Catholic men’s breakfast attracts record numbers

The Catholic men’s breakfast held on May 13 in Christchurch had a record number of men gathering at Sacred Heart Church in Addington.

The breakfast, organised by Christchurch diocese, was attended by some 200 men.

They travelled to Sacred Heart church in Addington to receive spiritual food from Christchurch Bishop Michael Gielen, and to meet like-minded men, to explore how they could be part of the life of the Church.

“There’s a real yearning out there at the moment – let’s face it, the world is getting more and more bonkers every day,” said Dr Chris Pemberton, one of the organisers and a parishioner in Christchurch South parish.

The men participating in these consecration groups find solace and a sense of belonging, providing a platform for the development of bold plans to foster the growth of Catholic men in the diocese, said Pemberton.

Jonny Hutchison, a member of the St Joseph’s consecration group has been a Catholic for more than four years.

He emphasised the importance of mutual support among men, highlighting the benefits of smaller groups where individuals can help one another in their faith journey.

Encouraging his younger boys to deepen their faith becomes increasingly difficult in an environment where Catholic education and regular Mass attendance are becoming rare among their peers.

The remarkable turnout at the men’s breakfast event is a positive sign for Hutchison. He expressed his surprise and satisfaction at seeing so many men gather to listen to Bishop Michael Gielen’s talk.

Pemberton echoed this sentiment, emphasising that men today, regardless of their religious background, are searching for purpose and meaning in their lives.

He noted that even those who are only partially committed to the Catholic faith are making better choices. They are choosing to return, serve and actively participate in the Church.

He said many men are doubling-down on their commitment to their faith.

“But the way the world is going, they’re going: ‘hang on a minute, I look at what’s happening there, and the Church is clearly better than the chaos of the world, so I am going to double down on what I am already doing’.”

He said that men want to give to the Church.

“They’re looking to give of themselves in a way where they think it’s going to be most beneficial and, at the same time, it’s going to be acknowledged.

“A lot of the men said they appreciate gathering with other like-minded people, like other Catholic brothers, yeah, it was really inspiring,” Gielen said.

“We all want to walk together in every aspect of life, you don’t want to walk alone, so if you’ve got faith, you want other people with faith to walk with.”

Gielen unveiled a statue of St Joseph, made in the Holy Land from olive wood, as part of the diocese’s initiative to further strengthen and expand the St Joseph’s consecration practice within households.

Pemberton expressed his hope for the Catholic men’s breakfast to become an annual event.

Gielen said a similar function is being organised for women and he is encouraging women to “watch this space.”


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News category: New Zealand.

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