How to Inspire Catholic Men (Guest: Michael Mason)

March 22, 2024 01:06:00
How to Inspire Catholic Men (Guest: Michael Mason)
Crisis Point
How to Inspire Catholic Men (Guest: Michael Mason)

Mar 22 2024 | 01:06:00

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Hosted By

Eric Sammons

Show Notes

The Catholic Church is undergoing a crisis of masculinity. Most parishes are dominated by women, and men are rarely at the forefront of spiritual leadership in a parish. What can be done to reinstate men as spiritual leaders?
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Episode Transcript

[00:00:10] Speaker A: The catholic church is undergoing a crisis of masculinity. Most parishes are dominated by women, and men are rarely at the forefront of spiritual leadership in a parish. What can be done to restore men as spiritual leaders? That's what we're going to talk about today on crisis point. Hello, I'm Eric Sam. It's your host, ed in chief of Crisis magazine. Before I get started, just want to encourage people to like and subscribe to the channel, let other people know about it. That way, the algorithm knows about it, and the almighty algorithm will let people know about our podcast, which is what matters. Also, you can follow us on social media at Crisis Mag. Subscribe to our email newsletter, just go to crisismagazine.com, put in your email address, and you will get our emails once a day with our articles there every day. Okay, so our guest today is Michael Mason. He's actually Mike, but it says Michael on the screen. But he's a friend of mine, so I call him Mike behind his back. I might call him other things. Anyway, Michael Mason is the founder of St. Joseph's Society, a catholic men's group for men who hate Catholic men's groups. He's a theology teacher at a catholic boys school and a husband and father of five children. And to prove that I am truly a man, I did not remember how many kids he had, so I had to ask him before we went on air. So our wives would probably just roll their eyes at that. So. Hey, welcome to the program, Mike. [00:01:31] Speaker B: Thanks to be here. And to note for all the viewers, I did know how many children. [00:01:34] Speaker A: You did. You did. It was kind of embarrassing because you haven't met all my kids since somewhere out of the house. And I've met all of your kids, and I couldn't remember how many you had, and I couldn't name them either. [00:01:44] Speaker B: But I definitely can't do that for you. [00:01:46] Speaker A: Okay. There we. So Mike and I go the same parish. We both are here in Cincinnati, go to the same parish. And Mike has, a couple of years ago, started up a men's group. So I thought it'd be a great thing for us to talk about just the role of men. I've talked to Mike about this a lot, and I think it's an important topic. Role men in parish life, particularly, because I think most of us recognize is woefully inadequate. And Mike is actually doing something about it. But before we get started, why don't you just tell us a little bit about your background? Know you're a convert or not. And all these things. I know you're a convert because you have a episode of coming Home Network, and I'm going to actually link to that so people can find out more about you. Why don't you give us the synopsis, not the hour long version of it, but just the synopsis of your own background. [00:02:35] Speaker B: Sure. I was raised in a Methodist family. Great loving parents, great supportive family. I grew up in northwest Ohio. I was born in Fremont, Ohio, which is just southeast of Toledo. High school, pretty average midwestern life. Played football, baseball, stay out of trouble as best I could, went to school, those sort of things. My junior year, high school, I grew up in a blue collar community, kind of a work hard, play hard type mentality. And so aside from playing football and going to school, I decided to start drinking beer and things like that as well, which ultimately led me to Ohio University. And if anyone is in the listening areas from Ohio, they would know why I was motivated to go to Ohio University. If you want to drink beer. I did that for a few years, and Eric, you'll probably be shocked to learn this, but I discovered that sin is not the pathway to happiness. Yeah, no kidding. Came to that conclusion my senior year, my first senior year, because I partied enough. They gave me a second one, but I came to that conclusion senior year, got involved with campus crusade for Christ. Had a really profound conversion to Christianity. I tell guys I left my parents house in January 2004, fat, drunk, and stupid. And then two months later, I'm raising support. I'd lost 30 pounds, and I'm raising support to go on a mission trip to share the gospel with college students at Panama City beach, Florida, which you think would be the last place you'd put someone like me. But it actually turned my life around because for the first time, I got to see my sin in front of me without drunken goggles on, but really see what it does to people and what the Lord delivered me from. And then I was just really inspired to share that. So met my lovely wife Jenny later that year, which I'm very grateful I got that fifth year because we got a chance to date for a year. We moved to Charlote, North Carolina, after graduation, got married. I wanted to evangelize the world, so I got into apologetics. Went to Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlote, North Carolina to study philosophy. Now, this seminary is really interesting because we weren't like a baptist style of evangelical theology. We had dispensational end times theory, which your viewers might know is like the left behind series type stuff. And then they taught us strict Thomas Aquinas's philosophy. In fact, when I tell priests what I studied, they most say, you got better training in Thomas than we. I got. It was a bizarre know. But what they told us basically is study Thomas Aquinas's philosophy because he's the best answer to modern man's questions. And then let's just slip sola scripturan. Just don't read us theology stuff. Well, of course, I'm a reader, as you are, so I just kept reading into theology and ultimately converted to the catholic faith in 2013. [00:05:20] Speaker A: While you were at the school that you converted? [00:05:23] Speaker B: I graduated a year before that. [00:05:24] Speaker A: Okay. [00:05:25] Speaker B: So I was still in process thinking through it. I was teaching high school at a protestant high school, and so when I converted, I had a one year old. I knew I could no longer work there anymore. And so I'm jobless. And each night when I'd iron my shirts for work, I would watch the journey home. So being on the journey home back in January was pretty surreal. Watching all these. Hearing these great stories that inspired me to come in, and then I get to. It was a profound honor to do that for other people. [00:05:50] Speaker A: I think that was about when I was on, because I was on about ten years ago or so maybe I. [00:05:56] Speaker B: Might have watched you. Yeah, I was living in Florida, so. [00:05:59] Speaker A: It would have been like 2012, 2013, something like that. When I was on, I literally watched. [00:06:05] Speaker B: That probably every other night for. So most likely I watched yours at some. So I'm becoming catholic. My wife came into church with me. She came on her own. I told her, I said, honey, I think this is true. So that's where I'm going. She said she wasn't ready. We went through RCI and came in together, which was really beautiful, and ended up ultimately getting a job in Cincinnati teaching up here. I got a second master's degree in theology, and then I always wanted to really work on evangelizing men and discipling men. So my goal is to always end up, hopefully, in a boys school. And as Providence would have it, I've been teaching an all boys school here in Cincinnati for the last three years. And then I started this men's group we're going to talk about four years ago in 2020. [00:06:50] Speaker A: Yeah, I know you help out the football team, but obviously you're not the chaplain because you're not a priest. So what is your role with the football team? [00:07:03] Speaker B: So I teach theology there. My role, I do director of faith formation for the football team and for the lacrosse. So I'm in lacrosse season right now with those guys. The role of it basically is we do a scripture of the week passage on Mondays. Then we do a benediction service, which I obviously don't lead on Thursdays, but I participated in and help organize on Fridays. We'll do a prayer service in the chapel, kind of a pregame prayer service, and then I do the scripture