We caught up with Francis and his son Leonard, who signed up to be Catholic Watchmen
What made you join the Catholic Watchmen? Did you influence each other to attend?
Francis: After listening to the sermon preached by Fr Terence as well as watching the video clip, it dawned on me that I should step forward and be a part of this brotherhood of men to help build a community of faith-filled men. While the mother vis-a-vis wife play a strong and emotional supporting role in the family, it is the father/husband who must lead the family and be a good influence on the children. Generally, children look up to their fathers, and children with responsible a father-figure tend to grow-up with more confidence. As my son, Leonard is already an adult but not yet attached, I encouraged him to tag along and learn from the other watchmen so he, too can learn from others and perhaps be a better dad in the future.
Leonard: Like my dad, I was taken in upon listening to what Fr Terence preached in his sermon about the Catholic Watchmen. The slide that he projected was quite alarming as it showed that families without a father-figure suffered the consequences of dysfunctional kids. My sister and I were blessed to have a wonderful mother and father to guide us but it was my dad who played an active role in growing up years influencing me in some the major decisions in my life. My dad who was seated next to me nudged and asked me to tag along for the info night. Though I did not give him an immediate response then (due to uncertain work hour), nonetheless, he registered me.
What were your thoughts when you met the rest of the “watchmen” during the first meet up?
Francis: I belong to the senior citizens group, i.e. aged 60 and above. When we first met I can sense that everyone was cautious as most of us did not know what the Catholic Watchmen is all about. As for me, I can sense that though all the brothers in my age group have gone through our own life experiences, each of us has a different level of spirituality. I was opened to others’ sharing of their life journeys much as they were opened and encouraging to each other as well.
Leonard: I was grouped with the youngest age group from 21 – 29 years old. There were only three of us. Initially, when I entered the parish hall I was surprised by the large turnout of men who are mostly older than us. I thought these older men were gonna bored us with their lifetime stories. During the sharing in my group, we all agreed that our fathers played an important role in our respective life. We concurred with sorry state of our peers or even younger youths whom we know or read about, who sadly, do not have a father-figure in their households. At the end of the info night, we got to hear the sharing of each age group. I must say I left the info night with a change perception of the Catholic Watchmen and what it has in store for us. I understand that we have some interesting sessions line up in the months ahead.
Do you have any words of encouragement for other catholic men to join as well?
Francis: I would strongly encourage all Catholic men to join us and be a member of this brotherhood. While majority of men may be the sole bread winners, we must set time aside to nourish our soul, our spirit with His grace so that we can be a good role model, a father figure in the home to our children or a brother-in-Christ to the younger generation vis-a-vis the millenial generation. For us Catholic men to be able to function well in that role, we need to come forward and be a part of this community so that we can learn from each other and build up the camaraderie among the brotherhood in the parish. We are the first parish to have such a community, so let us come together and be living and shining witnesses of God’s love for his people, and how this love can transcend the different generations.
Leonard: In the current CW community, the 21-29 age group is grossly under-represented. After having attended two CW sessions (including info night), I am now more open in wanting to know and learn more from this band of brothers. I would like to take this opportunity to invite all Catholic young adults to come forward to join in this brotherhood of Catholic men. As the term watchmen means it is for us a Catholic young men to learn from our older brothers the good characteristics and help us to be exemplary future husbands cum father-figures in our own families vis-a-vis the community.