Bishop Jenky offers practical advice to Catholic men of faith

Photo Caption: Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, told a cathedral filled with Catholic men that God is calling them to be “militant men of faith” in their families, parishes, communities, and places of employment.

By: By Tom Dermody

Maybe it is holding your spouse’s hand and saying an Our Father every night before falling asleep. Perhaps it is being willing to risk an argument to encourage a son or daughter to attend Sunday Mass. It could be listening to someone who is angry with the church and witnessing to your faith.

In a homily to Catholic men from throughout the Diocese of Peoria on April 26, Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, offered these and other practical ways that men could continue their ongoing conversion to the Lord after taking part in the morning’s “A Call to Catholic Men of Faith.”

“Miracles happen if we invite God to be a part of our lives,” said Bishop Jenky, principal celebrant at the Mass that followed the annual men’s march through downtown Peoria. (See story on the march here.)

He encouraged married men to “never let the day go by without a shared prayer” with their wives.

“You were all married in Christ, so your relationship should be grounded in Christ,” said Bishop Jenky. Spouses could, for example, read a short passage from the Bible every day, or pray the rosary.

“Or at the very least, you might hold her hand and say the Lord’s Prayer before falling asleep no matter what else might have taken place, including arguments, in the course of the day,” said the bishop.

Fathers should also pray with their children daily and bless them before they fall asleep. “As they get older, are you that ashamed to bless them before they go out?” he asked.

Men should also take responsibility for keeping Sunday Mass at the heart of family life, said Bishop Jenky. And if they know of someone who has fallen away from the practice of the faith, “you might consider adding a weekday Mass to your Sunday Mass for their intentions.”

“God’s endless power and your persistent prayer, and your willingness to give a timely word of witness, may bring the back to the Lord,” said Bishop Jenky.

When God gives them the opportunity to share their faith with someone who is angry at or disillusioned with the church or who does not know the Lord, men should “listen to them, talk to them, witness to them.”

Finally, Bishop Jenky encouraged Catholic men to volunteer for the “endless needs” in their parishes and communities.

“There is snow to be shoveled, grass to be cut, porches to be repaired, walls to be painted, hymns to be sung, kids to be coached, envelopes to be counted, and committees to be staffed,” said Bishop Jenky.

“Remember, what you do for others, you are doing it really for the Lord,” said the bishop. “And by your generosity you are making Christ present in a world that will always need Jesus and his Gospel.”

Bishop Jenky expressed his gratitude that the men had come together “to challenge one another, encourage one another, and pray for one another.”

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