We did it!
How have you experienced journeying together as the Church?
By Sean Lynn of God Squad Canada
We did it! We celebrated an in-person Men’s Conference in Canada, celebrating 25 years of Men’s Ministry for God Squad Canada. I can’t thank you enough for all the men that have shown up over the years to support us and those that joined us online and in-person. This year I’d especially like to thank our speakers Jeff Cavins, Brett Powell, and Bishop McGratton for making a memorable weekend. This doesn’t happen by accident, this happens with a lot of work behind the scenes by dedicated volunteers year in and year out. I get to be the smiling face at the podium but there is a dedicated team over the years that have helped pull off these conferences and this year is by no means any different. I would like to thank Lorand Szojka, Richard Beaulieu, Stephen Cross, Deacon Stephen Robinson, Fr. Jonathan Gibson, Stephen Kaip, John Paul, Joey Paul, Dave Cichon, and Peter van Uden. These are the men that help God Squad Canada move forward. In the last year, they have had us looking at it in more of a business light and moving us to the next level, I cannot thank them enough. I would like to also personally thank my loving wife, Michele and my eight children, who have been supporting me personally for the last 25 years to make these conferences happen.
We were blessed to have Sisters Seeds Of The Word help service lunch this year and Beloved Daughters help serve coffee and donuts. I’d like to thank our sponsors the CMLA/Heroicmen for sponsoring Jeff Cavins, Spolumbo’s for sponsoring our lunch, and Mike Reid of Tim Hortons who sponsored our coffee muffins and donuts.
I pray that you were all moved by the weekend talks which we are making available for you to watch and listen to and reflect on and maybe share with that man Jeff challenge you to bring into the church in the next five years. None of this happens by accident. We need your prayers and support as we continue to move forward under the guidance of Saint Joseph. Please consider four things; Are you willing to be a parish Ambassador or captain to help us promote God Squad and men’s ministry? Second; consider being a helping hand as we try to do more Outreach with a BBQ, disc golf, or painting the church in Brocket. Third; your prayers – we have prayers on our website where you can pray with us whether it’s a novena, rosary, or Terror of demons. Use prayers that speak to you. Then finally please consider a donation. Normally we ask at the conference for donations, which didn’t fit into the schedule this year as we were trying to keep it on time and on message. We still would like to raise money for the Litany of Saint Joseph and we would like to other Outreach possibilities. Considering sponsoring so we can serve dinner to CCO missionaries for free on April 2 or Bishop McNally High School retreat in May. I’d like to see what the possibility is of us hiring people to move it to the next level and bring this message across Calgary and Canada. Some of your companies will match your donations or volunteer hours so please consider helping us. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help with any of these things. E-Transfers can be made to email@example.com; please follow-up with an email with all your personal information for tax purposes.
Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support and prayers and attendance at this year’s conference and know that we will continue to move forward reaching men where they’re at and doing what we can to build the Kingdom of God.
P.S. Like and subscribe to A Dram With Friends on Heroicmen, YouTube or your favourite podcast platform. Help us grow our audience and share. If you know someone who would make a great guest, please let Sean know at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Brothers in Christ,
I am writing this letter to give support to the work of God Squad Canada. God Squad has been carrying out its Apostolate for 25 years, and enjoyed the protection of their Patron, St Joseph.
Through the guidance of St Joseph, God Squad’s vision is to form and strengthen men, inspiring them to embrace God’s vocation in their lives.
Their Mission is to positively encourage men amidst today’s darkness of spiritual famine and moral confusion; to challenge men to reverse the breakdown of families by serving and nurturing men of all ages to be leaders in their families and communities; and, to inspire men to show the same servant leadership to their families that Christ has for His bride, the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Some of God Squad’s beneficiaries have been seminarians, NET ministries, St. F.X. Chaplaincy, Catholic Christian Outreach, One Rock family conferences and the Calgary Lay Associations.
The theme for God Squad’s 25th Anniversary Men’s Conference on March 18 and 19, 2022 is A Change on the Rise: Ushering In The New Springtime. Change is on the rise. “The mission of Christ the Redeemer, which is entrusted to the Church”, needs men willing to renew the mission and “proclaim the great works of God” Springtime is not just about new life, it’s about hard work, getting your hands dirty and fending off the enemy.
As the Episcopal Advisor to God Squad Canada, I extend to all of you my apostolic blessing, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Bishop Scott Cal McCaig, C.C.
Bishop of the Roman Catholic
Military Diocese of Canada
How have you experienced journeying together as the Church?
By Sean Lynn of God Squad Canada
We are well into March and you would think all my writing would be about our upcoming 25th annual men’s conference, but here I am writing about the Synod on Synodality.
(For an article on the Conference see the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary’s blog “Why rise up?”)
I first heard about it at the beginning of the year and wondered what it was about. From what I have been able to gather is that our Diocese has taken a simple approach asking two questions.
