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May 2024 Newsletter

Men, I hope your Easter has been blessed.  Happy Easter!  Alleluia!  I love this time of the year–the sun is in the air, the gardens are growing, and the school year is almost complete.  Let’s praise God for the badly needed rainfall we have received this Spring.

 

Men, I hope you are taking advantage of every opportunity to be a faith leader among your family and friends.

 

Every one of you knows that the world (i.e., the culture) is topsy-turvy and is in need of men with virtue to lead.  More than ever in our lifetimes, true leadership is in short supply and those who are being blown around by the culture are looking for something or someone to cling to.  Let that someone be you.


You know what it takes–virtue, valor, courage–true discipleship in Christ.  As a Man of Signum Crucis, whether you realize it or it, you are gaining the tools needed to lead.  If you already recognize it, take the confidence you have gained from this fraternity and go out and be that influence on your world that only you can provide.  If you lack the confidence, come to our gatherings and soak up the Study and Devotion, and over time you will realize that it’s time to step out and make that difference in your circle of friends and family.

 

There is no doubt in my mind that this is the time for us to step up and spread the Word through our thoughts, words and actions.  The world is waiting for this.  Be that man who will someday hear these words:  “Well done, good and faithful servant.

 

I hope your time at our gatherings is always productive.  Please speak with me or  any of our Planning Group members if you have any suggestions for ways to deepen our faith through Study and Devotion.  And, since it’s been a while since I have stated who the members of the Planning Group are, here they are along with the parish(es) they represent:

 

●      Father Paul Clark, Chaplain, Diocesan Director of Vocations

●      Jeff Cassmeyer, St. Thomas the Apostle (St. Thomas) and St. Cecelia (Meta)

●      Tim Holly, Proto-Cathedral of St. Peter (Jefferson City)

●      Tim Hronick, St. Andrew, Holts Summit

●      Larry Jansen, Immaculate Conception, Jefferson City

●      Brian Johnson, Cathedral of St. Joseph

●      Mike O’Rourke, Proto-Cathedral of St. Peter (Jefferson City)

●      Deacon Ray Purvis, Assistant Chaplain, Immaculate Conception (Jefferson City)

●      Mike Rackers, St. Stanislaus (Wardsville)

●      Donnell Rehagen, Proto-Cathedral of St. Peter (Jefferson City)

●      Ken Sandbothe, St. Francis Xavier (Taos)

●      Philip Schulte, St. Martin (St. Martins)

 

My thanks to these gentlemen who have consistently maintained their commitment over the past two years, as we assembled as a Planning Group for the first time in May of 2022 to plan our first gathering, which took place on September 21, 2022.

 

And Speaking of the Men of Signum Crucis Planning Group…

 

If your parish is not represented on the Planning Group and you have the background and drive to help develop worthy plans for our future, please let me or any of the Planning Group members know so we can respond to any questions you might have about the needs of our Planning Group.  We would like to have participation from all parishes in our area to be sure that we provide everything needed for our Men of Signum Crucis to be the leaders the world needs now.

 

And, just as it was the goal of the Planning Group when we first assembled during the summer of 2022, we would really like to have at least one member from each parish on the Planning Group from the demographic of the 20- to 40-year-old age group.  Not only do we need the input of this age group to be sure we are hitting the mark with the topics that we offer, but participation from this age group would ensure longevity of the Men of Signum Crucis fraternity.  Once again, please see me or any member of the Planning Group for more information.

 

And Another Need…

 

Men, if you have a background in web page management and/or social media, we need you.  Our current volunteer, Kenney Newville, and his wife have moved to St. Joseph, Missouri to redirect and refocus the Catholic schools in that area.  What an awesome opportunity to make a difference in the lives of so many Catholics in that area!  If you have any background in the areas of web management and social media and a little time, I would like to put you in contact with Kenney so we can transition those duties from him to you.  Whoever you are, please know that you will be impacting the lives of so many families in our Diocese, so please give some thought to this.

 

My heartfelt thanks to Kenney Newville, who waits patiently for this volunteer after moving to St. Joseph in 2023 and is still managing the website from his new location.  Please step in if you can to relieve him of these responsibilities.  My contact information, as always, is at the bottom of this newsletter.

 

How About That Heart of a Hero Men’s Conference???

 

Wow.  What a conference!  Over 130 men attended the first ever Conference exclusively for men in our area, rubbing elbows with the best men in our Diocese and beyond.  From every account and customer survey received, it was a huge success, and your Planning Group has already met to make next year’s even better by listening to you who have responded to the survey (we have received 48 responses so far, and there are still a couple of weeks yet to go before I will close the survey down). 

 

Once again, our amazing speakers were Mr. Lamar Hunt, Jr., Father Bill Peckman, Mr. Adam Wright, Dr. Andrew Swafford, and Mr. Brian Miller.  These men provided insight into what it takes to have a Heart of Hero, based on the passage from 2 Timothy:  “For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control.” 

