With Jason Baxter, the executive director of the men’s ministry Exodus 90, the guys discuss “the unique challenges Catholic men face, the role of women in men’s spirituality, the stats about Mass attendance by men, when Catholic men need to hang out with other Catholic men, and why cold showers and exercise can change your life.”
Here’s 5 things every Catholic man should start doing:
1) Go to Mass
Ryan Scheel explains that “studies have found that only one-third of men attend Mass weekly.”
He continues, “One of the things that gives men identity is a sense of duty.
“Number one: Mass is fulfilling. It’s spiritually nourishing and you’re communing with the Body of Christ. But there’s also a sense of fulfilling your duty. You have a duty as a Catholic to attend Mass every week. There’s few things that edify a man more than the ability to consistently fulfill his duty.
“You look at soldiers, you look at fathers of past generations–of course, you wake up, you do your job, you do it well. As a Catholic man, your job is to go to Mass every week.
“The sense of accomplishment that you can have a sort of structure in your life to go to Mass every week–number one, it provides a structure to your week. Number two, it provides a sense of accomplishment of your duty as a Christian.
“To me, the most important part is number three: the impact of what happens to the families of Catholics where the man does not go to Mass.”
2) Pray the Rosary and/or Consecration to Mary
Scheel explains that “you cannot understate the importance of manliness, but still having the subjugation to Our Mother…there’s something to be said for a real devotion to the tender love of Our Lady that absolutely nurtures a man to be what he should be.”
Fr. Rich Pagano adds, “Mary is the perfection of femininity. She is the New Eve.”
“When I went through my reversion…the very first contact that I had was with the Blessed Mother and her Sorrows–the Seven Sorrows of Mary.
“Learning the Rosary, praying the Rosary–and it’s the manifest femininity of the Blessed Virgin Mary that drew me out to make me want to become more of a man,” Fr. Pagano says.
“Male participation in parish life, councils, etc., and creating a masculine presence is necessary for the life of parishes,” Scheel explains.
“Male participation has been seated in many cases to women, and men no longer find a real home in the parish because they’ve been somewhat feminized by the nature that women are the ones making those decisions,” Scheel explains.
“And rightly, they’re making decisions from their own genius, so they do things that make sense to them. But they don’t have the complimentary male perspective to then be adding to what they’re doing. This is not to say that female participation in parishes make them overly-feminized, it’s saying that it’s lacking male participation to balance that to make it a full-functioning place.”
Scheel adds that male participation in parish life “brings the Church into the community where it can actually have an impact on society,” and faith and parish life no longer becomes the view that religion is merely something personal–it’s communal.
“You don’t have to set up the tent or anything, but just go to something, and shake hands with somebody else and just get to know them.” Ryan DellaCrosse adds.
4) Spend time with other Catholic men
Becoming involved in parish life allows men to spend time with other men, Scheel explains.
The four guys then explain the importance of Christian brotherhood.
According to Baxter of Exodus 90, asceticism means “acts of self-denial,” or saying no to things we want so “we can say yes…to love–wherever the Lord calls us.”
Click here to learn more about Exodus 90’s asceticism.