talk for that one as well and just coordinate all those things. And I have a team of guys I work with that are really great. I know a lot of probably your listeners because crisis addressed the problems in the church and in the culture and things. And there's plenty of things the young people we're around are up against, and there's a lot of reason for us to despair. But we preach the gospel to these guys. We do it passionately. We don't mince words. We challenge them. And I get to see the fact that the Holy Spirit's still working in these guys'lives. And a lot of people don't get to see that. So it is inspiring to know that God's still working. He's working through us. He's doing good things. [00:08:04] Speaker A: Yeah, it is. And it's encouraging because I think a lot of us have very negative views on the success of youth groups in the catholic world and a lot of the youth outreaches and the men's stuff, which we're going to talk about here in a minute, how abysmal that is. But since we're talking about this really, what is it that you think is the key to reaching these young men who are. I mean, this is related because it's all men you're talking about these young men. What is the key to really kind of having an impact? Because it's not like these guys. It's not like you're teaching. I don't know if you want me to say a name of the high school, but it's not like some high school. [00:08:46] Speaker B: That's fine if you name it. Yeah, Moeller High School is where I. [00:08:49] Speaker A: Yeah, it's mole high school, which is actually a pretty famous catholic high school for football. It's literally one of the best football programs, I think, in the. I remember growing up, I remember like, oh, yeah, molar. They're the state champion yet again and stuff like, um. But it's not like these kids are all from practicing Catholic families, know trad families, definitely know things like that. So what is it that you kind of think is the key to kind of reaching them? [00:09:19] Speaker B: I enjoy working with young people. I never went the ministry route whether when I was an evangelical or even as a Catholic. Part of the reason why, it's just not my personality. I love to teach. I love ideas. For me, a great day is just you jump in a classroom and talk shop all day long about cool theology. The other reason why I went the teaching route is because a typical youth minister is going to see the guys, maybe on Wednesday night, maybe Sunday evening. However, the breakdown is maybe he connects with some of his leaders again throughout the week. But I thought, if I'm going to change these guys lives, you need to be in their life a whole bunch. It's same thing with your children, right? It's not just quantity. You want quality time with your children, you want quality time with these guys, but you need a whole lot of quantity as well. You just need to spend a ton of time with them. And I just wanted to build those relationships and just day in and day out be involved in their lives. And so one way to reach the youth is you just got to spend much time with them. And that's why, which we'll get to the men's ministry I'm talking about. And really some ideas I have for reaching to youth through St. Joe's Society in the future is you just got to spend time with these guys. First, they have to know that you love them. Every interview I've ever had said the first bridge is these guys have to know you're on their side. They have to know you love them. And you're just in there day in and out, and you're with mean. If you asked any one of my students interviewed him right now, they'll tell you, Mr. Mason loves us. This is what he's here for. That's the first thing is just spending lots of time with them and loving them. Second, I read your book once, the old evangelization. I firmly believe in the old evangelization. The truth set me free and the truth sets these guys free. And they can see through inauthenticity. They can see through all that stuff. I trust God and I trust what's been revealed in the gospels. And I just present those truths to the guys. And you have to do it in a way that's winsome. You can beat people over the head and preach the truth in a way that's off putting. I don't deny that for 1 minute. However, when you really love the person you're talking to, when you want to engage them in conversation, when you have a truth that you want to share with them that you passionately believe about that will improve their lives. You love them, and then you can really work on doing that in a winsome way. Guys respond really well to it. Now, I'm not going to claim that all my students embrace it and their lives are changing next week, but I do think we're tilling the soil, these guys hearts. We're planting those seeds in. You know, that's the extent of what I can do. And then I just trust the Holy Spirit to do the rest of the work for us. So I think really, quantity, time. You love them and then just tell them the truth, and these guys will respond well to it, and then you have to live it. You have to be authentic, because they can see teenagers. There's plenty you can criticize about teenagers, but they can see through inauthenticity pretty clearly. They got a good eye for it. [00:12:03] Speaker A: Yeah, they read crap very well. [00:12:05] Speaker B: Oh, yes. [00:12:06] Speaker A: Big time good detectors of that. Okay, so you and I have talked a lot, just the two of us, about kind of the crisis of men in the catholic church today. We've talked about, I had an article, crisis years ago, before I even was the editor, about no church for young men, which just blew up beyond. I just thought it was like, okay, here's my thoughts on the problem of parishes not reaching out to men, and especially young men. And it was all of a sudden, boy, everybody was just, like, went crazy over that article. I have people still today say that article was a big deal. And so how would you kind of say, what's the state of men in the church? And we're talking most about our own experience. We're talking about America. We're talking about in the parish life, kind of where are we now when it comes to men and their role in parishes and in catholic life? [00:13:02] Speaker B: I think the church suffers from the same problem that our culture suffers. Men. I don't think men understand where they fit in the culture or in the church. I think if you ask a typical woman in our culture today or in the parish day, she understands kind of where she fits and where she belongs. And we can talk about these if you'd like, or if you have thoughts on it. But with the industrial revolution, the technological revolution, through various isms, feminism, and things like that that have intruded into our popular culture, men have lost a spot of where they belong. And then when you look at the attacks in the family, like, okay, if the workplace no longer is a place that a man brings something special and unique, the family's not either, because we're being downplayed there, the culture beats us down. Even the military. Now we say, well, military is a man's area. Well, now we don't get that anymore. There are certain sports. Sports isn't even a place we can retreat to. I think a lot of guys question where they belong. When you come into the church, it's the same problem. What am I supposed to be doing here when I walk into a typical parish? What's my mission? Men are mission minded people. You and I have talked about this, that if a priest gets up and puts a mission out there, a challenge out there, it stirs your heart, even if you don't love the mission itself. But you have one. Men need a mission. They need a direction. They need marching orders. Men love a place. The reason why I love sports is especially team sports. What men want to know is where they belong and what's being asked to them. Men aren't climbers. There was a study done I read a long time ago where they were talking about these boys. I don't remember the age of six year old boys, say, and they put them in a room and they had these cameras and watched them. And the boys worked themselves into a hierarchy. You had like the top kids at the top, the middle ones in the bottom, the leaders. Then the boys didn't see each other for five years. They come back now they're eleven. Put them in same kids in a room again, same exact hierarchy breaks out every team sport I've ever been a part of. How's it work? You have guys trying to be quarterback, wide receiver, offensive lineman. Once everybody has a position, everybody settles in and people jockey at first for position. But once everybody settles in, it just works perfectly. And you don't have the right guard wanting to be a quarterback. Our