern a larger purpose/plan in some of these radical liturgical changes…or could it be that man mis-interpeted the Spirit?

    One radical theory I’ve had (though I’m not convinced of it) is that perhaps the hour is late and the end draws near. A more permissive approach to distributing Grace and Salvation might be a legitimate battle plan, though it doesn’t work as a long-term strategy.

    My other reflection is of the different pontificates of PJPII and PBXVI. PJPII being perhaps a more permissive Pope and it could be argued the Church was successful in venturing into new areas of the world such as Africa. The flip side might be that the Holy Spirit chose PBXVI to re-catechize and also tighten up the ship in some areas.

    Pure speculation though Father, would be interested to hear your thoughts on these more ‘macro’ things if you ever had time.

    Thank you again for last night,
    God Bless

  2. Father Totton says:

    I would be interested in learning more about the format of “Argument of the Month” Sounds like something that could be transplanted to other locales.

  3. Phil says:

    That was my first AOTM gathering, and I’m sure glad I went. Not only did I see some guys i know from various parishes, but I met some new friends who share my “Catholic geekiness”. All in all, a great time. Most importantly, I learned a lot about why people get so excited a’for and a’gin the TLM. Fr. Z, you put the case for TLM so clearly that now I have no choice but to take it more seriously and investigate. Thank you!

  4. jon says:

    Wow. Sounds like Paters John and John should take this on the road. Next stop, Harrisburg, PA? ;^)

  5. Mat Lu says:

    Fr. Z,

    Thanks for coming out last night; I was happy to get the opportunity to meet you. As I think someone else brought up with you last night: why not a Twin Cities Blognic? You have them other places and there are a number of folks around here that would be happy to buy you a drink.

  6. cato_the_younger says:

    I agree with jon – take it on the road! Most of the activities at my parish are dominated by women. While these events are positive and the talk enlightening, I’m concerned that not enough fathers are involved with evangelizing their families, leaving the job squarely on the mother’s shoulders. As a result of a weak male role model I suspect many young men are weak in their faith or worse yet have none at all.

    Plus the food sounds AWESOME! Were there hot wings?

  7. Craig says:

    No hot wings last night. It was beer brats and polish sausage night…and a doctor on hand in case of any problems.

  8. Castellanus says:

    Fr. Totten, and anyone else who might be interested, here is the link for the Argument of the Month Club. There is some format info there and I’m sure if you leave a comment one of the organizers would be happy to get in touch with you for more detail.

  9. Ray from MN says:

    AOTM Format:

    Physical Requirement: (Obviously, the AOTM, which is something like ten years old, was not born fully grown) but since I wasn’t there at the beginning, I can tell you what it is like now. The AOTM began in a different parish as an adjunct to its very successful adult education programs).

    Large church hall that could seat 300, but the church owns tables and chairs for about 200. There is a nearby rental facility that can be contacted the same day if need be,

    Large commercial kitchen adjacent to the church hall. Three six-burner gas ranges with ovens; six convection ovens, four or five large commercial refrigerators, large commercial dishwasher.

    Large rolling storage bins are used to keep AOTM supplies that are not perishable separate from the parish’s supplies.

    Separate area for cooling goodly varieties of beer and pop on ice and serving wines. A tip jar is on that counter. All tips go to the speaker.

    A secure storage area for unused beer, wine and pop is needed. Access to a good sized pickup or closed truck needed for the afternoon that the food and beverages are purchased and volunteers to load and unload them.

    No tablecloths except on the serving tables, plastic glasses and utensils, beer out of the bottles.

    A volunteer with commercial experience and equipment records the speaker’s presentation on CDs that are sold at subsequent events for $5.

    Bountiful supply of pots and pans and those commercial cookers that are great for slow cooking dishes that don’t need to be tenderly cared for. Sausages (expensive) in beer and kraut is a good example. Other main dishes generally are pork, chicken (the cheapest) and beef (good cuts are expensive).

    Dips, various potato recipes, veggies, etc. are used as accents to the meat, the main course.

    Appetizers (finger food) start at 6:30 p.m.; the main course at 7:00 p.m., the Speaker at 8:00 p.m. Dessert (cakes, ice cream, cookies, pastries or etc.) and coffee after the speaker and then questions/arguments time. About 10:00 people begin to leave. Beer, wine, pop and coffee are included in the $12 price.

    At the end of the evening if there are leftovers, large covered Styrofoam containers of them are sold for $5.

    None of the money goes to the church. Income covers costs but not much more.

    Two main volunteers are responsible for recruiting the speakers, planning the menu, purchasing the food, etc. That is a major commitment.

    Initially, post cards were mailed as reminders, but email has superseded that. The only other promotions are provided by fans of the program who have blogs.

    Other volunteers are needed for the web page maintenance, recruiting same day volunteers for set up (two hours early), help with final cooking procedures, serving and cleanup.

  10. Randy_in_MN says:

    Father Z,

    It was indeed a blessing to meet you and hear you discuss so many facets of the liturgy of our Holy Catholic Church. You made such a strong argument for the spiritual benefits of the Usus Antiquor that I need to attend that Mass in the near future to fully understand what has been lost. Your work in blogging, writing and speaking is so very important to all Catholics and I pray for you snd its continued success. You definitely are making a difference in our lives by helping us strengthen our faith which is critical for us as we deal with the trials and tribulations of this world.

  11. jpoppe says:

    This type of discussion, formation, and fellowship group appears in many parishes or diocese under different names. In our area it is the Society of Catholic Gentlemen. No food, just high quality, well moderated argumentation focused on pastoral letters from the diocese of Little Rock, Tulsa and OK City. The purpose is to challenge local men to respond to our local shepards teaching and how it affects our families. At times many will disagree with what is taught because of the challenges they face living life as a Catholic gentleman in a society that is completely disinterested in Truth. If there is no disagreement then presentations are made as to how the teachings may be successfully injected in to our lives as fathers, co-workers, friends and neighbors who want to see Christ in everyone. The process is pure argumentation where the outcome is unknown. The presenters in the supportive and non-supportive sides simply try to persuade the audience. It is very well done and charity is the rule. It is open to all practical catholic men and their sons 13 and over.

  12. laura says:

    Hey? Ray?
    You forgot a couple of things about the format:

    “No arugula will be served at any time”
    “No admittance to crazypersons. Especially ones named ‘laura'”


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