More than 700 men from Australia, New Zealand, Uganda and Kenya will participate in the inaugural Catholic Men’s Gathering, being delivered this weekend using video technology. Source: ACBC Media Blog.
The gathering had originally been scheduled for last month, but was postponed by 12 months due to COVID-19. The success of other events that had shifted online prompted the decision to deliver the men’s gathering using digital means this month, with a live event still scheduled for 2021.
Hobart Archbishop Julian Porteous, a member of the event’s planning committee, said there was a sense of entering the unknown, including in terms of people’s interest in an online-only event.
“We know that events of this kind typically draw maybe 200-300 people, so while this outcome wasn’t what we had planned, it will end up seeing the content reach a much wider audience this weekend and in the coming weeks and months,” Archbishop Porteous said.
“The decision to combine the online video content with the possibility of in-person ‘hubs’ where COVID-19 restrictions allow it has, I think, been a critical aspect of the strong interest.”
There are more than 40 hub sites across the country, where men will gather in groups while adhering to local social distancing and public gathering guidelines.
Robert Falzon, another member of the organising committee and a long-time leader of Catholic men’s ministry, said just as priests, women, young people, religious, pastoral workers and countless other Catholic groups come together with a shared purpose, the men’s gathering meets a need.
“The data shows us that Catholic men, particularly men in their 20s and 30s, are typically not deeply engaged in the life and mission of the Church,” he said.
Details: National Catholic Men’s Gathering.
Hundreds set for inaugural Catholic Men’s Gathering (ACBC Media Blog)