offensive linemen at Mueller are happy being nameless and just driving people into the ground. They don't want to be the quarterback. They want their name in the paper. They take pride in the fact they're not. Well, let's bring that insight into the church, because any man who plays sports knows that's true. Let's bring that in the church. When I walk in, what am I supposed to be doing? Where do I fit in this thing? I know I'm not supposed to be the priest. That's his job. A lot of the leadership, which I think you mentioned this in your article, so maybe you could comment on this. A lot of the leadership in the parish is female. And I think a lot of men sit there and don't know where they fit and what they're supposed to be doing. Go ahead. [00:16:01] Speaker A: I was going to say the imagery that you get, and this is something I bring up often, but I don't know if people really get it. And that's kind of the subconscious imagery, the subconscious message that's being given when you walk into a catholic parish as a young man. So let's say you're 30 years old and you're married, maybe have a kid or two, you walk in, and it just screams effeminacy in a lot of parishes, from the architecture to the felt banners to the army of women who are up at the altar to the songs that are. Oh, my gosh. The music, which is just cringeworthy. And this is a case even when the priest is solid and he gives a good homily, people think, oh, that's really what. No, that's not enough. Because when you walk in, when a 30 year old man walks in, he just is almost repelled by the messaging that's being given subconsciously, even sometimes consciously to him, that you're just not really. And like you said, he has to think, what's my place here? What am I supposed to do here? When it's like, clearly, other than the priest, every single person is a woman who does everything. I'll be blunt. At least a lot of times, the priests are not real manly either. And so it just. Is this real. It's this real crisis, I think, where it's just like. And so, needless to say, the numbers show that 30 year old man ain't there very long. I mean, he just goes off. Sometimes he'll take his family to the local evangelical church, which is. I just tweeted this the other day. Here in our town of Cincinnati, evangelicals pass Catholics for the most dominant religious group in Cincinnati. And if you know anything about Cincinnati, Catholics have always been the number one, most dominant religious group for over 100 years. Something like that. Now it's evangelicals. And I think this is, of course, part of the problem. It just is one of these things where the sense of mission is missing. [00:18:21] Speaker B: Okay, do you mind if I jump in real quick? Yeah. So we want a sense of mission. That's one. My students want something to die for. It's a natural male impulse to do this. And you can look in the scriptures, and it's in there, too. I mean, in Ephesians, chapter five, when you get married, what are you supposed to do? Love your wife like Christ loved the church. Well, how did Christ love the church? He died for her. When God knit men together, he knit us. We want to do know you can do it. From a non christian perspective, men were the ones that went to the front lines and protect the women in order to fight and lay down. It's hardwired into us. You can make arrogant from evolution or from faith. Either one could be fine. This is hardwired for us to do this. Men want a mission. And I tell my students what we're talking about in class here with religion and things. We're looking at the foundation you're going to build your whole life on. We're talking about something we're willing to die for. That's what makes the subject matter unique. And so men want a mission, to your point, the leader of that parish, and there's plenty of good priests, and I know you know that we aren't cutting down on all of them. But when a man needs to look up and see a leader, that will lead him into the fight, and he needs to know what that fight is. So part of the mission is, what's the battle? What's the mission? What's the goal? Who's my leader going in there? Because men want a mission. The other thing, too. Men are inspired by beauty, and men, the liturgy, the parish, it has to be beautiful for men. And I think for a lot of people, this is counterintuitive. They say, well, women care more about beauty. Guys wear t shirts and things like that. They can't tuck their shirt incorrectly. I think people who don't realize how important beauty is in worship for men don't understand what men are like. Wait. We are visual creatures. We are not auditory. And what inspires a man's devotion? Beauty does. This is in all the stories. If a man falls in love with a woman, what's he going to do for her? Anything. [00:20:22] Speaker A: Right? [00:20:23] Speaker B: Because it's the beauty that inspires credit to the women in our parishes. A mother will, she'll put up felt banners, whatever. She just wants her babies getting into heaven. And to credit women, they'll put up with a lot more stuff than we will, where the man won't consciously say, well, I don't like felt banners, and I'm not inspired by this. He just loses interest. I think a lot of guys wouldn't be able to articulate why that's right. I think why is loss of mission. They don't see an inspiring vision in front of them, and it's not beautiful. It's not awe inspiring. It's not worth dying for. And if the church wants to bring men in, you have to give them a mission worth dying for. A real vision, an adventure. Invite men to the gospel. When I partied and chase girls and all that foolishness at Ohio University, the reason why I did is I didn't want to live a boring life. I was a young man now. I was very mistaken in what an adventurous life was. I was way off track. But I wanted that. I wanted adventure. I wanted excitement. And when you go out on a Saturday night drinking with your buddies, you don't know what's going to happen. And that's part of the appeal. Well, that lifestyle is a complete lie and a fraud. When I became a Christian, and this is the credit to the evangelicals, which you just mentioned, they gave me a mission from day one. I mean, when I converted, they came up and said, you should go to Panama City Beach, Florida and share the gospel with random people on the beach. I've been a Christian for two months. [00:21:51] Speaker A: I mean, that is something that resonates with men when they hear that, wait a actually, I'm going to actually go to another country. I'm going to save souls. I'm going to bring people to Jesus. It's not very prudent, by the way, for them to send somebody two months in to do that. But that's. Men aren't always prudent either. It resonates, at the very least that you've given me something to do. I can actually make a difference and I can actually do something that helps others and really brings about a difference to this new faith that I have. I mean, it's amazing that they did that. And like you said, it resonates. [00:22:26] Speaker B: And we can't underestimate how much being scared is fun. Yeah, I was terrified to go talk to guys. And I remember walking on the beach and I was so scared to go talk to someone. And this girl, she's tiny little thing because they team me up with a girl so you can talk to guys and girls out there and she's this tiny little thing and she goes, oh, I'll start a conversation. You just listen. Well, it's like, she's like challenging my manhood. She didn't even know it. I watched her do it once and I'm scared to death. And I'm like, I'm just going to launch into this. And I'm not saying it's the most prudent thing to send someone who doesn't know anything out there. So I'm with you on that. However, it replaced something exciting, because what if I just give up the sin and then just sit at home. [00:23:06] Speaker A: Right. [00:23:06] Speaker B: I'm going to go back to the drinking because what am I doing here? These guys gave me a mission and they lit me on fire. And then when I was on fire they didn't try to put it out or tamp it out. They wanted to fan that thing into flame. And so given that mission is a big deal and like we said, so the evangelicals have to get credit for that. And that's why I think a lot of people flock to it. Because when you go to an evangelical church they're going to tell you that it's a fight out there. They're going to challenge you to share the gospel with your family members or friends. They're going to tell you that people may not like you because of your faith. They're going to tell you that you're going to have to be separated from the world. And these are themes that are completely catholic. You just don't hear them a