I am honored and humbled to be asked to serve as Chairman of Catholic Men’s Fellowship of Pittsburgh (CMF). I have been involved with CMF since 2005, initially serving as Treasurer. Since then I have worked on the Servant Committee, CD of the Month, and currently as chair of the Men’s Group Committee.
My passion for Men’s Fellowship Group goes back 20 years, when I first became involved in such a group. My neighbor invited me and it happened to be at the perfect time in my life. My wife, Carol, and I will celebrate our 30th anniversary in August. We have two children: our daughter, Dana, is 26 and teaches 3rd grade in the South Fayette School District; our son, Jonathan, is 23 and works in supported environments with Achieva and Community Options, Inc.
At that time, Carol and I were learning about Jonathan’s developmental delays and trying to deal with how best to help him. As young parents, this was a very scary and frustrating situation to face.
Having the forum of the Men’s Group gave me the opportunity to talk about my fears and apprehensions. What it also made me realize is that we all have “stuff” – situations in our lives that cause worry, require prayer, and also welcome the chance to vent or seek the opinions of men we trust. One of the things I learned was how to “be in the moment” – to enjoy time with my family without worrying about my business, the future, or outside influences. It has also helped us as a family to embrace every triumph and accomplishment in Jonathan’s life. We have come to realize that we have been blessed more than we could ever imagine by having him as our son. He has taught us infinitely more that we could ever hope to teach him. This attitude could not have happened without a strong base of faith, which is reinforced by attending my weekly Men’s Group.
As a result, I am a huge fan of other men experiencing this opportunity as well.
We are very encouraged by the growth of our Men’s groups – having gone from 50 to over 80 - in the past 3 years. It is our objective to have 200 groups at our 200 Parishes. We would love to help you get involved. Feel free to call me at 412-638-0662. We have a Committee of guys ready and willing to help you get started.
Our Festival of Praise events have been very well-received and we recently helped to sponsor an event from the Diocese called “Quo Vadis Days” – where students between 9th and 12th grade get an opportunity to learn about the priesthood. At their 3-day retreat more than 80 young men were in attendance.
We have also seen very strong interest from Parishes on the ChristLife program – a Catholic Ministry for Evangelization. The objective is to help others to Discover, Follow and Share Jesus Christ. This series is not strictly for men, as it is designed to create community within Parishes – and a terrific way to include our wives, family members, and friends.
Of course, you are aware of our signature event, the Gathering of Catholic Men. This year will be our 10th and will move to The David Lawrence Convention Center on September 19th. We have a dynamic program planned including speakers: Dr. Scott Hahn, Paul George, Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers, Dave Van Vickle as well as our superb shepherd, Bishop David Zubik.
Materials to be utilized in promoting the Gathering will very shortly be sent to men’s group Leaders and to parishes without men’s groups. We would ask you to attend, bring friends, relatives, neighbors, fellow parishioners – anyone whom you feel could benefit from a day of spiritual blessings and fellowship with the men of Pittsburgh.
In my new role, I will rely significantly on the help of my fellow board members and volunteers. In particular, I look forward to continuing to work along- side Mark Joseph, who moves from Chairman to Vice Chairman.
I would also like to make you aware of the other dedicated men serving on the CMF Board of Directors:
Finally, please help me to welcome to our newest Board Members:
As I have had the privilege to meet many men of the Diocese over these past 10 years, I am continually impressed on the faith, capabilities and passion that exists. Thank you for all that you do for CMF. It is our prayer that you continue to grow in faith and that CMF can be a resource for you doing so. If is further our prayer that we who participate in CMF reach more men, both individually and collectively. Please contact me if you'd like to be more involved….we'd love to have you.
We also look forward to seeing you for the Gathering on September 19th, as well at our events leading up to it.