Field Notes

Who’s going to get the Donuts?

Sep 5
Who’s going to get the Donuts?
Posted September 5, 2014


A few years ago, I met with a man once a year, who slogged through the most ascetic expedition in Wilderness Outreach history. We talked about Catholic men things and what was happening with men in the wilderness. A couple of years ago I offended him. You see I made an offhanded comment about Catholic men’s small groups. I said “If the most dangerous thing happening in your group is that someone might get hurt if a donut fight breaks out, you’re trouble.” We haven’t spoken since.

 Three months ago I sent out a one question survey to all the men I know who are in a Catholic men’s group. “What is the greatest challenge your men’s group is facing?”

I told one of the Wilderness Outreach chaplains about the survey and he whimsically replied to the question: “Who’s going to get the donuts?” His name is withheld for fear that he may be drug out to the edge of town and subjected to “Death by Donuts!”

My wife upon hearing about the survey also whimsically responded: “Who’s going to get the donuts?”. Frankly I fear for any man or group of men who would attempt to drag my wife out to the outskirts of town and subject her to “Death by Donuts!”

How did the survey come out? 90% of the respondents replied “Getting men to show up for the meeting.” 10% stated “Finding enough material to talk about in our small group.”

While that is sinking in let us ponder the following:

Did you know that genetic scientists have actually discovered that all of humanity on the earth today has one common father and one common mother? Yes; Adam and Eve. It’s true, just look it up. That means that all men today are brothers with the first men who climbed out of the Olduvai Gorge and headed for the steppes and wilderness of Asia, and of the remarkable Polynesian mariners who navigated the wide open Pacific, without the help of Polaris, and picked the Hawaiian Islands out of limitless, blue ocean. It means that all of us are the first cousins of the men who built the great pyramids of Egypt and Central America.

In October of 732 Charles Martel, not unlike Judas Maccabeus, organized and led an outmanned and outgunned army of Christian men against a tsunami of Islamic warriors in the Battle of Tours. This great leader and these men had had enough, and due to their heroic actions and self-sacrifice stopped the invasion of the Moorish hordes that saved Western Europe. Years later the descendants of these men, laymen, priests and monks, discovered the scientific method, built the great cathedrals, university system and hospitals that became the foundation of western civilization.  

In our present age we once again face oppression and possible annihilation, not only from an evil exterior and irrational Islamic force, but from an evil within; the dictatorship of relativism and the culture of death. These forces are placing a pincer attack on the all that we hold dear, on all that we cherish.

A lot of words are written and spoken these days about the “New Evangelization” and “Building Authentic Catholic Culture”. I deeply believe in both of these movements but what do they mean and how will they be done?

One thing is for certain: history, wisdom and social sciences show that authentic Christian manhood and fatherhood are the keys and without them the continuation of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is in doubt.

We men are male creatures created by a Triune God placed in a universe filled with adventure, mystery, beauty, good and evil. The Triune God has bequeathed men with the skills and desires for Discovery, Creation and Battle so that we can lay our lives down as priest, prophet and king for the One, True, Good and Beautiful.

Our mission and duty as men should be focused and singular. In all that we think, say and do we should be using our masculine skills and desires to build and mentor Authentic Catholic Manhood so that we can build Authentic Catholic Culture. This means discovering, building and battling for the structures that will educate and mentor our young boys into manhood and get busy building the cathedrals of the new evangelization.

Every men’s small group, every KofC meeting, every time men who consider themselves to be Catholic come together, they should focus on this mission and duty and pray for God’s guidance to achieve its success.  This should be their Greatest Challenge!

This is big work, dangerous work, work that is not for the faint of heart. Who will be the 299 men who will stand with me in the pass between the forces of evil and the One, True, Good and Beautiful?

Give me a donut! I’ll have a Bismarck; one the size of a battleship.

John Bradford