lot in the catholic church. That sense of mission isn't there. Well, if you go to the local evangelical church and they're telling you this and then showing you the no, there's never a good reason to leave the catholic church. But you can understand why people would. And I get it. That's not the answer. We have all the answers. I guess we can get to this in a little bit. But I think our tradition offers us the answer to the catholic man crisis. It's all sitting there, right? It's been perfected for 2000 years. We just got to pick it up and run with it. [00:24:21] Speaker A: Yeah, okay. Like you already said, we both know some very good priests and there are very good priests out there. But before I get into what we as lay people, laymen do, I do want to talk about the role of the priest because we both agree it's essential. It's worthless really to try it without the priest really being actively involved to do anything that's going to attract men. But I do think we both know a lot of priests out there. The way they've been formed or the type of men that are attracted to priesthood, I don't know. But I just know in my 30 years as a Catholic I've met a lot of very unimpressive priests in the sense that they're unimpressive men. I kind of feel like when I meet them, they could barely get a job at a gas station or something like that. And yet they're priests again. We have awesome priests, you and I do, in our parish, that are very good. And I've known a lot of good priests, but it's like, what is that role of the priest? Why is it so important for the priest for attracting men particularly? What is it about a priest that they need to do, or at least be that is attractive to get men particularly to follow them? [00:25:42] Speaker B: Priests are absolutely 100% the answer. I started this men's group that we're going to talk about, and I'm happy to elaborate on what we do and why. But the no layperson is going to solve this. We can help. We can partner with priests and help encourage them and things like that. The priests are the answer. And the reason why is because men, like I said before, we are hierarchical beings. We need leadership, we need direction, and we need authority. I can't walk into a group of men. I can try to inspire a group of guys. I can teach them a cool lesson. A layperson can do those things. You can inspire through charisma or your intelligence or wit or things like that. But what I can't do, what men really need, is that proper authority in their lives, because we men want authority. Now, let's just excuse the abuse of authority. We'll just set that aside because you and I both agree that obviously this can be very bad, but let's just talk about the good side. Authority is a good thing. Christ set up his church with an authoritative structure, with a hierarchy. He knows how he made us, and especially men. This is how we respond well to, I think, a lot of priests today, some of them, for the critiques you offered, I think you said it well. So I won't say that. Priests who do have disability, and there's plenty of them, and I'm partnering with lots of them in this men's group, I'm started. They just need the confidence, a lot of these guys, that they can lead and that men want to be led. Guys want to be led. What will a kid do for his football coach? Anything. He will literally run down the field and throw his body in front of gigantic people at Mueller. We're one of the best football teams in the country. We play great football teams. Our guys will do anything to win those ball games. They'll do anything for their teammates and for their coaches. Well, why? Because there's something in us that wants that. So priests have to be the ones that lead us out here. And I think some priests who are good men, they need to be taught and encouraged how to do this. If a priest didn't grow up, say, playing sports, let's say just that wasn't what he was into and things he's not going to realize how male groups work, sports or maybe farming or construction. If you go on these kind of things that kind of attract the typical guy, you learn how men operate and work within those groups. And so if you had a priest who's comfortable in this group, some of the best priests I know, to be honest with you, and the best leaders, these guys played baseball in high school. These guys played rugby in college. They are comfortable at a barbecue. They can walk around and talk to guys. They're not one of the guys. They're a priest. They're our leader. But they can relate to the men. They can lead them. They have confidence because they understand how male culture works. They understand what men are like. And priests need to be infused with that sort of confidence and help, because if they lead, guys will follow. They have to lead, well, of course, with wisdom and those sort of things. But if they lead, men want that. You and I were talking about before that when our priests challenge you and I to do something mass, I mean, even if we don't want to do it, we're like, whatever you say, Father, because we trust these guys. We know they're good men, we know they're prayerful, and it stirs something in us to follow them and be challenged. [00:29:04] Speaker A: I also want to say something like, I recognize I had these negative comments by a lot of priests, and I think it's true. I think we unfortunately have a number of priests who aren't that great. But I also want to acknowledge that institutionally, there's a lot going against a priest being the type of priest he needs to be to bring men to Christ, to be faithful Catholic, to lead these men, because there's a lot working against him. Because if he does certain things, he will get attacked as being toxic masculinity or somehow anti woman or whatever the case may be, if he really does take on, and I'm not talking about from the outside world because who cares about that? I'm talking about from inside the church. He will get a lot of Karens who will tell him, you can't be like that. And maybe even from his chancery, he might get that in some diocese, depending on the situation. So I recognize that we can talk about what a priest needs to do, but a lot of priests have a lot of obstacles that are put in front of them to really do that, even if they want to. There are difficulties for them for doing that. And so we have to recognize that. So we have the priests now, other than getting priests involved. There have been a lot of efforts over the years to bring men in. There's a lot of men's groups, a lot of men's apostolates, a lot of men's programs, stuff like that over the years. But obviously it's not working that well, at least on a macro level, because it's not like we're bringing in more men. The fact is, it's not really happening. We still have a lot of effeminate parishes and things like that. What would you say are kind of the things we failed at, even at good natured, I mean, sincere efforts to have men's groups like that. What has kind of been kind of some of the flaws that we've seen in the past. [00:31:08] Speaker B: So one of the flaws is a typical men's group. A guy of my age can't attend, and I mean can attend a typical men's group. A lot of them meet at 08:00 a.m. 09:00 a.m. On a Saturday morning. So whatever, let's just start there, just with the timing. I have five children. I'm 42 years old. After 08:00 a.m. On Saturday, my time is no longer mine. And so I tell priests all the time, the guys I meet with and try to inspire to start St. Joseph's society groups is. I say, listen, your meeting cannot go any later than 08:00 a.m. And yes, I said later, it needs to start at six. If it starts later than six, you're going to miss most of your guys. The groups. When we first started meeting here in town, when I started the first chapter of this, we used to meet at 515 in the morning for prayer. And the guys loved it. We were done at seven. So if you want to reach a guy in his especially thirty s and forty s because those are the married men with school age children, it has to be finished by 07:00 a.m. Or eight at the absolute latest, if you want to catch those guys. [00:32:12] Speaker A: And it can't be like 07:00 p.m. On a weeknight either. [00:32:15] Speaker B: No, the only time I have to myself. You have to yourself because you have a young, grown family too. The only time you and I have to ourselves, if we get up super in the morning or stay up super late at night. Right? But there's no in between time. Someone else gets our time, which is appropriate and good. That's a season life. I mentioned Ephesians five, dying to yourself, taking up your cross. Well, that's what that is. But men, we do need each other. And so first I tell priests, you got to