Men’s groups hears from Bishop Print this post

Taking action needed in modern world

By Bob Reddy, Florida Catholic (4/24/2012)

FORT MYERS – Easter Week provided an opportunity for Bishop Frank J. Dewane to share his insights on a variety of issues within the Catholic Church for a group of approximately 200 men gathered for the Faith & Ale Fort Myers meeting was at Resurrection Parish on April 12.

Bishop Dewane took a series of prepared questions which were compiled beforehand by Mike Lancellot, Board President of Faith & Ale Fort Myers. The pair sat on a stage in comfortable chairs, emphasizing the relaxed atmosphere as the Bishop spoke on a variety of topics, including his personal history while also sharing insight about how the Diocese works.

Many of the questions focused on the recent unjust attacks on the Catholic Church in theUnited States, specifically by the U.S. Health and Human Services health care mandate, which threatens religious freedom and liberty.

“It is dangerous when the government tells you and me what is religious and what is moral,” Bishop Dewane explained. “This country was founded on the basis of religious freedom and liberty and we must stand up for that right.”

While the HHS mandate is just the most recent example of unjust attacks on the Church, Bishop Dewane noted that it is not the only one.

“There is a moral obligation for the faithful to stand up and defendHoly MotherChurchand Her rights,” he said. “Know what the Church teaches! Without this knowledge, the faithful become divided on the moral and social issues of today.”

While the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops speaks out on many issues, the USCCB is a relatively small group. “However, millions of Catholic voters can stand together and speak out. That will make a difference!”

Bishop Dewane was asked how people can help defend the Church, be it in attacks at the federal, state or local government level, and even in the national and local media. He said the faithful need to be proactive in defending the faith by contacting government officials and writing letters to the editor. He went on to say that the cumulative effect matters.

Standing up for the faith begins on the parish level. Sharing your knowledge about issues and organizing a unified response with fellow parishioners is a good way to start, he added. This can also be done by encouraging and supporting priests to speak out regarding the attacks on religious freedom and liberty, life issues and justice issues.

Faith & AleFort Myersis a by product of the original Faith & Ale inNapleswhich began more than six years ago. The mission statement of Faith & Ale states the gathering: Strives to encourage, exhort and equip men to be spiritual leaders in their homes, workplaces and parishes.

All men are invited to attend the meetings which include refreshments, food and fellowship, on the third Thursday of each month at Resurrection of Our Lord Parish from 6 to 8 p.m. The meetings inNaplesare atSt. Johnthe Evangelist Parish on the third Wednesday of the month.

For more information about Faith & Ale in Fort Myersor Naples, please visit www.faithandale.com.

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