What is a Patriarch Men's Group?
- Patriarch is a self-run men's group that reflects on the models of fatherly leadership narrated throughout scripture. There are 3 components to Patriarch Men's Groups: Formed in Scripture, Forming their Children, Leading their Families.
- Patriarch Men's Groups are based on the premise that God is Patriarch and God’s purpose is to raise up Patriarchs. Beginning with the story of Creation in Genesis, Patriarch Men's Groups reflect on the models of fatherly leadership narrated throughout scripture. Patriarch is less a class of instruction, and more a forum for intelligent discussion and application of the lessons of the Word of God
- In addition to reflection and application of scripture, Patriarch Men's Groups often gather with their families to celebrate Catholic feast days, invite a local priest over for home Mass, and create formation experiences for their children.
- Patriarch aims to accustom men to: Biblical prayer; Biblical reading and discussion; Applying the Word; Personal, vocal prayer with another adult. One of the goals of Patriarch is that as Catholic men can get comfortable doing those exercises at Patriarch, they will begin to exercise biblical prayer, biblical reading, applying the word, and personal-vocal prayer at home with their wives and with their children. And that will change the next generation.
Who runs Patriarch Men's Groups?
Well... you do!!
- Patriarch Men's Groups are intentionally designed to be self-run. The intention is to bring together a group of men and help them, by their own ingenuity and creativity, develop into better formed, stronger praying, and more passionately loving fatherly leaders.
- For these reasons Patriarch Groups are often smaller than other men’s ministries you may have attended. In fact we have found that Patriarch is most effective with a smaller, committed, and accountable group. An average group size is 5-10 men. Because of this, when there is interest in Patriarch we suggest that you start a new group rather than looking to join an already established group.
Start a group?! Are you crazy?!
No, we're not crazy.
- We designed Patriarch so that ANYONE can start a group.... and IT'S COMPLETELY FREE!
- Patriarch Men's Groups involve practical application of scripture. That's it. If you can read scripture and practically apply it to your life as a husband/father, you can start a group.
- The men who have started Patriarch groups share one characteristic: they are Catholic men seeking to learn how to better lead their families as husbands and fathers.
- Most groups don't even have a "leader". Most groups have a coordinator of meeting times and locations, but they rotate who facilitates each week.
- Starting a group sounds intimidating to most men, but you will find that the most challenging part will simply be working up the courage to extend and invitation for other men to join you.
How often does a group usually meet?
- Meeting schedules are determined by group. The typical group meets either once per week, or every other week. Some groups meet as early as 6 am on weekdays or weekends. Groups that meet on weeknights typically begin around 7 or 8 pm in order to first help at home with dinner and getting children to bed.
- Because each chapter builds on the previous chapter, most groups prefer to complete an entire chapter before moving on to the next chapter, even if one chapter rolls over into the next meeting time.
So, this is free? What's the catch? My high school economics teacher told me there is no such thing as a free lunch.
- It's true! It is free!... although, your economics teacher was still right. Patriarch is a Colorado based non-profit that relies solely on donations. It was created by Fr. John Ignatius, of the Servants of Christ Jesus. If you feel that Patriarch is a valuable resource, please consider donating to Patriarch, however, our goal is simply for you to be blessed and encouraged in the leadership of your family. Donations support the continued development and promotion of Patriarch Men's Groups.
- The only thing we require is that you register your group if you choose to use Patriarch. We will not spam you (we won't even send you annoying emails asking for donations!!!)... we just want to be able to have an idea of how Patriarch material is being used.
Can single men participate in a Patriarch Men's Group?
- Patriarch content is primarily themed around Catholic manhood, husbandry and fatherhood. Several single men have been a part of a Patriarch Men’s Group (and some have even started a group).
- Typically, single men who have participated in a Patriarch Men's Group are at a point in their lives where they are preparing themselves to become the type of husband/father that they hope to become one day. Because Catholic fatherhood is the theme, it will likely bear the most fruit for single men who are maturely anticipating marriage and family, even if they aren’t currently dating or engaged.
- Because much of the content involves specific questions regarding the direct experience of husbands and fathers, a group with no or only a few husbands/fathers might receive greater benefit from a different ministry.
Will non-Catholics benefit from Patriarch Men's Groups?
- Any Christian men in the Word of God are a blessing, especially if they remain focused on issues of manhood, husbandry, and fatherhood. The Bible paired with discussion on Christian Fatherhood could be very effective in uniting Christian brothers across denominational lines.
- However, Patriarch was written to give Catholic men a greater "ownership" of the Bible. Catholic men, in general, have less facility with the Word of God in Sacred Scripture than Protestant men. A group facilitator must be mindful to ensure that Protestant interpretations of the Word of God do not end up stifling/silencing amateur Catholic participation and growth.
- Patriarch was written from an explicitly Catholic theological, moral, spiritual, and sacramental point of view (e.g. "Be Fruitful" excludes artificial contraception; many resolutions include "confession," "rosary," "adoration," "Mass," occasionally there are references to the Catechism). Care would need to taken for the language or presuppositions used in the content not to exclude Protestant sensibilities, neither should the discussion get "sidetracked" into Catholic moral or devotional apologetics. While apologetics is certainly a great blessing to the Body of Christ, it is not the end-goal of Patriarch Men's Groups.
- Catholics hosting Ecumenical Groups can often result in a lowest common denominator mentality, where recited Catholic prayers are avoided so as not to "exclude," the Sign of the Cross gets similar treatment, invocations of Saints is reduced, etc. Authentic ecumenism does not involve avoiding the practices of one's religious denomination. A group facilitator should be mindful that in order for Catholic men to be reinforced in the practices of their Catholic faith, Patriarch should not be a time where they are hospitably "retreating" those practices lest they exclude or offend.
Can I actually start a Patriarch Group?
- Yes!!! You can! Start here.