move that start time early. So that'd be the first step. Second step is trying to think what order I want to go in. Let's go with content. Next, typical content that guys are going to learn. If they're discussion heavy, that's not going to work very well. Now I will hear people say that men don't talk. That's not true. Men do talk. If you've ever been around men, they talk a whole bunch. You do have to understand how men talk and what things we talk about. What men don't do for very long is we don't sit around and talk about how we feel about things or how we think about things. We're not really like that. We like to debate. Men debate. Every time you're on a man, they debate. Men like to discuss around activities. So if a girl asked me why her boyfriend doesn't talk to her or why, or some woman asks, my husband doesn't talk to me, what should I do? I'd say we'll go for a walk and he'll start talking, shoot hoops with him, do something like that. He'll open up. Because men's conversation is generally shown about an activity that you're doing together. And we don't use near as many words as women do each day. So a guy's going to say what he's going to say and that's pretty much done. So they don't need to be massively discussion oriented, but there needs to be a discussion element because we're not a bunch of Neanderthals either. And so what I'd say is, when it comes to the discussion aspect, there needs to be discussion, but it doesn't need to be a whole bunch of it. And a lot of times when you go to a men's group, it's discussion centered. And it's usually you'll watch a video or you're reading something and you discuss. Now, that needs to be an aspect of male formation, but it can't be the main thrust because it's just going to run out of gas. And then also, I teach for a living and I lead discussions. I rarely ever participate in them because usually I'm leading all the time. It's exhausting to lead them. It's really difficult if someone's ever led a discussion before with any group of people, it's not an easy thing to do. You do it often. It's an art, too, especially with a group of people. And so it's very difficult on the person leading to do that sort of thing. So groups start too late. They're pretty much content or discussion oriented. So it's just you're learning things, and I'm a teacher, so I love learning, but that's kind of what they are. And then when it comes to the things you're discussing, it's too ad hoc. The messages you get in a typical men's group are like going to a men's conference. I'm not opposed to men's conferences, I'm not opposed to retreats, I'm not opposed to topical discussions. The problem with those are, is you don't actually end up learning anything because we only remember 7% of what we hear, which is depressing to people like me who talk for a living. But people remember about 7% of what you say. You'll hear this thing and the guy will go, oh, that was a really interesting talk. And the asks person after, well, what did he say? He's like, can't remember what it is. What I mean by ad hoc is to really learn something, you have to get systematically trained in it. You have to see how the ideas fit together. I know you've been in the business of catechizing, doing that thing quite a bit. Catholicism is an organic whole. You pull out one little thread of the catholic faith, the whole sweater falls apart, all the pieces fit together. What we believe about the Blessed Virgin Mary is tied to what believe about Jesus, tied to what we believe about the church and the Eucharist. And so what men need formation wise, the formation they do get intellectually, it must be systematic, not ad hoc, because you could sit there and just listen to presentation type talks for ten years, and at the end of it you still don't understand how any of the pieces fit together. So I would say you need discussion with men because we do need it. But you don't need a whole bunch of it. But you do need it. It's important. You need intellectual formation, but it needs to be systematic. Guys need to be taught. They don't need pump up talks all the time that stir the emotions. If you do that once or twice a year at a retreat, I mean, that's fine, I'm not opposed to those things. But what he needs day in and day out, is that. So that's the typical, is it's too intellectual, ironically, and too discussion oriented, which goes kind of against a man's nature. The timing's bad. That's one. And then Rob Marco wrote a great article that I responded to, but his article is excellent about men's groups, is if you center them on activities, which is, I'm a fan of that. And I think you mentioned that your article as well, that activities are a good thing to bring men together. The downside of those are, is it's very difficult on the leadership. They don't last. And so you say, well, we're going to focus on discussion each week at 09:00 well, most the guys you need to reach aren't showing up. The guys who do lead discussions are getting worn out. And most people who aren't trained in theology, you just start repeating yourself after two months anyhow, so nobody's getting anywhere. And then if you say, well, we'll do manly activities like service projects, well, those are fine. I'm happy with those, but they're difficult to put together. And so if you're going to do those monthly or every two weeks, whoever that leadership is, is going to burn out. And that was Rob Marco made that point in his article, and he was spot on. And then the last thing is you can talk, know, bourbon and beer and brats type get togethers. And I'm a huge fan of all those things. So I'm not dogging that at all. But that can just descend into weirdness where it's like the mission of my church is to eat brats and drink beer together. Like, this is what Christianity is. I'm not dying for this. The guy might have a fine time, but he's not going to become a disciple of Jesus Christ doing that. And so I think most men kind of take these approaches. What I think, do you want me to get to the answer? Do you want to respond to the. Or you want to add to what I've said? [00:38:45] Speaker A: Yeah, no, I think you're right. I think what I've seen in my, know, the Knights of Columbus, which I'm remembering Knights of Columbus, I'm not going to rag on it, but it is geared towards older men because it almost always has meetings on like a weeknight. It is dominated by all these projects, which is just like, okay, we're going to do this servicing. And that's good. But it's like, I remember first time I went to a Knights Columbus meeting, I was basically guilted. I was like, you have to do this. And I was like, I have a couple of young kids. I have a job, full time job. I don't have time to do this. I'm sorry. And it really was more like, okay. I saw very quickly why everybody there except for me was their kids were out of the house and they were retirement age, things like that. And I also think there is the idea of the discussion. I think the reason people think that is something men don't want to do is because they set it up like for women, because it's like, let's sit around and talk about our feelings about this. And I'm not denigrating it for women at all. That's how they're made. They're going to have a completely different discussion than men are. But that's not recognized in these men's groups. So may you have a Bible study. Well, what the Bible study becomes is what you think about that passage. What did you think about that passage? It's like, I don't care what anybody else thinks about that passage. I want to hear what the church has said about that passage, or that's what I want to know. And so I do think the models of how it works is just like you said, and I think it hasn't worked. And that's why most men group don't last very long, or they're just set up for older men. And hey, I'm not that far away from being one of those older men. So I'm not against those. I'm just saying that's only for a certain season of life. And it's not for the ones who are going to be the leaders in a parish because really the spiritual leaders, obviously the priest, but then under him, his kind of lieutenant, so to speak, should be men in their thirty s and forty s or something like that, where they really have maybe 50s like me, but they're not like men in their sixty s and seventy s. That's not their role anymore. They're to be kind of the wise advisors who have a lot to offer in that sense. But they're not the ones necessarily going to be like, okay, I'm going to help father kind of lead this parish forward, I think. Absolutely right. So then the question becomes then, and let's just go ahead and go right into, you founded St. Joseph society, was