An Archbishop Joins a Catholic Men’s Group

By | August 31, 2019

(upbeat music) – We’ve been meeting with some people. They’ve been coming to
me or I’ve been going to some of their settings
in order just to talk about the reality of family life within their particular context. I’ve been told it’s a men’s group. Not quite sure what we’ll encounter when we get there. A group of men I
understand that are seeking to know how to grow in
the faith themselves and not just in the family, but also in the workplace and society and so on, especially if they wanna stand up and live visibly and be
known as men of faith, as a Catholic people. – Last time, for those
who haven’t been here, we were doing the study on the saints, Father Bishop Barron’s “Pivotal Players.” – Well, that’s a good series. – Yeah, it is. And tonight we’re gonna
do kind of a switch up. We’re gonna do, there is a free episode on the Eucharist from Augustine Institute. And it was kinda a
challenge to everybody with you know, maybe with
the turmoil going on at the church that this is
the reason for our faith, right? It’s about Jesus. And I thought since we missed summer, it’s kinda like a back to basics. This is what it’s all about. So, hopefully I didn’t put a wrench in anybody’s expectations but– (laughs) It was a free episode so I thought, might as well use it. – Free works. – Yeah, exactly. For those of you who are first time, we kinda play the video and then if you want to stop at any moment, there’s something that stands out to you, just shout out at me and I’ll press pause and you can- (orchestral music) – I like the portion where they talked about us consuming the Eucharist but it’s more of the
Eucharist consuming us, you know and leaving church and you always hear and understand. Again, you’re trying to
portray our teachings and become Jesus but I never
really connected those either. You’re embodying Jesus and
going out and showing people who Jesus is and we’re
sharing that connection, so. – Bishop Aaron said in his video, like mission territory in the west is as soon as you exit that door. – [Man] Probably more so. – More so, yeah, absolutely (men mumble in agreement) – And now there are
third world countries who are still really strong in their faith and our secular world now,
and the way that were raising our kids, we’re
the ones who are doing that revitalization. – And that’s why this
group and like this group, and all the guys, you
can testify, it’s nice to know that there’s other guys who think the same way, right? And it’s like, ’cause
most us can probably be in our own workplace and be maybe the only Christian in our own workplace, right? And sometime it’s hard
and when you get together as guys and boost each
other up and be like no, you’re not alone, right? – My daughter Sarah, loves making art, so I’m kinda just like
oh that was cool, thank you, oh my God! But it just likes like a
big giant piece of like you know, microwave just
kinda stuck to a piece of paper, it’s like well
okay, yeah, that’s cool but I mean in her eyes that’s amazing and that’s really what you know, when we leave church we need to being
doing the same thing, like, like we need to
be going up to people that real nice and just say okay, hey you know guys, this is really, really cool. Come to, you know- (men laugh) We don’t have that same
passion we used too but we should. – I like his, like he said the St. Augustine Institute
and like way they put these together, I’ve been
a Christian all my life and I’ve never really
practiced a lot until I’ve been older and when
I met Heather, you know, she has very strong Catholic
family roots so she’s the one that started to share
the Catholic faith with me so I just went through
the ICRU program in 2016 and became Catholic – Oh wait a go – Yeah I was Salvation
Army but so just again being exposed to people, I just never knew this stuff ever, I was never taught it and then it was like (makes sound) like mind blowing once I started to hear this stuff and knowing
the rich history that’s out there with all the
facts and all the records and I just, I can’t believe
that so many people in the world just don’t have access to this. – Absolutely, yeah, same
way, I was raised with absolutely no faith at
all and it was, this guys know like when I
was in my early twenties and just into drugs and alcohol and stuff and then I’m looking at belief
systems and it’s like you start to learn that
there’s actually reasons for these beliefs and
that there really good (man laughs) It’s like, this all makes
sense, this makes too much sense and it’s
just like I wish someone would have just told
me this before, right? – The Eucharist as communion that binds us together as Catholics
and as Christians as well no matter race, the culture and that and actually there’s no religion without food. There’s now, well, according to research in some places, every religion have to have a little bit of food in it, there’s always
a little bit of food. One thing that helps me
as a priest is the fact that, it’s celebrated
the same way the Catholic church everywhere in the whole world. And even in our country,
Nigeria, the Pentecostals they’re beginning to,
though at first they used to speak that but now
in recent times they’re coming back to it. They’re
is see the power and the bond in the, in the
Eucharist , though they still want to do it
their own way. But at the same time they’re beginning to come around to seeing the importance of that. – Ultimately it boils
than to the mystery of God and with God just being
what he is, who he is a person, a being , we can’t comprehend, but
we can comprehend, Brent. We can comprehend how we
communicate with each other, We can comprehend the
meaning of relationships, these are the things that
God gave us that we can relate to him. – The small way for the
continuance of Christ himself and how I have to do a better job reminding myself of
that because I wouldn’t ask for the hustle and
bustle with all the kids and stuff and all of a
sudden I’m getting pushed and they’re like let’s
go to the line up and I’m just trying to hold on,
get this kid to, you know sit up, sit down, come
on let’s go, oh were standing up in line and
rush, rush, and rush and I just want to take that
moment to just realize wow, this is like, the most, like this an intimate encounter with
God that you can have and I know I just gotta
do a better job of taking pause I that moment right? and just really understand what it is. Um we can talk about, how do you experience in your life? God’s presence can be
big and it can be small and I know myself, I’ve
felt it in different ways like you guys know my
