Kieran Fenn fms
31 May 2012
Otaki Lodge was the venue where 72 men of the archdiocese with visitors from further afield gathered for the weekend of April 28.
They had come to be challenged to become Men Alive in their relationships with their families, their God and Church.
When your men returned home to affirm their love for their family members, their loyalty to their Church, and you watched them become men of prayer, you are witnessing the miracle of Men Alive.
For a group of guys who are reticent about sharing their feelings, the small-group responses on the need to forgive those who hurt us, the depth of sharing – the stories, the pain, the tears – was a deeply graced experience.
After this the sacramental response that necessarily accompanied the process was Reconciliation through the presence of four of our priests who walked with their parishioners through these days.
The Sunday morning Mass was led by Archbishop John Dew, assisted by Fr Michael McCabe.
In a deeply moving ceremony before the Mass, members of the group prayed over our Archbishop, and their prayers of gratitude for his leadership in troubled times found an echo in the hearts of all of us.
The Gospel of the Good Shepherd and the vocation of husband, father, and servant within the Church emerged so powerfully in Word and Sacrament throughout the talks and sacraments of the weekend.
The two speakers, Robert Falzon and Peter Gabauer, and the dedicated leaders and organisers of the Retreat gave a great example of men who were alive in Christ and His Church, carrying out the greatest of Christian service: bringing life to other men.
The great motto of Men Alive is the line from St Irenaeus: ‘The glory of God is man fully alive’.
As a result of this Spirit-filled weekend, 72 men are now praying the scriptures through daily prayer, Lectio Divina, and are afire to serve God’s people.