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Why are men absent from church?

Why are men absent from church?

The National Catholic Men’s Ministry was launched with Mass last Tuesday— the Solemnity of St Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary— at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Port of Spain with a mission of ‘Forming Catholic men for leadership of the family, Church and nation’. The Catholic News asked some male attendees “Why do you think men are absent from church?” Photos: Elmo Griffith

Leonard Birmingham

National Catholic Men’s Ministry: Over the years they have seen church as something for their wives, their sisters, the female contingent that’s why we have that so much. It’s built on a number of myths—big boys don’t cry so I have no needs that anybody can supply, I am sufficient to myself…the macho thing has kept us out of church.

Look at your schools, leaders of your boy scouts, catechetics so when you look at church, home, school, whatever you are finding we have to a large extent deserted the ship and society is paying for it. Why? Because neither son nor daughter has an appropriate role model so they have to look elsewhere whether they are looking to the gangs for fellowship and acceptance and love and so on but they are out there and they are not with us.

The gangs have discovered something we are now learning we have to give our young people: that love, that mentorship and that grooming or else they are going to look elsewhere…many young girls do not know the profile of a good father, a good husband, so they go after ‘bling’. He looks good, sharp, a lot of money… that is why some of their lives end so tragically.

Winston Mathura

St Michael’s RC, Maracas Valley Catholic Men’s Movement: When you put proper structures in place, you will see men coming back to church because I think at one time men used to be active in church. The altar used to be more men, now it is more women.

If we put the proper structures in place, I am hoping out of today’s exercise men would see the value, [of being] head their households, coming to church, things of that kind… I know of people who don’t come to church and I think it’s because people do not extend an outreach to them. We do have a group of men here, and it is because we had an outreach, they came in.

Lyndon Mc Shine

Chaguanas Men’s Ministry: We have lost our faith. We have given up because life has become so hard and we find the challenges becoming difficult and instead of getting closer to God we pull away from Him so it’s about faith.

Josiah Titus

Upper VI, Presentation College, San Fernando: They see the church as being gay. My problem at least was the church was looking too feminine and I decided I did not want to be a part of that but after when God calls you back and show you the real side of His faith then you could build on that. The truth has been revealed but it takes a while. After He calls you back and you listen to His call you take it from there and move forward.

Liston Nicholas, Our Lady of Guadalupe Men’s Group, Paramin: The Church in itself starting from the clergy, its message is not directed to men per se and I am thinking at the moment there needs to be a revolution at the level of the hierarchy in the Church.

The Church at the moment is missing what is critical, beginning with going out; there must be a great effort to meet men where they are on the road, on the streets. The Church has become too comfortable within the confines of the walls, in their presbytery—the clergy that is. And the Church must begin, and that is what we in Paramin do, we go out.

Arneaud De Gannes, Mayaro Men’s group: Most men feel church is a lady thing and at the end of the day I say men lack their roles and responsibilities as head of an organisation and head of the home, so being head of the home you should be head of everything to give proper guidance to have your wife and children follow you as a leader to enable a better spiritual life for yourself, your family and community at large. Once you doing it, you will encourage members of the community to do likewise.

Christian Chaumette, Lower VI, Holy Cross College: Maybe it is too boring. It’s not as appealing as some of the extra-curricular activities like football or playing video games.

Luke Lutchman, Lower VI, Holy Cross College: They might focus on work or relationships and they might think they don’t need God in their lives to make it better. They always think, put church as the last thing, they have something else to do ‘you know what I can put this off for the weekend and do something else’, when it should really have God in everything you do..