Online 2021 Catholic Men’s Gathering centralised on Acts 2:37

15 Jul 2021

By The Record

David Barnao holds the Apostolic Blessing, joined by the Office of the Archbishop's Executive Director Daniel Lynch (left) and Catholic Homes Chairperson John Ogilvie (right).
Participation in this 2021 Australian Catholic Men’s Gathering can be done personally or by organising a local group within your chosen agency, parish, or workplace. Photo: Sourced.

“They were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other Apostles, Brothers – what then must we do?” – Acts 2:37

Forming men of God, of heart-filled service, and of sound character will be fundamental to the 2021 Australian Catholic Men’s Gathering, to be launched nationally online from 31 July in the Year of Saint Joseph.

Participants can join a diocesan group, a men’s ministry/parish group, or individually in a joint initiative by the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference’s National Centre for Evangelisation (NCE).

This year follows the National Australian Catholic Men’s Gathering’s success in 2020, where more than 1000 men across Australia partook across the nation at 42 hosting sites.

This year’s conference aims to inspire and encourage all Catholic men with a vision for personal discipleship, service and mission in the family, parish/diocese, and the world.

The working committee includes Hobart Archbishop Julian Porteous, Bishops Commission for Evangelisation, Laity and Ministry member; Armidale Bishop Michael Kennedy, Bishops Commission for Life member, Family and Public Engagement; Mr Matthew Biddle, NCE Digital Engagement Officer; Mr Robert Falzon, MenAlive Co-founder; Ms Clara Geoghegan, Bishops Commission for Evangelisation Executive Secretary; Mr Malcolm Hart, NCE Director; Mr Jude Hennessy, Wollongong Diocese Office of Renewal and Evangelisation Director; and, Mrs Louise Zavone, ACBC Executive Secretary.

In this Year of St Joseph, the Australian Catholic Men’s Gathering is proposed as a full-day gathering of men in local communities around Australia.

The sample programme outlines a spacious agenda where men can reflect on nationally supplied videos, discuss in small groups locally and discern ways of moving forward personally and in their communities. Many bishops are hosting gatherings based on this proposed agenda; Catholic men encouraged to link with these where possible.

This year’s materials include an introductory session and three pre-recorded modules, all with new presenters that can be used with your group or accessed individually.

The keynote presenters are Tomasz Juszczak, Tim Davis, and Shayne Bennett, with additional input from Archbishop Julian Porteous, Jude Hennessy and Robert Falzon. All pre-recorded materials will be available for download on the website by Friday, 30 July.

The videos can be utilised in a variety of agenda and gathering styles; however, there are several vital elements that are essential to all approaches:

• Fellowship: We must allow time to get to know each other, our stories, what’s has happened this week and our faith encounters. This is demonstrated by long breaks to meet and connect with other men;

• Prayer: We must gather to pray and be prayerful in our gathering. This is demonstrated by allowing enough time to pray in your program, with local preparation and leadership; and,

• Small Group Discussion: We must share, explore and speak aloud to each other in small groups to share our learnings and yearnings inspired by the sessions. This is demonstrated by ‘small’ groups (four to six men) and suitable discussion time to allow for deeper reflection.

For more information about the Australian Catholic Men’s Gathering, contact the National Centre for Evangelisation or register here.