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Beer, brats and manhood

Over barbecued brats and cold beer, a newly formed group of men will gather to talk about real manhood St. Joseph-style.

The Denver Catholic Biblical School is hosting its first “Men of St. Joseph Night” in June when men of all vocations will gather for fraternity and discuss the earthly father of Jesus.

“Joseph in a particular way was chosen by God,” said Ben Akers, director of the Biblical School. “It was something that always struck me. God the father, from all eternity, chose Joseph to teach his son in his human nature what it’s like to be a son with the father.”

St. Joseph was chosen to teach Jesus what it meant to be a man. Joseph taught him to pray, serve, learn, work, express emotion and love. He also taught him how to respect women and how to honor his father and mother, Akers said.

“Joseph is nailing it every time he does it,” he said.

St. Joseph, who is also the patron saint of the Church, will be explored as a model of Catholic manhood in a modern world often at war with men.

Derek Barr, an instructor at the school, formulated the idea for the night as a time for men to gather for faith-based fraternity. The night will also be a fundraiser for the school.

“We’re going to have a night of fellowship and talk about St. Joseph and his model as the husband, father and the worker,” Barr said.

Akers, Barr and fellow instructor Daniel Campbell will give 20-minute talks on aspects of St. Joseph including his virtues, example as a provider and ideal to husbands and fathers.

There are no recorded words of St. Joseph in Scripture, Akers said. “But we know he was a just man, a man of action.”

Recorded events show he responded to God’s plan for his life quickly and promptly.

When God told Jesus to flee to Egypt in a dream, Joseph “rose and took the child and mother by night, and departed to Egypt” (Matt 2:14). He took similar action when he was told to go back to Israel with Mary and the baby Jesus.

This action of Joseph is what St. John Paul II calls “Joseph’s way.”

The late pope wrote that men can find insight into their nature and vocation through Joseph’s action and silence in Scripture, Akers said.

It’s as important for men to know their importance, especially in their role as fathers, both physical and spiritual, he said.

Fathers are models to their children and often affect their perception and relationship with God, Akers said.

“Often times (children’s) perception of God is linked to the way that their father behaved,” he said. “I’m teaching my daughter what God is like through the way I treat her.”

He added that any fatherhood men participate in first comes from God’s fatherhood.

“Whatever we do as a father, we’re participating in God’s fatherhood,” he explained. “That’s something we can never forget.”

Akers said he hopes the men will come and share in their brotherhood.

“It’s important for us to come together as men, men who share the same faith, and love God.”

Men of St. Joseph Night

A night of burgers, beer, Bibles and talks on St. Joseph, model of Catholic manhood, for men.
When: 5 p.m. June 28
Cost: $50 per person
Details: Call the Biblical School for more details at 303-715-3195

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