From the Pastor: The New Men’s Group
Last week I announced the first order of “business” for the men of our parish who wish to be part of the newly forming men’s group, is prayer. Specifically, a 54 day Rosary Novena. Yep. 54 days straight. Praying the Rosary. Alone or, better yet, leading the family in it. In Latin. (Oops, I forgot to mention that part? Well, the exorcists keep reminding us that the devil HATES Latin. And men, if you dare to say, “But Father, we don’t use the ‘H’ word in our home; it is too harsh” then you absolutely, positively, show the dire NEED for a solid Catholic Men’s group to battle such uber-feminism! Real Catholic men HATE the devil and LOVE whatever the devil HATES!) As of this writing, 12 men have asked for a copy of the Rosary Novena book. Many others will wish they had.
Cardinal Burke has agreed to be the spiritual head of the new Holy League, which we may at some future time become a part of officially, but for now just take a look as what a recent National Catholic Register article about it had to say, for it mirrors what is going on here. (The priest in the article is the one who put together the books will we will begin with.)
In 1571 as Christendom was threatened to be overwhelmed, St. Pope Pius V asked for a Holy League to form and meet the threat. With the terrible world threats today, a new Holy League was reborn to meet the menace.
First, the historical background. When St. Pope Pius V saw Christendom not more than a shambles and Moslem Turks getting ready to deal the last blow, he got Don Juan of Austria to head remnant armies from a few nations to join together forming the first Holy League. St. Pius V called on people in Rome and the regions to pray the Rosary and implore Our Lady for her intercession. Don Juan gave every man in the naval armada a rosary, and all prayed it. They asked for our Blessed Mother’s intercession, priests heard confessions, and against great odds, with heaven’s help the smaller Christian fleet crushed the Turkish Moslem fleet in the Battle of Lepanto... “Pius V nicknamed that collection of forces the Holy League,” says Father Richard Heilman. “We’re the new Holy League here and we’re talking about spiritual warfare more than anything else.”
What will be the focus of this Catholic Men’s group we are forming and what will we be doing? We will be learning to put aside the feminized version of Catholicism we have been taught for as long as I have been alive, and practicing the manly Catholicism seen in the lives of of the past great manly men Saints. The first thing we will see is that devotion to the Blessed Mother, especially in the Most Holy Rosary, far from being a devotion reserved to little old ladies, is rather almost a necessity for a masculine man and a formidable weapon of war in our spiritual battle against the demons. Especially if prayed in Latin. At least the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be.
Our meetings will be held on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month (barring other greater events, like Thanksgiving and the Immaculate Conception), starting August 25. Men, come when you can, even if travel from work prevents you from being here when we begin. At 6:00 some men of the parish usually chant Latin Vespers (Evening Prayer) so we will join them (listening, if not chanting). When they finish, I will lead a Rosary (did I mention that it will be in Latin?). Fortified with prayer we will gather for some manly activities such as Catholic study, encouragement, and other stuff.
My brother in law recently asked me if I knew why God made scotch taste so bad. “Why?” said I, wondering where he was going with this odd question. He replied with a laugh, “So that our wives wouldn’t drink it!” It is up to you as to whether you partake or not, but the pastor will supply some of this heavenly anti-wife liquid and some truly prayerful stogies (you’ll see what I mean) for our first meeting.
The excuses to stay away are already coming in. I can already hear and answer some of them. “But Father, cigars smell icky.” Yes, and there are other gross, stinky things men do and say, too, sweetie. “But I don’t drink!” Nobody asked you to. Have water. “But I will be hungry. Will you supply some dinner for us?” No. McDonalds has a drive thru. “But, but, but...” Whiners prove the need. Manly excuses are acceptable, of course. “Sorry, Father. I ran into a burning building, saved two babies and their mother, conditionally baptized an unconscious man who might not make it, and I am using wire from my car stereo to stitch my lower leg back on after the burning roof truss ripped it off when the house collapsed around me. I’ll be a bit late tonight!”
With prayers for your holiness,
Fr. Edwin Palka