She heard about the new Catholic Men of Waukesha organization and contacted the group through Cindy Bergland, director of adult and family ministry for St. William Parish.

Bergland has been serving as the organization’s contact person since it began meeting in June. The Waukesha parishes are seeking more ways to bring parishioners together, Bergland explained.

“The Catholic Men of Waukesha is an opportunity for men to get to know others from their neighboring parishes,” she said.

For more information about the Catholic Men of Waukesha contact Cindy Bergland
at St. William Parish,
(262) 547-2763, ext. 213.

Things accomplished on ‘bigger scale’

Bruce Peterson is one of the group’s members from St. William Parish.
“Catholic Men of Waukesha is a collaborative effort to involve men throughout the city,” he said. “It’s a way we can do things on a bigger scale.”

The group was happy to provide a needed service, noted member Brian Gunn of St. Mary, “and it was fun working with men from other parishes.”

Service projects are just one aspect of their activities.
“The three pillars for the group are spiritual, social and service,” said member Joe Finn of St. William, “but we don’t want to eliminate anything that a parish already has in place for men.”

“Catholic Men of Waukesha is about supporting the current men’s groups of the parishes, and working together more,” Gunn added.

Bergland said this in an important point with the group members.
“They don’t want to see a parish’s men’s program stopped or disbanded. They want to let all men from the Waukesha parishes feel welcome to participate in programs beyond one’s parish,” she said.

Titles not important

The men decided not to structure the group with positions that have titles because they felt the organization would be more inclusive without that framework.
“We avoided appointing a leader or having a chairman and a vice chairman because when groups do that, other people often stop coming,” Finn said. “The group is still forming, and we invite all Catholic men in Waukesha to become a part of this.”

About 40 to 50 men have attended at least one meeting to learn more about Catholic Men of Waukesha. “There is a core of about 15 to 20 who come to most of the meetings,” Bergland said.

Meetings are held once a month and the location rotates among the four parishes. The first half-hour is for socializing, with attendees grilling out or bringing food to share, followed by the one-hour meeting.

“We communicate by e-mail to arrange meetings and to distribute the meeting’s minutes,” Bergland said.

All Waukesha men are welcome

The current members hope men college-age and up will become involved in Catholic Men of Waukesha.

“We’re trying to explore what will be attractive to Catholic men throughout the city. We want to take sure, steady steps,” Gunn said.
“We understand that family time is important,” Peterson added. “We’re open to ideas of what we should do as a group.”

A variety of activities have been discussed. Planning an event for fathers and their children, helping at parish festivals, working with Habitat for Humanity and attending a retreat or a conference, such as Men of Christ, are some suggestions.
Finn said that parish events often are only publicized in that parish’s bulletin, so to better spread the word, the group plans to list men’s events held at the Waukesha parishes in all four church bulletins.

“We need to work together to support each other throughout the city,” Finn said. “Catholic Men of Waukesha is a way for the larger Catholic community to come together.”

The painting project is an example of completing a task more efficiently because a larger pool of volunteers was available from the four parishes.
“When the men started that Saturday morning in October, they found out it was a bigger project than they thought,” Rempe said.
“There were a lot of nooks and crannies in that hallway that took more time,” Peterson said. He continued to paint on weeknights, and the group came together again Nov. 6 to finish the job.
“Now we can see what a group of men can do when they get together to volunteer,” Peterson said. “We made a lot of progress.”