About three years ago, Donald Carpenter and his wife, Lynn, moved to Bartlesville and started attending St. John’s. Lynn is from our area, but the couple had been living in Los Angeles. Although we have several great and active men’s ministries at our parish, Donald was looking for something similar to the ministry he was running in California. So, he started gathering a group of men on the first and third Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. in conference room one. The ministry is still in its formation phase.
“When I was at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills, we recognized a gap in catechesis for men,” Donald says. “I believe there is stronger catechesis here, and I’d like to see what the needs are for men and where there are gaps.”
The group in which Donald was involved in Los Angeles would cover Catholic teachings, the Bible, apologetics, and Church history. Donald ran Catholic Men of the Good Shepherd for about 10 years. Here, he is looking to get a core group together and see how this ministry takes shape without stepping on the good work of the other men’s ministries.
“We want men to get involved in all of these other ministries, too,” he says. “This is a complement to those ministries.”
A convert to the faith, Donald became Catholic in 2009. He started attending Catholic services when, one day, he felt a prompting to turn into a Catholic Church parking lot on his drive home from work. He landed at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills.
“I’ll admit I have a bit of a missionary streak,” Donald says. “I believe it’s so important that men have an opportunity to be formed in the faith and have fellowship with other Christian men.”
Most of us realize that society holds threats to many things the Catholic Church teaches.
“There’s a threat to marriage, masculinity, and anything sacramental,” Donald says. “We want to counteract that. We want to provide fellowship so we can all do our best to be better guys.”
When running the ministry in California, Donald found many men did not know that the Eucharist was the true presence of Jesus — Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. This shocked him, and he vowed to do more.
Donald has one ultimate goal — to help men grow closer to Jesus.
“We want to help men develop themselves in the sacramental life and become saints, so they can better support their families, have better marriages, and be better men in general,” he says.
Forming strong, faithful men will ultimately make our Catholic Community a better place to be. Donald is enthused by the interest so far and looks forward to understanding what the men of the parishes need to grow in faith!
The new ministry will meet the first and third Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in conference room one.