 

The dates are already set for the 2nd Annual Heart of a Hero Men’s Conference:  mark your calendars now for April 25 and 26, 2025.  You won’t want to miss it.  We are looking forward to bringing you the very best to Jefferson City.

 

If you are interested in seeing the survey summary results, see me at our gathering on May 15 and I will be glad to let you see how positive the results were.

 

Our Next Gathering–May 15

 

Men, we will take our quarterly step away from our regular routine and we will go back to the basics that our foundation is laid on.  On May 15 all men attending will gather in the Chapel for Exposition, Adoration, Confessions, and Benediction.  Our heartfelt thanks to the four priests who will join us on May 15 to hear Confessions:  Father Don Antweiler, Father Paul Clark, Father James Finder, and Father Mark Porterfield.

 

The timeline for the evening is as follows:

 

6:00 p.m.--Rosary in the Chapel

6:15 p.m.--Confessions Begin Inside and Outside the Chapel

6:30 p.m.--Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament

6:35 p.m. - 7:15 p.m.--Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament

7:15 p.m.--Benediction (Confessions Conclude)

7:25 p.m.- 8:00 p.m.--Fraternity with Refreshments in the Commons

 

Eucharistic Revival, March, and Congress

 

Men, I hope you are staying ever faithful to the Eucharist–we are nothing without it.  I hope you will consider attending a daily Mass (or two) each week, and do your family a favor and invite them to attend also. 

 

Don’t forget that the first Eucharist Revival in the United States in 83 years takes place in Indianapolis this summer on July 17 through July 21.  Our complete understanding and advocacy of the doctrine of the Real Presence is needed now more than ever in our country.  I am wondering if we will ever see such a prestigious lineup of Catholic scholars in one place again in our lifetime–check out the website here for the complete list of activities and presenters.

 

            If you are not able to attend, there are (at least) two ways to be involved:

 

  1. Pray for the success of the Eucharistic March and Congress;

  2. Attend the Eucharistic Exposition, Adoration, and Benediction at the Proto-Cathedral of Jefferson City on July 4.  This location is part of the procession of the Eucharist that starts in San Francisco on May 18 (yes, less than two weeks from now).  This will be great way to witness to those on the Capitol grounds by entering the Proto-Cathedral of St. Peter, to soak in the peace that only Jesus Christ brings.  Mark your calendars now.

 

Future Gatherings

 

As I mentioned above, our next gathering is next week, on May 15.  Following this gathering, our schedule is as follows:

 

●      June 19, 2024–Just in time for the Eucharistic Revival and Congress in our country, Father Daniel Merz from the Newman Center in Columbia will join us to present on the Holy Eucharist.

●      July 17, 2024–Coach Chris Hentges is back to provide a session even more focused on Apologetics.  This will be a great opportunity to learn how to address those “tough questions” from some outside of the Catholic faith who seem to know so much about what Jesus taught.

●      August 21, 2024–Catholicism vs. the Culture–Can We Co-exist?  I will lead a discussion on the impact of culture on our faith, and more importantly the impact of our faith on the culture.

 

            As a reminder, our annual schedule is

 

●      September and February–the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

●      May and November–Exposition, Adoration, Confessions, and Benediction

●      All other months are open for relevant topics of Study and/or Devotion

 

Thank You!

 

Thank you to Father Matt Flatley and Coach Chris Hentges for presenting at our April gathering.  Father Flatley delivered a session entitled, “A Taste of Silence:  Exploring the Instruction of Christ to Pray in Silence.”  Coach Hentges delivered another stellar session on Church History and Apologetics.  We appreciate both of them taking time from their busy schedules to help us along our way toward manly leadership.

 

I would encourage others to suggest weekly or bi-weekly activities to supplement our monthly gatherings, and maybe even more importantly, for men to request specific activities that would help them take their faith to a deeper level.  If you ask for a group activity, our Planning Group will do the best we can to find the resources to make it happen.

 

In Conclusion…

 

I hope you are able to gather with your fraternity of the Men of Signum Crucis on May 15 at Helias Catholic High School.  Ask (another) son, father, brother, uncle, or friend to come with you.  Each man present is needed–someone is better because you are there.  Afterwards, we will enjoy fraternity and refreshments in the Commons.

 

Men, thank you for your fidelity to the Men of Signum Crucis.  Your dedication to this growing apostolate is inspiring.  I pray that you are growing in your faith each month, and that you will always invite other men to join us.

And, let us never forget:  St. Joseph “chose hard.”  Let’s choose to do the same.

  

St. Joseph, Foster Father of the Son of God, and patron saint of the Men of Signum Crucis, pray for us.


In hoc signo, vinces,

Mark Rehagen



Future Gatherings:  

 

●      May 15, 2024 (Exposition, Adoration, Confession, and Benediction)

●      June 19, 2024 (Father Daniel Merz on the Holy Eucharist)

●      July 17, 2024 (Coach Chris Hentges on Apologetics)

●      August 21, 2024 (Mark Rehagen on Catholicism and the Culture)

●      September 18, 2024 (The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass)

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