St. Andrew Men’s Group
An opportunity for the men of St. Catharine’s to come together and . . .
- Form a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ by celebrating Mass together in the chapel
- Inspire new avenues of faith, fellowship and service by sharing breakfast together in the Fr. Scheg Center after Mass
- Explore and discuss Catholic teachings by participating in a 20-minute presentation on topics, such as spirituality and Catholic life challenges at home, in the workplace, and in social settings.
Our gatherings are held on the first Saturday of every month. We begin with Mass in the Chapel at 7:15 am, and then have breakfast in the Fr. Scheg Center, followed by a speaker or panel presentation and discussion. Our gatherings end at 8:30 am.
More information is available on these subjects:
The Scriptural Significance of the Group’s Name
The Origin of the Group
Format of the Gatherings
The Scriptural Significance of St. Andrew Men’s Group
“The next day John (the Baptist) was there with two of his brothers (Andrew
and the other traditionally identified as John, son of Zebedee). As he watched
Jesus walk by he said, ‘Look! There is the Lamb of God!’ The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus. When Jesus turned around and noticed them following him, He asked them, ‘What are you looking for?’ They said to Him, ‘Rabbi (Teacher), where do you stay?’ ‘Come and see,’ he answered. So they went to see where he was lodged
and stayed with him that day. One of the two, who had followed him after hearing
John, was Simon Peter’s brother Andrew. The first thing he (Andrew) did was
seek out his brother Simon and tell him, ‘We have found the Messiah!’ (This
term means the Anointed.) He took him to Jesus, who looked at him and said, ‘You are Simon, son of John; your name shall be Cephas (which is rendered Peter).”
Our inspiration is summed up in the bold text.
St. Andrew was chosen as the scriptural model for our group so that we, like St.
Andrew, can bring our brothers to Jesus.
Origin of the St. Andrew Men’s Group
Twenty or so years ago seven St. Catharine’s men attended a men’s retreat at Loyola House of Retreats in Morristown, NJ. They were welcomed to join with St. Justin’s Father Washington retreat weekend and stayed with this group for several years. As the St. Catharine/St. Justin retreat group grew, the retreat director at Loyola decided to set aside a weekend retreat exclusively for this St. Catharine/St. Justin group. Subsequently, in order to keep the spirit of the retreat weekend alive, the men thought a monthly gathering of the retreat group would be a helpful bridge between the annual retreats. In addition the monthly gathering, this would benefit all the men in the parish and provide a method to promote the annual retreat.
Also, approximately 20 years ago, a newspaper published a long story about the Promise Keepers gathering held in a Washington, DC stadium, of 45,000 men. Many of them attended with their sons. It became obvious to those watching the growth of this group that there was a significant desire for men’s spirituality. Motivated by this initiative and coupled with St. Catharine’s annual men’s retreat, our pastor, Fr. Rebeck, agreed that our parish could definitely benefit by utilizing some aspects of the Promise Keepers format.
Format of the Monthly Gathering
We imitated the time structure developed by a marketing organization called LeTip. The times set for the beginning and ending of the gathering are crucial. Mass begins at 7:15 am and the gathering ends at 8:30 am sharp.
There is no organizational structure for this gathering, such as president, vice president or treasurer.
The sole purpose of the gatherings is to provide the men of the parish a time to pray and have fellowship together. The annual men’s retreat is strongly encouraged and promoted but not mandatory.
The word meeting (suggesting a business profile of some kind) is purposely avoided and the word gathering is used instead.
Telephone contact is critical to assure attendance of the gathering to alert the men of the next gathering, as most men need a reminder. This telephone reminder is also useful to determine an approximate number of men who will be attending the next gathering and it facilitates the preparations for the breakfast.
One man acts as the master of ceremony. A free-will offering is taken up after breakfast. This free-will offering is intended to cover the out-of-pocket expenses for the breakfast Any extra funds not required to accommodate the next gathering are generally donated to the St. Vincent de Paul society.
Members perform several other tasks. Planning for gatherings, breakfast supplies are bought, tables are set-up and the facility is returned to order.