Getting men involved in parishes: here’s an idea

Parishes need to have events aimed at getting men more involved – as men.

I picked this up from Stella Borealis, which covers events and churchy news from my native place:

 Argument of the Month Club, Tuesday: Marian Femininity vs. Modern Feminism
The Argument of the Month Club this month is hosting Dr. David Pence ( We like to call him Dr. Intense ) a well known speaker in the metro area will be debating Dr. Ozzie Mayers, a professor of English and Gender Studies from the Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota. If any one of you has heard Dr. Intense, you know he is very entertaining and informative. His nick name give you a good idea of what you are in for. I heard, from a previous student of Dr. Mayer’s, that Dr. Mayers is a man with a great sense of humor and a great speaker. I believe he will be a terrific opponent for Dr. Intense.

You would be hard pressed to say that the Catholic Church has refused to acknowledge and embrace key freedom movements of the 20th century – fair treatment and just wages for workers, protection of the aged and unborn, and Civil Rights, among others fresh in our memory. So why are so many Christians so very skeptical of Feminism, which concerns itself with the dignity and fair treatment of women? And why would so many Feminists reject traditional notions and teachings of femininity set forth by the Church, and (if not explicitly) especially Marian theology? Has Feminism made an overwhelming case for the Catholic to turn away from long-held assertions of womanhood (rooted in Marian Femininity) in favor of modern Feminism?

Dr. Pence examines the connections between “the uprising of Feminism and the dethroning of Mary” and Dr. Mayers makes defends the distinctions that Feminism upholds, as well as those distinctions presented by his work in Gender Studies.

The event is being held at St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, 408-3rd St N in South St. Paul, at a cost of $12 at the door. A Social with Appetizers begin at 6:00 pm with Dinner served at 7:00 pm and the Fireworks begin at 7:30 pm.

    * Appetizer: AOTM Louisiana Hot Wings for starters and yes celery for those girly men who are watching their girlish figure. But for the real man who want taste, we have Blue Cheese dressing to stick that celery in.
    * Dinner: Jambalaya This spicy Cajun dish is just fantastic. My own Cajun sausage is fire roasted and then combined with an outlandish tomato Creole sauce. It overflows with onions, bell peppers, black beans and flavor.
    * Desert: The dessert is a delicious white cake with strawberry filling and vanilla frosting.


I was a speaker for the Argument of the Month once upon a time.  It was a great time and the place was packed.

By the way… St. Augustine’s in S. St. Paul is one the places in the Twin Cities where you can worship Almighty God on Sundays according to the Roman Rite in the Extraordinary Form.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    This announcement is so nicely written; it makes the event sound attractive. Not too many parish bulletins create this kind of excitement. Good job by Stella Borealis…

  2. ray from mn says:

    The writing credit should go to the AOTM people. I just posted it for them, slightly abridged on Stella Borealis.

    It was the best piece of writing I have seen them create. As I’m slurping my jambalya tonight I’ll inquire as to who wrote it.

    By the way, the menu was chosen before the Saints won the Super Bowl. Actually, before they beat the Vikings, too.

  3. Paula says:

    I want to go (and eat!), and I’m a woman!

  4. Bill in Texas says:

    Every parish needs an active Knights of Columbus Council. Just sayin’ …

  5. bcmershon says:

    The no. 1 way that priest could get men to come to their parishes is to go to ONLY altar boys and eventually, ONLY the Traditional Latin Mass.

    It would also help if every “ministry” in the church bulletin wasn’t crocheting or scrapbooking or a bazaar. It would also help if every person who volunteered time and was seen around the church was the ordinary cadre of women who “just love Father.”

    Don’t get me wrong. Priests need cooperation. But if they only want help from people who will only implement what the want EXACTLY and don’t want to utilize the professional talents men possess, then they can go back to their female “yes Father” lackeys.

    Give sermons on the readings and the liturgical year from a “head of the family” perspective. Do what he MN parish is doing.