- “How have you experienced journeying together as the Church?”
- “What steps does The Holy Spirit invite us to take in order to grow in our journeying together?”
I want to strongly encourage men to take part in this process to ensure that our voices are heard as the church moves forward. We have Catholic news platforms that feel they need to point out all the wrong in the church. We have divisions in every parish across this country due to mandates and political stances. When I phoned all the dioceses in Canada asking about men’s ministry in their diocese it was like I was speaking a foreign language. There is a lot of work to do and we need you to be part of that work.
God Squad has been trying to point to the truth and beauty of the church and where we are aiming for, Heaven. It is easy to look around and get caught up with the storm of what’s going on around us. We need to keep our eyes on Christ and not lose focus like St Peter did.
“Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water. ” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus; but when he saw the wind,he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “O man of little faith, why did you doubt?”
On our motorcycle ride last summer we were having a discussion about what is going on in the church and the world. The conclusion we came up with is that our job is sales and those were management problems. We are not going to change what the Pope, a Cardinal or Bishop says or does. We can focus on Christ and walk with the brothers that are right in front of us.
So invite that man that needs a friend to join you at the 25th annual God Squad Men’s Conference where they will be encouraged and fed (literally with Spolumbos and Tim Hortons). Consider doing the 30 day challenge, Rise, with a man that you can journey with. Order a set of God Squad golf discs to take a friend out to play a round and be a friend to a man that needs a friend. As you do these things hopefully they will help you answer the questions being asked for the Synod.
In closing please watch for your opportunity to take part at the parish level in the synod and join us at the 25th annual God Squad Men’s conference featuring Bishop McGrattan, Jeff Cavins and Brett Powell.
St Joseph Pray for Us!
Why Disc Golf and God Squad?
Disc golf is a great fit for God Squad
By Sean Blair
My first exposure to disc golf was a number of years ago when my young family went out to the Canmore Nordic Centre. We saw the maps of the course and thought “Hey, why not! Throwing frisbees is fun!”.
We rented our discs and trotted out to the first hole with our small army of (at the time) 6 young children and thought “how hard could it be?”
Very hard, actually.
We quickly found ourselves off in the trees looking for lost discs, and also found many young adults “playing through”. Many of them, I noted, had full backpacks of discs, and seemed to know how to handle them.
After two holes of playing hide and seek with our discs, we decided maybe this wasn’t the right time and place for our family to figure this game out (Nordic Centre is a tough course), and we instead decided to do some orienteering.
I found out that there was a tournament happening the next day and all the young adults playing through were doing their practice rounds for it.
I was intrigued at the passion and dedication that these players showed.
Fast-forward a number of years and my kids are getting older. I see a course built in our local Baker Park in the NW of Calgary and I am intrigued. My young teens show interest as well and we pick up a couple starter sets and now three years later, it has grown to a passion for our family as well (I don’t have the backpack yet, but I’m getting there!).
Disc Golf has a number of positive aspects to it:
- Depending on the course, pretty much all ages can play
- It is challenging, and thus rewarding
- It is easy to pick up (if you can throw a frisbee, you can play!), but difficult to master
- Fosters socializing and camaraderie
- It is not uncommon to see babies in strollers along for the ride, thus is a great sport for the whole family!
So why would a Catholic men’s organization be jumping into disc golf?
It would seem that the sport is a great fit for God Squad:
- A chance for men and their families to get outside and join other men in a meaningful pursuit
- Healthy competition between men is always a good thing
- An opportunity to encourage each other (Iron sharpens iron)
- A chance to promote our patron Saint Joseph? Yes Please!
- Young men really enjoy the sport and it is still an approachable game for all skill levels
- Last, but not least: Nothing beats a good Spolumbos BBQ after 18 “holes” of golf
We want to encourage you, as you register for this year’s conference, to pick up a set of discs, and plan to join us for the tournaments and activities being planned as we speak. If you’ve been inactive during these past couple years of COVID, I could not recommend a better sport to get limber and moving again.
We’ll see you on the course!!
If you are interested in learning more about the sport, feel free to check out the following sites:
Change is on the Rise:
Ushering The New Springtime
Mario interviews Sean Lynn of God Squad Canada on the theme of its upcoming 25th Anniversary Men’s Conference. Sean gives testimony on how 4 police officers started God Squad and how grateful he is for all the many volunteers over the years that made God Squad what it is today. From Men’s Conferences, to BBQ Outreach, to motorcycle rides or disc golf, God Squad is about reaching out to young men, forming and strengthening men and to inspire them to embrace God’s vocation in their lives.
Sean says that this year’s theme was inspired by Avi Kaplan’s song “Change on the Rise” and St. John Paul II’s new springtime in his encyclical REDEMPTORIS MISSIO, long before the current political winds and discourse in the media. Inspired by reflection, Sean recognizes, as farmers do, that the springtime is a time of hard work. As “we’re coming out of two years of struggle and strife we need to work hard at coming together and work for healing” and building up the Kingdom of God.
