“Ask a Priest: Are There Good Catholic Programs for Boys?

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Q: As the father of young boys, I am trying to find Catholic programs and activities that would be beneficial to them. However, there are no Regnum Christi activities in my area, and my parish does not have any youth ministry. I don’t feel comfortable or called to lead, but I would be happy to get involved and support an activity in my area. Do you have any suggestions? -J.L.

Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC

A: As a member of an ecclesial movement such as Regnum Christi, you are part of a spiritual family within the Church, and so you are understandably keen to tap into the treasures offered by that family. The same would apply to someone who is a Third Order Dominican or a member of the Knights of Columbus. Going deeper into a particular spirituality is one way by which a person draws ever closer to God. That you desire to form your sons in the Catholic faith is admirable and a sure sign of your deepening relation with Christ.

At a practical level, you might try getting in touch with other dads who are searching for the same type of programs for their sons. From such a group a leader might emerge. Then, you and the others could organize, say, a father-and-son event that has some aspect of Catholic formation at its core. It could be linked to a local need — for instance, a fund-raiser for a pro-life agency.

If you want to take advantage of a Regnum Christi-affiliated program, you could start a Conquest Club in your area. It is not very difficult. You could find details at http://www.conquestclubs.com/clubs-and-programs. The main Conquest office can provide all the step-by-step materials you need. In turn you could present the ideas to other interested dads.

An alternative would be to bring your sons to an ECYD convention or summer camp. The possibilities are abundant. The important thing is to pursue ways to pass on the faith to your children.

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  1. The first thing to teach young boys is SERVICE to others brings blessing (to all including self)

    Consider the tried and true service of being altar boys (any age is acceptable I believe, right thru high school) Also being a lector (if high school age) and how about Sunday greeter or usher (passing the collection basket if that’s still done now that Covid has passed) GOOD WAY to come to understand persons leading to . . . a job in sales or customer service or office manager.

    How about teaching boys how to use their skills . . . in parish maintenance (it helps the church, and teaches the good feeling of serving while developing certain skills that may lead to a ‘job interest.’) assistant to the parish plant maintenance engineer who handles furnace, air conditioning upkeep, raking and mowing or edging the lawn . . . could lead to landscaper in later life. (or at least the discipline to learn a vocation as HVAC professional, electrician, auto mechanic, plumber) These days . . . how about a parish computer ‘club’ where boys make up the parish bulletin in desktop publishing, make fliers of events (in the old days,
    a person interested in ‘commercial art’ drew posters for events) GIVE OF ONE’S ABILITIES in visual communication and doors open later to jobs in graphic art (printing and graphic art design)

  2. Those who sincerely serve . . . GOD’S GRACE brings a ‘call’ to a life vocation (priest, if one sincerely wishes to serve as altar boy) OR sales associate, customer service, office management to those who greet parishioners with a smile and serve as ushers. Assisting the parish plant engineer in the ‘little things’ one may hear a call to a vocation as auto mechanic, HVAC tech, plumber, landscaper. And yes, a parish computer club for boys learning the workings of computer (beyond the actual school classroom) leads to computer programmer, repairer, graphic artist.

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