    Have a men’s morning prayer group (Lauds or Compline using the Traditional breviary) with the Priest showing up to lead. Have periodic weekend retreats or days of recollection FOR MEN ONLY.

    etc. etc. etc.

  6. JosephMary says:

    Our parish’s “That Man is You” program is drawing many men and many young dads among them and the Knights have a large membership as well.

    Men outnumber women at daily Mass. And we have men cantor and play the organ as well.

    Still, the EMHCs are mostly women and there are altar girls too which discourages the young men from stepping into that role. But it is nice to be in a parish where it is not just women doing almost everything.

  7. Grabski says:

    Best way is to start a Knights of Columbus council. I”m the Grand Knight at my parish; keeps me grounded…

  8. Serviam1 says:

    We were very blessed to revive the dormant Holy Name Society (Confraternity of the Holy Name of Jesus, est. in 1274 by Blessed John of Vercelli) at Holy German Church in Boston’s South End between 2000 and until the Archdiocese of Boston suppressed the parish in June 2007. Along with encouraging devotion to the Holy Name Jesus through monthly recitation of the Litany of the Holy Name (2nd Sunday), Holy Name men served as Sacristans, we offered the parish four to six lectures per year on varied topics always with a Catholic perspective, we offered two Evenings of Recollection per year (one in Advent and one in Lent), an annual Retreat (abbreviated Ignatian First Week) with daily access to the Extraordinary Form of Holy Mass and lastly sponsored an annual parish Pilgrimage (the Shrine of the North American Martyrs in Auriesville, NY and Sainte-Anne de Beaupre, Quebec are a couple).

    Our Holy Name is currently meeting for devotions the 2nd Sunday of the Month at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, following the 11:00 AM EF Low Mass in the Lower Church Chapel. We are considering full re-establishment of the chapter within the Cathedral Parish at the present time, after relative dormancy since 6/30/08 (except for devotions).

    I encourage all men to consider establishing (or re-establishing) a Holy Name chapter within their parish to foster devotion and formation among the men. We’re down but not out in Boston! Blessed be the Holy Name of Jesus!

    Refer to:

    In nomine sancto ejus,
    Rob Quagan
    Archdiocesan Union of Holy Name Societies of Boston

  9. pappy says:

    I was there last night — it was quite an evening.

    Dr. Pence (aka Pence-Intense) was in usual form and absorbed many
    a good spirited ribbing. Dr. Mayers, certainly proved his ‘stones’
    but agreeing to enter this debate (although he said he preferred to
    dialogue rather than debate) and I will give him credit for that.

    However, the debate certainly had to go to Dr. Pence. Dr. Mayers’ arguments
    were for the most part based on his personal experience in his
    years in “Gender Study” — hardly convincing to a group of Catholic men who wish to learn and defend their faith. In fact, the Holy Father’s term
    “dictatorship of relativism” came to mind many times as he argued the case
    of patriarchical oppression, the plasticity of gender, and
    the spectrum of 5 sexes (not just 2).

    Dr. Pence’s arguments were based on a theme he has used in other debates,
    particularly, the common brotherhood of men that calls men to sacrifice
    for the sake of family, community and nation. This brotherhood is not
    a social convention that can be done away with, but has it’s origins in
    God, and given to men who by adoption into Christ are brothers and are called
    to give their lives in imitation of Our Lord.

    The main course for dinner was Jambalaya. Dr Mayers, being a Cajun,
    indicated that it was quite good :-)

    Fr. Eckert said the topic for next month will be “St. John Vianney” in keeping
    with the “Year of the Priest”.

  10. DeProfundis says:

    In the Diocese of Madison, WI, we have a men’s apostolate that is really growing and challenging men to be holy husbands, fathers, and citizens. The Knights of Divine Mercy ( meets for First Fridays for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, confession, Vespers, praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and a talk by a priest that challenges men to live holier lives. Followed by a fish fry social after the apostolate has grown from a handful of “knights” to over a hundred. This is something any parish or diocese could reproduce. Feel free to email for information on starting a Knights of Divine Mercy in your parish.

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