January 2024 Man Update
The Holy Family - the gold standard of family life
By Dave Cichon
God Squad Canada team member
The New Year is a time filled with energy and hope, a time of new goals and great aspirations. A turn of the calendar marks a time in many people’s lives where they reflect back on the past year and look to improve certain aspects of their lives. Particularly, those areas that they feel they fell short of expectations.
If you achieved all that you set out to in 2023 then my hat is off to you – way to Man Up and conquer!
If you’re like most of us and struggled to keep that gazelle-like intensity as you worked through your goals and to-do lists, then January of 2024 is the time to change all that, start fresh, and hit it hard once again.
As crazy as it sounds, Easter is less than 90 days away (can anyone say Exodus 90?). What better time to start preparing for the most sacred time of the year then reflecting on how you, as the spiritual head of your house, can lead your family through these increasingly complicated times. The pillars of Lent are prayer, fasting and almsgiving; through all of these our virtue of piety grows.
These devotions shouldn’t simply be confined to Lent. Through these acts we not only grow closer to God, but we also bring His love into the worldliness that surrounds us. As we pray more, our relationship with God improves. As we let the love of Christ into our hearts, our relationships with those around us become deeper and more fruitful. Our relationship with Christ grows in parallel to our relationships with others by bringing prayer and sacrificial love into our lives. This is all good and fine, however; talk is cheap.
How do we actually “walk the talk” ?
Remember our patron St. Joseph who was a worldly father. Note both the sacrificial love he offered up to his family, and to God the Almighty Father through his unwavering courage, faith and labour. St Joseph’s life was a living rosary – a daily witness to the miraculous mysteries lived out by his adopted son and bride. Christ’s life was obviously at the centre of the life of the Holy Family – the gold standard of family life by all measures. By making Christ the centre of our life and our family life, we will be transformed.
In 2024 make a commitment to praying the rosary, if not daily then absolutely weekly. Commit to praying the rosary with your family. If your family is young and busy, maybe you only pray one decade. The soundtrack to a Catholic family is the rosary being prayed. (The soundtrack to the actual Rosary can be found here.) A family that prays together stays together. It is through conversation and contemplation with God that we will ultimately grow in our faith lives.
One of the best ways to ensure a steady growth of faith is to find accountability with men of like-mind. There are many ways of encountering heroic men of faith. Ministry to men is growing across our city, and hopefully across our country. More and more men at the parish level are getting together regularly (in many instances, weekly) to break open the word, to share experiences, to serve the community and to have fun while doing it! (* See list below.) As part of this re-evangelization of men in our community, men’s conferences are sprouting up throughout Canada. I would encourage you to find a conference close to you and open your heart to the transformative graces that spring from these events.
Make attending a men’s conference in 2024 a priority! God Squad Canada is hosting its 27th annual Men’s Conference called “The Way to the Father” on March 22-23, 2024 at Ascension Catholic Parish in Calgary. Jon Leonetti is a best-selling author, an internationally recognized Catholic Speaker, a radio host, and our keynote speaker!. Most importantly he is a husband and a father and shares in the joys and challenges that we all, as men, do. Jon, along with Brother Simon of the Seeds of the Word Community in Calgary will be educating and inspiring us, ultimately bringing us into a deeper relationship with God the Almighty Father.
As an aside, if YOU have a vision of hosting a men’s conference and would like some guidance and support, please reach out to the team at God Squad Canada so we can help you strengthen the faith of the men in your community.
Through the Guidance of St Joseph, the vision of God Squad Canada is to form and strengthen men, inspiring them to embrace God’s vocation in their lives.
As the Catholic Men’s Leadership Alliance is so fond of saying,
“When you strengthen the man, you strengthen the family. By strengthening our families, we will strengthen the Church. By strengthening the Church we will influence our culture and transform society.”
Where was Adam when Satan attacked Eve? He was standing right beside her doing nothing!
Don’t be that man!
From one man to another let’s make a commitment to be strong, consistent men of faith, leaders of our families, compassionate husbands and fathers, and role models in the world for other men to emulate.
Man Up! Happy 2024!
St Joseph, pray for us!
Opportunities to find community with men of faith:
- God Squad Canada Annual Men’s Conference in Calgary March 22nd -23rd 2024
Ascension Catholic Parish, Calgary, AB
$60/ticket adults (in person) $10/ticket students (under 18 or full-time) $10/ticket online streaming; Priests, Deacons, Religious free!
- Men’s Holy League at St Patrick’s Catholic Church in SE Calgary
- TMIY – That Man is You; Google search That Man is You Calgary (or wherever you live) to find the program closest to you.
- St Peter’s Roman Catholic Church men’s breakfast
- Strategic Leadership for Men – LUMEN CALGARY/CWA monthly breakfast meeting from Jan – May 2024; go to www.rccalgary.com and click events
TO JOIN THE HEROIC BROTHEHOOD FROM CANADA AND RECEIVE CANADIAN TAX RECIPTS PLEDGE USING GOD SQUAD CANADA
Every $25/Month donation or $300 annual donation grants Canadians free access to CMLA’S Heroic Men’s Brother at par in Canadian dollars.