daughter was born with congenital heart defects and had multiple heart surgeries before
she was even one years old and it’s like I
struggled when my wife was pregnant that this was
going to happen but once the baby was born and
she was rushed of to the hospital and they were gonna go give her surgery I was at peace
and I felt like this not right why am feeling
so comfortable right now and so okay with
everything ’cause I, I knew at that moment I
had no control, all I had was faith and I gave it
up to the Lord and he gave me peace and it was
like I felt guilty for it, that I’m like I
should not feel peaceful right now but in the, no it’s okay, you know? You got this, you know? And there was a clear
moment where it as like a moment were I should have been panicking, my daughter was about to
get her chest cut open and she’s you know, a week old and I felt peaceful and I’m like
no God’s got this, he’s, you know, it’s, so there
are big things but then there are little day to
day things where you know Gods, God’s present with you. – See you talking about kids, I think everyday I experience God in my
daughter Claire, you all know Claire, any body
that goes to Good Shepherd knows Claire, she has a cerebral palsy,
she’s with trouble, I mean At the, you know, maybe every
other day it’s a struggle, I won’t say everyday but at those moments she will either start
singing some church song in Nigerian language that soothes the that the soothes the hurt I was feeling at that moment, I don’t
know how it happens she will just sing it and that song will apply to what is bothering
me and then some times she will just look and
say I know you love me not matter what, you
know, I mean big words despite her developmental
delay and all of that Amazing soothing words come from her and it can only be from God. You it, it can only be from God, you know a lot of reassurance coming from her and I also see God in
her in the way she has developed over time Like you know Father’s
been here for ten days, he hasn’t seen her in nine years, right? And she’s eleven so he was surprised at how much, how much, how
much strides, how much years she has developed and how much she’s able to say out. Even though we speak
with her, you don’t know that she that she’s, she
comprehends what you’re saying, she understands the two language, she understand English,
she understand everything in our native dialect in
Nigeria despite the fact that we speak English here. How did that happen? You know and the songs that she knew back in Nigeria as a two,
three year old she sings here still- – [Man] She still remembers them. – in our native language, you know – [Man] That’s amazing, yeah (Men mumble in agreement) – Even when I was a kid my mother when she was pregnant with me, she was, they had three or four
doctors that told her to abort me because she
had a surgery just before she knew she was pregnant
and she had X-rays and stuff like that so the
doctors basically said you’re son is going to
come out either, you know, something, something
wrong or maybe without a limb so there was like
two or three people and even psychologists that
sat them down and said, you know, abort this baby
but so they were dead against it and my dad
was completely against it and I was born so – Wow – I’m so glad that they didn’t abort me (men laugh) – Wow, wow. – So right from my birth I was blessed. – On of the things that, and this, this is really kinda moving
itself all through history behind the separation
that can exist or that we cause to exist between
ourselves and God and what that is, is this thing
that if somehow God draws near to me God will be to my a threat, God will be a threat to
my freedom, God will be an imposition, God will be
obstacle to be, to me being myself, therefore
I must keep God at a distance you know and
therefore I must create myself, be myself. If I draw too close to God, I’ll, I’ll be destroyed but from the beginning what that image says is that when we
enter into communion with God, God touches us so
beautifully, closely, lovingly as the creator, he doesn’t destroy, we
draw close, we draw near but there’s no destruction,
in fact we are enabled there by to me be even
more fully ourselves, you know. I think that’s probably very particularly important message for
the culture today too. – Yes that’s true. So how can this presence of Christ in the Eucharist be a source of
strength and consolation in journeys through your life? In what ways can you
grow and appreciate an embrace in Christs
presence in the Eucharist? – We have that connection,
God’s extended that connection to us were
blessed to have like you said so every time I take
the Eucharist I try to be mindful that I am
taking the body of Christ. – I think one if the
hardest part about the Eucharist is that it’s really familiar, you know you have, you
know you’re in a church you’re gonna get the
Eucharist and I think it’s very, very easy to reduce a ton of bread because you just do things a habit and when it because to familiar you lose that mystery, you lose
that burning bush, you lose the, you lose the
impossibility of it. – For me it’s like after confession, it always feels like your in your community, like
you’re appreciated more you don’t have that
thought sin kind of between you receiving the Eucharist
so I think that’s a good way to- – [Man] Yeah I agree with that too – I just have to say, when I grew up, I well I, my family’s always
been Catholic, but when I grew up it used to that
we’d go to church, have church and the we’d leave. That was just our typical Sunday but being that we’re part of a
family group our kids all know each other and we
know each other and mass. I think the church has
become more of a home for us and our kids feel
comfortable there, which is something that I
didn’t really have as much when was I was growing up so- – [Man] That’s really beautiful – Just as far as the men’s
group and the women’s group and every being
together that it definitely is more of a community – It is so encouraging
for me to see that you guys, on your own iniative are taking this issue and saying we need to be together, let’s get together and talk, talk us guys, talk about the faith, don’t be embarrassed about that, don’t hold back but recognize
that yeah, we need this we need this, this community. I think this has the great potential of triggering other
conversations among people who see these things
perhaps inspiring other similar initiatives that can and bring people together. So keep me in your prayers,
I’ll be keeping, I’ll do the same for yourselves
and for your families. (upbeat music)

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