it four years ago, did you say? [00:41:23] Speaker B: Yeah, 2020. [00:41:24] Speaker A: Okay, so a good COVID activity there. [00:41:28] Speaker B: Yeah, I can explain that if you want. But why that led into it. But it did indeed. [00:41:32] Speaker A: Well, yeah, so let's talk about what St. Joseph Society is kind of how you founded it and why you kind of are claiming that this is something different. I remember this is how you pitch it to me. When you first brought up to me was it's a men's group for men who hate men's groups. And I admit I was like, okay, now I'm listening. Because I hate men's groups. So it's like, I'm listening. So why don't you just kind of give a little bit of. You've kind of said you solve these problems. Kind of. How did St. Joseph society get started? [00:41:59] Speaker B: Yeah, when you mentioned the type of men's group I talked about that. The one with coffee and donuts at 09:00 a.m. At 10:00 a.m. In 25 years, I'm going to that group and I'm going to love it. My point is just not made for a 2030, 40, 50 year old. I'm in the fighting stage of life. You're in the fighting stage of life. That's what we want. You and I want to fight. [00:42:20] Speaker A: I'm getting into the beat down stage of life. But go ahead. [00:42:22] Speaker B: Some of your children are young, man, you got some time to go. [00:42:24] Speaker A: I know. [00:42:28] Speaker B: I don't actually like describing this in age limits as much as I do having children in the home or you want to have children home. So the group I start is for guys who marriages in their future and children or men who have children in the home. Because you're a little bit older than me, but you still have young kids in the house, so you're still in the fight and age I consider one of us. Eric, thanks, but I'm in the fighting age. In 25 years, I won't be. I'm going to sit in the corner and I'll think about things. And if the young guys who are running the St. Joe society now, they can come talk to me, I'll give them some advice. So I'm not ripping on those groups. They're just not for my stage in 2020. You had all this lockdown things at this point. I'd been a Christian for 15 years, a serious one. I was one that was all in. I'd been a Catholic at that point for seven years. I had two master's degree, one in philosophy, one in theology, almost 90 hours of graduate coursework in philosophy, theology. I teach like I'm equipped, right? I can lead my family well spiritually, and all of a sudden, for two months, there's nowhere to go to mass. And now the entire spiritual leadership has fallen on my shoulders, and I'm equipped to do this. And if I'm honest with all of your viewers, I did some things well, but we had Easter Sunday watching on TV. I wasn't prepared for this. I never thought this would ever happen. And when we came out of that, after coming out of that, and I thought, if this ever happens again, I am not going to be caught unprepared. And I clearly have work to do in my spiritual life, because if I'm not doing this well, with all this 15 years background, all this content, if I didn't do this as well as I would have liked, then there's got to be other men in my position. And so I really got a group of five guys together and said, why don't we start meeting once a month? We'll meet at 05:00 in the morning. We'll do adoration for an hour prayer, and then let's discuss how we can be better leaders of our family. So if this ever happens again, and a few years before that, I'm a sports guy, so I like training and lifting weights and schedules and stuff. I've always been interested in performance and motivation and how that stuff works. And then I happen to love moral and spiritual theology as well. So all those sports scenarios fit very nicely into the type of theology I'm into. But I studied how do you get motivation? How do you build routines? How do you do this? And then I'm reading moral and spiritual theology on the side. And so I'm studying how the church makes saints. And no surprise to anybody who reads the scriptures and church history, a lot of the advice for how religious orders run are very similar to how football teams run. The type of training, the type of discipline, the schedules and things like that. So you start seeing these corollaries. Jesus and St. Paul make sports references. And so I saw these two fields, the theology I love and the games that I love, kind of coming together. What I realized, what men need. Men basically need three things, ones we've already discussed. One is a vision. They need a vision for what a man is. Men don't know what a man is. I, like your friend Kennedy hall, wrote a book, Terror of demons, and he really does a good job describing what is this masculinity? Well, what a man is, the root word of man's, okay? And then that's also a root word of strength. So a man is someone who's strong. So becoming strong in mind and body and spirit is part of just hardwired into what we are as men. And then I read a book called Manhood in the making. It's not a catholic book, but it's a book that did a sociological study of masculinity. Among all these different cultures. And in this book, they discovered this guy who did this research thought, I'm not going to find a common thread of what a man is because all these cultures are so different. What he found, to his shock and surprise, is every culture basically has the same exact definition of what a man is. And what a man is is what's called the three p's of manhood. A man is a protector, a provider and procreation. Every culture, a man is a father. Every one of them, they all, all agree on this. And then I read another influential book by GC, Dill Saver, by Tan Books, really great book called the Three Marks of manhood. And in that book he talks about a man needs to be the priest, prophet and king of his home. Okay, well, I'm reading these three books and kind of seeing these themes fit together. And I think this sociological vision of it's hardwired in nature for us to be these fatherly figures our church teaches. That's what a man's supposed to do, either a father of a natural family or a supernatural one with a priest in the church. And then we're supposed to become strong in mind, body, spirit, so we can protect and provide. Well, okay, now I have my vision of what I'm supposed to become. I have my mission. Men need that clarity. And so a good men's group is going to be able to articulate to men, this is what you're supposed to be. This is where we're taking you. And a priest should be able to tell his guys that very clearly and very succinctly. That's the first thing men need. Second thing, if you're going to go on a mission, whether it's to win a state championship in football or go into a battle in a war or whatever mission you have, you have to have discipline. Our defensive coordinator at our school, he has this great line. He says everybody has to have pain. You're either going to suffer the pain of regret or the pain of discipline, but you get pain either way. Well, every single one of us is going to stand before the judgment seat of Christ. We're going to stand before our Lord and have to get an account for our lives. We can suffer through the pain of regret in that moment of all the missed chances and the missed opportunity, or we can suffer the pain of discipline now. And so every religious order, every one of them, talks about a rule of life. A rule of life is a disciplined life, to become a saint, to progress through the three ways of the interior life. And so men need a rule. Any man, if I sit down with any guy who says he's serious about his faith, if he can't tell me what he's studying, he's not getting the most out of his spiritual life. We live in a culture that's very antagonistic to our faith. Intellectual challenges, left and right. Men, they don't need to get PhDs in theology. They don't need to be experts, but they should be forming themselves intellectually. A man should be able to tell me what he's reading, what he's looking through. A man needs physical discipline. Men should exercise. Doctors say we should do 150 minutes a week. Exercise. Exercise. I know you're a runner. That discipline of making yourself do something over and over and over, you don't want to do that. Gives those calluses on the soul that just allows us to withstand difficulty. Men should be exercising. If I sit down with a man and he can't tell me what his prayer routine is, what prayers are you praying? When are you praying them? He's not becoming the saintly, christlike figure that God made him to be. And an undisciplined man is an unhappy man. What a rule life does is it supernaturalizes your day. And so a man should be able to