Just one of the guys

University president the Rev. Donald J. Harrington, C.M. held a discussion Sunday about Catholic faith and what it means to be a Catholic male. The discussion was sponsored by the St. John’s Catholic Men’s Group.

The Catholic Men’s Group, comprised of a dozen St. John’s students who share a similar interest and dedication to Catholicism, was created last spring by Fr. Mike Sheering and University alumnus and Campus Ministry employee Jimmy Walters. The group met for the first time Sunday inside the St. Thomas More Church.

Harrington said that the most important tenet of a Vincentian school was giving to the poor. To this end he cited the University’s patron, St. Vincent de Paul, who dedicated most of his life and money to those less fortunate.

Harrington also touched on the importance of the relationships of young men with their fathers. He said that paternal relationships are crucial in understanding a relationship with God.

He added, however, that one’s relationship with their father does not necessarily mean sharing the same ideas. “In fact,” Harrington said, “my father was not a profound Christian like me.”

He said when his father was about to die, three years ago, he offered him the Catholic sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, to which his father replied, “Alright, but make it quick.”

In opening the discussion, Harrington brought up the story of a marriage ceremony he took part in the previous day between an American girl and a Greek man. He pointed out that in such a relationship, trust is paramount.

“A person has to trust in order to love someone,” he said, stressing that the same concept applies to any kind of relationship. “We could measure our relationship with God by measuring our relationship with others.”

After Harrington’s speech, students expressed their own views on relationships. Some students voiced their concern about individuals who were atheists and did not share the same values and beliefs with one another, to which Harrington replied that the best way to act was to always follow Catholic moral principles in dealing with others.

Likewise, Sheering emphasized the value of group and community and said that the purpose of the group is “to have a community of young Catholic students to share common concerns, to share their questions and to share their faith as it grows into their life.”

According to Walters, the group plans to meet once a month after the Sunday student Mass.