Most men will not gather for a prayer group or have in-depth discussions with other men on spiritual issues, at least not often. I don't mean to say that men are not spiritual, it is just that men's spirituality is much different than women and youth. So you can't apply the same programs or approaches that work for youth groups, and church prayer groups (mostly attended by women) to men. Men are more private and stoic by nature. They have a tendency to internalize private things and quietly evaluate them mentally and often not sharing the thoughts and issues related to such. However, if you combine work or an activity with spirituality, you allow men to fulfill an innate desire while providing fellowship, friendships, creativity, honor, exercise, accomplishments, etc., while also nourishing the spirit and the soul. Once men can be connected in a common activity that is purely seen and identified as manly, it not only allows comfort levels to form, but instantaneously allows any protective guards that might have been present to be lowered because the men feel a unity and a bond. It is at this point that the masculine spirituality, or the man's spirit can be nourished, cultivated, and grow in the context of a "Men's Group." Once the bonds are formed, trust is established, and comfort levels are obtained, then God's word can be accepted and can penetrate into the men. This penetration is not superficial, it is deep and life lasting. One might assume that men are not spiritual, or at least keep a reserved spiritual demeanor, but I would like to say that one must understand a man's spiritual nature before making such a statement.
Even though the modern world has attempted to blur the unique roles, charisms, and qualities of men and women, blurring them into a somewhat unisex and identical being, their souls and spirits remain as different as ever. Men are strong, mostly quiet and reserved when it comes to deep feelings, and have an inner desire to protect, provide, and produce. They are deeply spiritual but externally reserved, and many have not had role models that taught them how to be a man and express their spirituality to others. This external expression of love of others and of God is foreign in the modern world, at least foreign to most men. Yet, when seen, it is awesome. To see a man grounded in his faith, sharing his spirituality with others, confident in his manhood, it is not only exhilarating, but contagious and leaves other men jealous for what he has just seen. This type of man can change the world.
It was once said: teach a child the faith and it might just rub off on his mother or siblings. Teach a mother the faith and it just might rub off on some of the family. But teach the faith to the father, help him live a life of faith, nourish that faith, and the whole family will be converted. It is fathers, men, who can and will change the world that we live in. It is through "Men of Faith" that the world can be seen for what it is and God's light and truth can be made present.
That is why there is such a need for "Men's Spirituality Groups." Gatherings of men with a unique purpose. Men given opportunities to unite, form friendships, partake in projects and activities that are not foreign but familiar and comfortable. To allow opportunities for God's word to penetrate into their being and then be nourished and cultivated forming them into Men of Action, men who begin to look much different than the other men in society. Men who are envied for the confidence they resonate, for the joy that surrounds them, for the fortitude they expel, for the charity that has become such a huge part of their being.
As God grows within these types of men, the evils of the devil begin to diminish. The sins of: lust, masturbation, pornography, pride, anger, laziness, excessive drinking, eating, and self-pleasures begin to lose their hold on these men and are all of a sudden finding themselves free from the bonds that held them as slaves for so many years. Most men will never openly talk about their shortcomings, but they will listen to the truth when presented by a man that they trust and admire. They might not openly show much emotion when such a sensitive issue is presented, but mark my word, they are listening and it is deeply internalized and applied.
These groups are more necessary than ever before and the devil will use every weapon he has to try and stop them..... but he will not win! The truth will set us free!
Join a men's group, a real men's group. Not just a fraternity, or a club, but a group that looks at the whole man; feeds him, helps him evaluate himself, incorporates activities and pleasure, but always maintains a balance and allows the man to grow spiritually.
Deacon Pat Kearns
In 2009 Deacon Pat Kearns, a Catholic deacon, father, husband, novelist (Click for book site), and outdoor enthusiast envisioned Men-In-Motion Retreats as an opportunity to serve the men of his parish in Northern California. He launched the program with a 150-mile kayaking trip down the Sacramento River. The retreat included a balance of spiritual enrichment and physical activity. With great success from the initial retreat and with the help of fellow parishioners from Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Redding, California, the program continued to grow while offering free or small donation outdoor spiritual retreats throughout the year. In 2015 Deacon Pat decided it was time to take another journey and he and his wife parted from their parish to become full-time missionaries in the mountains of Guatemala. Two leaders from the Men-In-Motion movement assumed the care of the program, and it is still alive today in Northern California under the leadership of Mike Goodyear and Dennis Grady.
After completing a year of service in the mountains of Guatemala, Deacon Pat and his wife relocated to Southwestern Idaho and served at Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Caldwell, Idaho. Knowing from past experience how the Men-In-Motion Retreats transformed the men from his previous parish and outlying communities, and after gaining the help of local parishioners, he began organizing the retreats in the mountains of beautiful Idaho.
As of 2019 Deacon Pat and his wife returned to California to be closer to family and continued the tradition of offering Men-In-Motion retreats. He is serving in the Sacramento Diocese.