My journey restarted around last Christmas. I love Catholic high school football and had become friends with a priest who also shared this interest with me. He gave me a copy of a book called Rediscovering Catholicism by Matthew Kelly. He also asked me to come support him and bring some people to a talk he was giving at a new event called “Theology on Tap”. After his talk we spent some time discussing my numbness towards the faith and how I was not getting a whole lot out of Mass. The book he gave me that day sat on my nightstand for six months until one day I decided to give it a shot. I finished the book in three days, which started my journey and a burning desire in my heart to look for more opportunities to form a better relationship with Jesus.
My prayer life was starting to form more regularly as it once had when I was an elementary school student at Saint Gabriel’s of the Sorrowful Virgin. I continued to ask God for more engagement, people to discuss my struggles with, and my family and friends to be more open to discussing our faith. One morning on my way to work I spotted a bill board advertising “The Gathering of Catholic Men” at the AJ Palumbo Center in April. I had never heard of this event. I was curious to see what it was about, so I decide I would grab someone to come with me and go.
My cousin and I went to the Gathering last April and I was totally blown away. It was a beautiful event and the Holy Spirit was present like I’ve never experienced before. The testimonies given that day by the speakers, the beautiful worship music, and finally Mass with the bishop was extremely powerful. Similar to the experience I had with the book I had read a few months earlier, I was looking for more after the gathering. One day was not enough and luckily for me after the gathering the “Made for More” program was offered for 5 consecutive weeks. My prayers were answered in those following five weeks where I had twenty-five other men also seeking the same sense of community.
Since attending the “Gathering for Catholic Men” last April my life has dramatically changed. We have continued the “Made for More” program by continually meeting monthly and have just finished our third book from the Catholic book program. I also found out that the Catholic Men’s Fellowship offers eighty men’s groups that meet weekly or bi-weekly at our local parishes. I started attending daily mass for the first time in my life and am also enrolled in a master’s of theology program at Franciscan University of Steubenville.
The unity I have found through the Catholic Men’s Fellowship has strengthened my faith and brought me closer to the Lord. I am at peace and have found Joy because every day of my life I think about Jesus and look for Him in everything I do.