communicate. Okay, I'm on mission. What's my training schedule? How am I training my mind? How am I training my body and my spirit? Fasting, abstinence. Guys should talk about what nights of the week do I allow myself to have a drink, if that's what your thing is, or if you like ICE cream. What nights of the week are you doing? What nights are we not doing it? If men go with the flow of modern culture, that flow goes one direction and it's down. And so we men need to be committed to the vision and the mission, and we need to live a rule of life. Too many men's groups are. You show up, you learn something, you talk about something, eat some brats, you do the service project, and then you wait for the next time you get together. The St. Joe's Society. And I think this is the answer. I think this is the answer. It should be light on meetings and heavy on habits. What should be happening together is we should be coming together once a month, and we discuss theology and we discuss together and we debate and we get thoughts out and wrestle with it, because that's important. Okay? We don't need to do it every single week. It's unnecessary. So we do come together. Those what a man should be doing is every day every week, every month, throughout the liturgical year, he should have a disciplined rule of life, so he's growing in holiness. Habits are going to make a man holy. Saints become saints not by visions or miracles or things like that. Saints become saints through doing. Through engaging in spiritual combat. And spiritual combat is just the things I just talked about. It's the day to day battle that you have to win, because if you don't fight, you die. And I mean that literally, spiritually speaking, you die if you don't fight. [00:51:02] Speaker A: I think that when you first kind of told me about St. Joseph's Society, I think that was the key difference, is that the men's groupie part of it is very minor. It's like that. Yeah, we have a monthly meeting where we get together, usually have adoration before it, and we get together and we talk about these things, but that's actually just kind of a blip on the radar of what it's doing, because it's like, no part of that is some accountability, like, okay, here's our rule of life, what we're doing, because you give certain things that you lay out in St. Just say what it is. But you've always been like, yeah, if you already have one that is essentially like this, very similar. It's not like you have to change just to do it way we do it, but you need to have those three things. You need to have the prayer life, you need to have the physical exercise, you need to have the mental, intellectual exercise as well, study. And I do think that is the key. It's not like we require an organized structure to do this, but in modern life, we actually kind of do. Because I was just talking to a friend of mine recently at the parish, and we were talking about, how is your link going? And it wasn't just like a throwaway line. It's like, no, really, how is your link going? And it was funny because in talking about it, we both kind of had the same. Where we start off strong, we weakened in the middle. We didn't keep up with what we had kind of told ourselves would. And it was great because it was on Sundays, the beginning of passion tide. Because this week begins passion tide. It was like, okay, now we got two weeks left. Let's hunker down. And it was like, I think that triggered in me, okay, I need to step up because I had let it lax a little know that was just in a casual conversation with a friend of mine. But that's kind of the purpose of this meet of St. Joseph's society. Is to have it so that, yeah, you have some guys, when you do meet with them, you can say, yeah, you know, I actually didn't follow the rule very well this past month. And you can get people, guys who will, and the great thing about guys will say, well, dude, you need to step up. They're not going to be all like, oh, it's okay, don't worry about it. I don't want to hear that. I don't want to hear, it's okay, don't worry about it. I want to hear like, yeah, okay. Why did you fail? And what are you going to do to make sure you don't fail next month? [00:53:32] Speaker B: Yeah, a lot of you need to hear, right. A lot of our discussion, we discuss some content, things like that, but a lot of it, we discuss a lot, like, just practical stuff. And you rib each other because that's how guys. You say, man, I did the ICE cream on like, man, you're a wimp. That's how men interact with each other. And it's fun. A lot of laughs out of that. But we do talk a lot. Just practical. I had the hardest time doing an evening act of contrition. I could never get to have it down because I'm just tired. And one of my buddies, mutual friend of ours at our church, he just said, well, what I do is I have this one we do with the kids before we put them to bed. And I. Would you send that to me? I don't think I've missed an act of contrition since. Right. And I never thought of. It's an easy hack. And of course, that's part of our rule now. I just plugged it into the rule because I steal everything. I'm a teacher. But yeah, the focus is on. It's on content debate. We do discuss issues and topics theologically and things, but a lot of it's discussing very practical matters. So, yeah, we focus there. The third thing that men need. So we talked about vision. We talked about adventure, this great life God has planned for us. You need a rule of life. You need discipline so that when you stand before our Lord, there's no regrets. The third thing men need is a brotherhood. What a brotherhood is, is it's not just a group of buddies. It's more than that. It's a group of men that come together and they're directed towards a specific purpose and a specific task. And we have the task already given to us. It's to grow in holiness, to grow in Christ likeness, and it's to evangelize the world in a way that's appropriate to our calling as laymen and the role that we serve men, absolutely, 100%, need a brotherhood. There was this book written by a sebastian younger called Tribe. It's a really short little book. Really great. You can find some of his lectures online. But he's a writer. He did, I think, into thin air was one of his books. No, that wasn't him. I can't remember the name of it. Sorry. But he wrote this book on tribe, and he did this documentary where he went to this marine out camp in Afghanistan and lived with a bunch of marines out there, and he just shared life with them for a year. Well, these guys are getting shot at all the time. And what he discovered is, when he was with these guys, of course they're being shot at and they're scared and all these bad things are happening. But what he says, this bond developed between them, that they all wanted to go home, they wanted to go back to Germany, and they're young guys. They want to go partying and have a good time and things like that. But he circled back to them two months later, and all of them wanted to go back to Afghanistan. And he thought this was very strange. You're like, why is that? And then he found he was longing for what they had up there. Now, they weren't longing for it because these guys were psychotic and liked killing people or maybe being killed. They missed each other. And what he started doing, this research in this book on tribe is that. In this book, what he found is that ptsd and these other things, they crop up when soldiers go home, not when they're in the field. And so he wrote this really interesting book where he argues that we're just designed. He's not a Catholic Christian, so he does this from an evolutionary perspective, but he just argues that we're made to function within a small group of people. And in his research, he said, we only have emotional capacity for 150 people. And if all of us sat down, started writing things out, that's pretty much my group. And then he broke it down to. And the military always picked up on this, but the military breaks us down into groups, right? You have squads and the infantry and the platoon or the platoon and company and all those sort of things. And when you add all that up, it's about 150. Well, what men need is a common mission with men they can identify and they know in person. Pope Benedict 16th wrote a book on the meaning of brotherhood, and he said, the brotherhood of men and a lot of people might be surprised by this, this universal, oh, we're all brothers with the world. He argues that that's not christian. Well, it's not even practically possible, but it's not even Christian. No. We are called to be in union in the local parish with our brothers in Christ in the common mission of becoming holy and