Catholic News Agency is launching a new online resource, focusing on the experiences and spiritual lives of Catholic men in order to strengthen them in their commitments to marriage, fatherhood, and the single life.
The new column, “Catholic Men,” will premier on Monday, March 21 and will feature contributions from men in diverse fields of expertise on topics relating to lay men within the Church.
“Through this column, we hope to encourage guys to embrace the adventure of their lay vocation – as single or married men – and to bring their unique masculine virtues into their lives of faith, prayer, family and profession,” said organizer Brian Caulfield.
Caulfield – editor of the website “Fathers for Good,” an initiative of the Knights of Columbus that provides resources on Christian fatherhood – explained that the “Cathlolic Men” column on CNA is an extension of that ministry.
A father of two young boys, Caulfield emphasized that members of the faith “need to show laymen how much they are needed within the Catholic Church, and that there is a place for them even if they are not called to priesthood.”
“As we can see from popular culture, true masculine virtues and strength are not highly valued today,” he added. “Men are portrayed as either ineffective husbands and fathers, or dangerous psychological agents who use their strength to harm society or to seduce and use women.”
“In so many social, legal and cultural settings, the natural masculine instinct to protect, provide and guide is seen as unnecessary,” leaving men “to struggle with their role and identity,” Caulfield said.
He also noted that recent studies show how more women than men attend Sunday Mass, and “a good number of those women are mothers with young kids who sit in the pews without their husbands.”
“This is a crisis of major importance,” Caulfield said.
CNA will be posting new contributions to “Catholic Men” every Monday alongside its daily coverage of news pertaining to the Church around the world. The column can be accessed through banners on CNA's main page or by clicking here.
Caulfield said that he, along with seven other columnists, will contribute to the site on a rotating basis.
“These are men who are accomplished bloggers or have a special expertise in the issues relating to manhood and fatherhood,” he said.
Monday's edition will feature Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons, a Catholic psychiatrist who writes about marital relationships and Dr. Peter Kleponis, a Catholic psychologist who addresses the effects of pornography and raising teens.
Andrew Haines, a blogger-philosopher discusses moral and social topics in his pieces and Daniel Lord – a composer and musician – writes on cultural issues.
“Catholic Men” will also include articles from Devin Rose – a dad who, with his wife, has adopted four children – Jason Godin, a young college professor who writes about domestic life and Michael Brewer, head of the College Knights of Columbus program.
“I hope the 'Catholic Men' section gives voice to the issues that affect men as they live out their vocations to marriage and fatherhood,” Caulfield said.
“We will strive to give men the tools they need to engage today's culture, to help them become strong and faithful men, and to affirm that the Church indeed has a place for men outside of the ordained ministry,” he added.