February 2024 man Update

February 2024 man Update

Joy of Evangelization

By Sean Lynn
President and founder of God Squad Canada
Catholic Men’s Leadership Alliance Canadian National Director

With Lent beginning just this last week on February 14 (Valentines Day) we hear in the gospel these words,  “And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”  Matt 6:16  This gospel reminds us of the joy we need to have as Catholics.  

 

God Squad noticed that Valentine’s day was falling on Ash Wednesday.  Men don’t always remember things like Valentine’s day.  We thought we would test a way to support men building their relationships by putting on a cabaret style dinner on February 12th.  We called it Savor The Stage at +39 Pizza and Pasta Bar in Calgary, AB.  We didn’t know exactly what to expect as it was a new idea which I had come up with my son, Patrick. Patrick took care of the entertainment for the evening with 6 professional singers with Alex Szojka playing piano. We had 75 people register to attend, which made for a very full restaurant. 

 

The evening started with old and new friends greeting each other, and mingling while people found a seat and got a drink. The program opened with prayer and after that, we were thoroughly entertained.  It is hard to describe just how good the program was with these young singers pouring out their talent.  When it was time for food service the pasta and pizzas started hitting the tables. You could hear the constant ring of excitement as the conversations were going, enjoying the company and fellowship. 

 

A second set of music began that continued to get the crowd more engaged with loud cheers from many after every song. The guests were then treated to a wonderful tiramisu and dessert pizza as the vibrant conversations continued to resonate through the restaurant. The final set received a thunderous standing ovation.  

 

I was extremely pleased with what had taken place.  What I didn’t expect was the positive feedback from the staff and performers.  The staff talked about the joy they witnessed from the people there and the bartender commented how normally he has to chase people to pay their tabs. The patrons were chasing him to pay! The performers spoke of never performing before a more attentive crowd. One of them said, “Thank you for allowing us to be part of the family”. The staff mentioned to our team how happy they were that they came in on their day off to be part of the evening. My wife, Michele, and I were having a conversation once we arrived home about how it ended up being an evening of evangelization.  The staff and performers witnessed people of faith coming together and showing the joy we share as committed Catholic Christians.  

 

This lent as you enter into the fast that God is calling you to, do it with joy so as to attract so many of the lost sheep looking for the hope and joy that Easter promises.

 

I would like to invite men of all ages to attend this year’s God Squad Conference, “The Way to the Father” on March 22 & 23 at Ascension Parish and experience that Joy one receives with an encounter with the Lord. Please go to our website, godsquad.ca for more details and to register to attend. Let’s keep the momentum going. 

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