Organizer says only 8 of 76 parishes have spiritual support groups for men
By Agnieszka Krawczynski
Photo: Men gather for prayer and to hear testimonies Feb. 18. (Credit: Photo submitted)
The founder of a local men’s group is hoping small prayer groups will soon become a much bigger phenomenon.
Ed Wingenbach started Master’s Touch in his living room seven years ago. It outgrew his home and now 64 men are on his mailing list with about 15 to 20 men showing up for regular meetings at St. Joseph’s Parish in Langley.
“It’s very important that men get together,” he told The B.C. Catholic.
“I like the truthfulness that comes out, the openness, the confidentiality, the ability to speak out and, to put it another way, every man has a question about their faith and they don’t know where to get the answers.”
Master’s Touch doesn’t have all the answers, “but we do have the questions. Through that, we can talk about anything spiritual, anything about our lives,” Wingenbach said.
He finds his parish’s prayer meetings very helpful, so he was surprised to learn only eight of the 76 parishes in the archdiocese have men’s groups dedicated to spirituality.
So, he decided to invite them all to an afternoon of prayer, worship, and testimony Feb. 18. More than 40 men showed up at St. Joseph’s for the first-ever event of its kind in the archdiocese.
Speakers included Msgr. Gregory Smith, Deacon Dan Ritchie, and testimonies by three men who are involved in local prayer groups.
Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, penned a letter to show his support. “The Church and the world need men of faith – disciples who can make a difference in their families and in society,” he wrote.
“I hope that your gathering will be an occasion to develop friendships and to challenge one another to be men after God’s own heart.”
He added he hoped the event would inspire more parishes to “organize groups devoted to strengthening the spiritual lives of men.”
Wingenbach agrees. “One of the groups thought they were the only group that existed!”
He added plans for a bigger Catholic men’s event are in the works.
Anyone interested in joining Master's Touch or learning about other men's prayer groups can contact Wingenbach at 604-532-5559.