Sean is excited to announce our speakers and who will be presiding the opening Mass: Jeff Cavins, Brett Powell and Bishop William McGrattan of the Diocese of Calgary.
Undaunted by the pandemic, God Squad has been able, through the good graces and protection obtained from its patron Saint; Saint Joseph, to be able to host a men’s conference online at the St. Joseph’s Oratory, in the Year of St. Joseph, whilst it was closed. This year, the Conference will be in person. For those who are unable to attend physically, they can join the conference online.
“We understand that wherever you’re at, we want you to join, if it’s small groups across the country, get together and watch! But you’re not going to get the Spolumbo’s [sausages] if you don’t show up.”
There’s room for 1,200 now as the restrictions have been lifted. “So come and help us celebrate our 25th Anniversary!”
God Squad’s 2022 Conference is being held at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Calgary on March 18 and 19, 2022. Everyone registering will get a free copy of Chris Stefanik’s “Rise A 30 – Day Challenge” that you can start on Feb 16 to be done in time for the Conference.
Also available from God Squad is a set of Disc Golf discs with a driver named Terror of Demons. Sean sees disc golf as an opportunity to bring families together or to strengthen mentor relationships with the men in your life.
Please join God Squad on March 10, 2022, in honoring God in St. Joseph by joining them in the Novena to St Joseph.
Deacon Stephen Robinson
Deacon Stephen sends out the call to “man up” so to speak, to be counter cultural and be a man in the traditional Catholic sense and to join us at the 25th annual Men’s Conference..
Our speakers will be Jeff Cavins and Brett Powell, speaking to us about the Change on the Rise: Ushering the New Springtime.
Men have been driven down the path to sin. Can you see the signposts to holiness or do you follow the ruts of Satan?
Deacon speaks of the three traps laid on by Satan:
- The portrayal of stupid, self-centered men, stuck in adolescent mentality
- The Leadership Vacuum created by the fear instilled by Satan in our society that men and women are not equal if men show leadership in the family
- Pornography, the intrinsic evil, the glave that not only separates us from God but from intimacy with others, leaving us alone
Learn about what men’s diakonia really is; the one established by Jesus; the one that bestows upon Him the title of Lord.
Learn what it means to be a manly man in the image of our Lord.
Renew the true meaning of intimacy in your lives with your wife and your family and with God.
“Come and be with us as we promote this new springtime, this new rising up to be manly men.”
“Fend off the enemy!”
“You can’t tame me!”
“Heading up the river, we feel the change on the rise.”
“What good’s a man who lost his soul.”
“Can’t make a stand when his flame has gone cold.”
From Avi Kaplan’s song “Change on the Rise”
Help us celebrate our 25th anniversary, inspired by St. John Paul II’s call for the new springtime and Avi Kaplan’s song “Change on the Rise” with the view of building up the church. Our theme is “Change on the Rise; Ushering in the New Springtime!”
We are excited to have Bishop McGrattan celebrate the opening mass.
Our keynote speakers are Jeff Cavins and Brett Powell.
Please join us in person or on live stream at godsquad.ca to register and for more information
Host a watch party. Or if you can, bring a man or two with you.
All In A Family
Homily For the Feast of the Holy Family
of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
1 Samuel 1:20-28 “When Hannah had weaned him, she brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh.”
Psalm 84 “Blessed are those who live in your house, O Lord, ever singing your praise.”
1 John 3:1-2,21-24 “Whoever obeys his commandments abides in him, and he abides in them.”
Luke 2:41-52 “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house? Then he went and was obedient.”
“Suddenly, mysteriously, the one holy God acts decisively. In what way? The birth of a child into a family. The Lamb of God begins in swaddling clothes in a manger. God’s saving actions now depend on the unfolding of ordinary, day to day family life.”
With this introduction, God Squad’s very own Deacon Stephen Robinson preaches on the meaning of the family, how it is under attack by the evil one and on the nurturing the family provides. He presents Hanna as a type of Mary, just like a priestly ordination is like Hanna, where the parent gives the son to God.
Listen to Deacon as he teaches us how the Holy Family is a school for families, a school in Holiness.
Deacon invites us to join God’s family as sons and daughters.
“We do this by committing ourselves to embrace Mary as our comforter and nurturer, and Joseph as an earthly father who teaches his children faithful obedience to our heavenly Father. We do this by going to the house of the heavenly Father, from whom all families take their name. Let us go to the house of the Lord together as the family of God.“
December 2021 Man-Update
This month, Santa himself is doing the Man-Update for God Squad.
He gives us a retrospective of 2021 and looks ahead to the new year eagerly with it’s ongoing and new initiatives like the Litany to St Joseph Project, the 25 Annual Men’s Conference on March 18 and 19, 2021 and the new Disc Golf initiative.
Of course none of this can be possible without you all.
On behalf of God Squad Canada, thank you all and