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May 2023 Newsletter

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

Men of Signum Crucis, Happy Feast of St. Joseph the Worker!


Men, as you know well by now, St. Joseph is the foster father of the Son of God

and patron saint of the Men of Signum Crucis. Let us all strive to become more like

him every day, pushing ourselves to be guardians, protectors, servants, models,

patrons, pillars, and support for our families and friends. This list of attributes comes

from the Litany of St. Joseph that we pray at the end of each gathering in the

Commons–here is the Litany of St. Joseph to pray today or in the future, either by

yourself or with family.


If you have not attended Mass yet today, consider attending the Mass this

evening (May 1) at St. Joseph Church in Westphalia. It is a Solemn High Mass in

observation of the Feast of St. Joseph in the Traditional Latin Mass form. Mass begins

at 6:00 p.m. If you are interested in carpooling there and back, text me at 573-680-2520

before 5:00 p.m. today. We can leave from the Helias parking lot at 5:20 p.m. and I

promise that I will loiter for no more than 10 minutes following Mass and then we’ll be on

our way back to Helias.


Men, the theme of my encouragement in his newsletter is “Choose Hard.” Over

the past couple of years, I have been thinking about how we as a culture have become

(should I say it?) soft. We have technology to ease our lives and we tend to gravitate

toward comfort over challenge. Could I even go so far as to say that we let technology

control our lives?? I am wondering if the worst saying ever stated is, “Don’t work

harder, work smarter.” Is this just an invitation to lay on the couch while the software

runs the operation/our lives?


I don’t want you to think that I am taking credit for the phrase, “Choose Hard.” I

recently saw it on the back of a big, burly football player for a major university football

team, whose coach has adopted this theme for his players. But it completely

summarizes something that we as a culture of men should strive for because you know,

as well as I do, that the men that we admire the most are the ones who have worked the

hardest, who have come the farthest, who have striven every day to be better than they

were the day before.


Are we that man that our sons (and wives and daughters) and friends can look

up to? Are you ready for the heavy lifting that is required to follow the lead of St.

Joseph?


So, men, now is the time to redouble our efforts to “Choose Hard” and meet the

challenges of being a strong man for our families and friends. How?


One way is to deepen our faith together.


Knowledge of our faith (Study) and our relationship with God (Devotion) cannot

be the proverbial “one inch deep and one mile wide.” How about Study and Devotion

that is “one mile deep and one mile wide”? Getting our heads and hearts in sync with

one another, and then deepening our knowledge and devotion is, in my opinion, the

epitome of a well-formed man–you know, someone who is bold enough to express his

faith openly, can defend his faith, and chooses to be a guardian, protector, servant,

model, patron, pillar, and support for his family and friends.


Gathering once a month with the Men of Signum Crucis is a start (actually it’s a

tremendous start), but by itself is not the ultimate answer. My hope is that our

gatherings are a catalyst to wanting more–some of which we can provide in the future

on the third Wednesdays of the month, but much of which we all need to commit to

through choosing to work on our own, or in small groups.


My hope is that each Man of Signum Crucis draws inspiration from what we do

or offer as a group, but then also develop relationships with like-minded men who can

help you deepen your faith (and vice versa). Often, it requires us to “choose hard” and

take the lead, and engage in conversations with others to see if there just might be

some commonality to begin a small group, or just someone who will serve as your

companion and encouragement for your journey.


Men, switching gears, those of you who were able to gather in April told me how

much you appreciated the efforts of the four of our own who shared reflections

regarding Acts 2:42 (“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship,

to the breaking of the bread and the prayers”). Thank you to each of the following for

their enlightening remarks: Mike O’Rourke (apostles’ teaching); Ron Dunn

(fellowship); Deacon Ric Telthorst (prayers); Father Mark Porterfield (breaking of the

bread).


Our next gathering is May 17, when the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will be

celebrated by our Chaplain, Father Paul Clark. We are looking forward to having him

with us following his “Theology on Tap” presentation in Mexico, Missouri in March and

his pilgrimage to Ars, France in April. For those who wish to arrive early for the

devotion of the Most Holy Rosary, the Rosary will begin at 6:00 p.m. sharp and will

conclude at approximately 6:20. Our official start of the evening, as always, will be at

6:30 p.m. After the Sacrifice of the Mass, we will migrate to the Commons for fraternity

there. As always, we will conclude our evening with the Litany of St. Joseph at 7:55

p.m.


A few other announcement/reminders:


● I told you at our gathering in April that I would provide some details in this

newsletter regarding some resources I have recently found to be very helpful in

my journey. First is the Institute of Catholic Culture. Here is their website. I am

currently auditing a class offered by the Institute called “Catholic Political

Thought.” They offer many one- or two-evening seminars (lectures), and also

weekly evening courses that last 12-14 weeks. A seminar (lecture) that you

might be interested in is “Faith Seeking Understanding: The Ascent and Decline

of Scholasticism,” which will take place on May 8. Recently there was a lecture

by Father Robert Spitzer on the Shroud of Turin. Another weekly course entitled

“Called to Be Saints: A Study of St. Paul’s Letters to the Corinthians” begins

tonight. Check out the website for tons of great lectures and courses. Be aware

that the leadership of the Institute of Catholic Culture is of the Eastern Catholic

Church and therefore several disciplines that are different from our own faith

tradition. The several Eastern Catholic Churches are distinct from the Roman

Catholic Church yet are loyal to the pope and the dogma and doctrine of the

Church. Examples of Eastern Catholic Churches are the Greek Melkite Eastern

Church, the Byzantine Church, the Coptic Catholic Church, and many others.


  • Another resource that I have recently found to be helpful is the “Catholic Gentleman.” Here is their website. You will find many video and audio resources on their website.


  • As I have mentioned several times recently, Dr. Ray Guarendi, otherwise known in Catholic circles as the host of the Catholic Radio show, “The Doctor Is In,” will be the keynote speaker at the 10th Annual Catholic Radio Mass and Barbeque Fundraiser, to be held at Helias in the Chapel and Commons on Saturday, July 8.


  • I and some other members of the Men of Signum Crucis Planning Group (and some of you) have been instrumental in planning this annual event over the past ten years. If you have not listened to Dr. Ray before, you can get a load of his dry wit Monday through Friday at noon on either 88.1 FM (St. Thomas/Jefferson City) or 94.7 FM (Columbia). I hope you will mark your calendars now for this one-of-a-kind experience here in Jefferson City.


  • I hope that each of you will invite at least one new man from your family or circle of friends to the Men of Signum Crucis gathering on May 17. It is very obvious to me that you men are bringing other men with you each time–we have new men joining our ranks each time we gather. We are now up to 150 members of the Men of Signum Crucis, but there is no doubt that there are still hundreds of men waiting to be asked to join our circle. Please continue to share the “wealth” of the Men of Signum Crucis with other men in your circle. Remember that men do not have to be Catholic to be a member of our fraternity.


Thank you for your fidelity to this fraternity of Men of Signum Crucis.


Men, remember that 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 17, 2023

  • June 21, 2023 (Stay tuned for future announcements regarding how we Men of Signum Crucis will celebrate the longest day of the year!)

  • July 19, 2023

  • August 16, 2023

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