spreading the gospel. And so men need each other in a group with that common mission. And we are. My argument is that we are hardwired for this. This is what God made us to do. This is what feeds our soul. This is what a man who joins a St. Joe society, what he's going to get is a mission. He's going to get a rule. He's going to get a group of guys that sit in a room and want to become holy. And what I tell priests, and this is to infuse that confidence I talked about earlier with authority, I tell priests, like, listen, when you get in that room, they come there because they want to know what it takes to become holy. That's why we're there. We're not there to eat donuts. We're not there to eat broads. We're not there to do a service project. We're not there to discuss what Paul meant in Galatians five. No, what we are here for is we're here to figure out how to become holy, and we're here for our marching orders. And I try to infuse that confidence and precipitate. The guys want this, they want that leadership. And like I said in the beginning with reaching out to teenage boys, if someone knows you love them and you're walking through life with them, then this just feeds a man's soul and he's going to live it. And I think the St. Joe's Society, we need lots of answers because there's lots of problems in the church and in the culture. But I think St. Joseph is a great answer for the problem with engaging modern men in a typical parish today. [00:59:04] Speaker A: Okay, so practically speaking, we're going to wrap it up here pretty soon, but I want to get practical. So some guy, or listeners or a priest listener says, okay, I want to have a St. Joseph society. You've been around for four years now, and I know you've been growing intentionally, not trying to blow it out or anything like that, but you have grown a decent amount in that time. So my question then is if a parish, well, first of all, if a layman at a parish is like, I think we really need this here, what do you tell that guy? What can he do so? [00:59:38] Speaker B: Our mission is to partner with priests to help them. So our line is, we don't run a program, we run a partnership. Our goal is to partner with priests and help them be the father to the men in their parish, our priests, because the priest shortages are spread completely thin. So first thing I say to a priest, I say, listen, if you can give me 2 hours a week, 1 hour of prep, and then 1 hour of discussion, lead in the group. [01:00:02] Speaker A: 2 hours a month, you mean. [01:00:03] Speaker B: I'm sorry, a month. Thank you for the correction. 2 hours a month. [01:00:07] Speaker A: Because they don't have 2 hours a. [01:00:08] Speaker B: Week to give 100%. No, all of them quit listening to me a second ago. [01:00:13] Speaker A: They already turned it off. [01:00:13] Speaker B: Oh well, we lost, man, I missed them. 2 hours a month, 1 hour of prep and 1 hour leading the discussion. What we can do is we can supplement what you're doing and partner with you so that you can be the father that you are to your men. And so what this would look like. So if there's any priests listening to this episode and they're interested and would like to reach out, we have a contact form through our website, stjosciety.org, and they can reach out and I'll interact with them. If a layperson is listening and they think, this is what my parish needs, if he contacts me first, what it helps me out is if he talks to his priest first, grab him at mass on Sunday, say, hey, I listened to this podcast. Here's what this guy said, and just give the short pitch what it's basically about, or direct him to the website and then just see if his priest is interested. He can reach out to me first. If he wants to know the kind of the best way to do that. I have a form email I can send him that nice and easy for him to pass along, but just see what his priest is thinking on that. Ideally, we want to part with the priests. We're not opposed to working with a layperson. If the parish priest can't do it or doesn't want to, but they really want there, I would want the priest's permission first. I'm not proposing that we do that under, he's the spiritual leader of that community, but the priest can't do it. But he's for it. He thinks it's a good idea and gives the guys the go ahead. I'm certainly willing to work with them. But ideally a priest would. We want to partner with priests because we need that authority figure. Because I've led these groups for a long time and they go, fine. But I don't have the authority to tell guys what to do. And so when a rule is based on authority, we offer this rule, but we want the priest to get behind and say, hey, guys, this is going to be a way to help you become holy. In the rule we wrote, guys can look at it online. It's a baseline spirituality. So, for example, you don't pray the liturgy of the hours in the rule, if a guy loves the liturgy hours, adding the prayers we do is very doable. The largest part of prayer wise is praying the rosary each day, which a lot of guys already do. But most of it's very baseline, and that's done intentionally. I'm really shooting for a rule that's moderate because you want one that you live throughout the whole year, and then during advent you intensify your spiritual life. But the rule we write is a baseline spirituality. It's one that a guy who, if he's being intentional, he can put it into his. [01:02:40] Speaker A: And I know that the role of the priest is very important with St. Joseph's Society. I know you've been pre intentional in growing it to trying to be only at parishes where the priest is like on board, behind the mission and involved. And I think that's wise because that is the key. So I think if a layman's listening to really, I really want you reiterate what Mike said, which know, go to your priest and ask him maybe to watch this podcast. I'll put a link to the website, the St. Joseph Society website, in the show notes, so people can easily find it. But I think that is the key, because really the ideal situation is the priest reaches out to you and says, okay, let's do this. Because he knows his men. The whole point of this is to make him the leader of the father of the fathers, so to speak. I think that's the key. [01:03:40] Speaker B: And if priests are little, maybe they're interested. They think it's a good idea, but they're really strapped. I do have plenty of suggestions to talk these guys how to take the load off them. I've told priests like, hey, if you have a lot of strong lay guys who maybe are teachers, they can lead discussions. Well, if you just show up and lead the opening prayer and be a part of it, that's enough. So there are ways we can strategy we can talk about to help take the load off the priest, because I do want to partner with them. I think a layman's role, especially a man's role in the church. The priest is the leader. But give us a mission to support you. And I tell priests, build your leaders. We want to partner. Build your leader. Transform the families. Help these men transform their families, transform your parish, and let's change the world. I'm very magnanimous about what God wants to do. I am not going to sit and read things and feel sorry for myself about how the church is or the world. I know you're not like that either. Let's change things. God is just waiting for people who are willing to step up and do it. And we would just want to partner with priests and help them do that. Because these priests, the ones that see this vision, the good ones out there that want to evangelize the world, we want to partner with them. And we think we can help them do that. Because they're stretched thin. And they do need partnership. We all do. [01:05:01] Speaker A: Well, thank you, Mike. I appreciate this. This has been a great discussion. We could go on for a lot longer, but we'll cut it off here. [01:05:09] Speaker B: We'll talk about after mass on Sunday. [01:05:11] Speaker A: That's right. Exactly. That's exactly what we'll do. Like good men should. But anyway, so like I said, I'll put a link into St. Joseph society in the show notes. I'm also going to put a link to your coming home network. And I think if I remember, I got to write this down. I think I'm going to try to put in Rob Marco's article, your article, and my article as well, because they all talk about these subjects. I think they're important ones. So I'm just writing that down so I don't. So. [01:05:38] Speaker B: Perfect. [01:05:39] Speaker A: Okay. Well, thanks a lot, Mike. I appreciate it. [01:05:40] Speaker B: Thank you. [01:05:41] Speaker A: Okay, till next time, everybody. God love.

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