On the long weekend of Sept. 8-11, men of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh will go wild.
It’s only a foray into rustic cabins and outdoor activities at Raccoon Creek State Park, but it’s part of a wider evangelical and Catholic movement to reclaim a masculine spirituality. The seminal book in the “wild man” movement is Wild At Heart, by John Eldredge, who argues that men are designed for risk and adventure. But the church, he argues, has focused on taming them rather than utilizing their God-given nature to take on bold challenges for Christ.
Bishop David Zubik and the Rev. Joe Freedy, the diocesan vocations director, will join men and boys on the retreat, which is run by a Philadelphia group, The King’s Men. They will be encouraged to experience God in nature, while workig together on activities such as fishing, survival skills, while game prepatation and cooking. Participants will also learn archery, shoot on a rifle range and engage in physical challenges and competitions. Fathers are encouraged to bring their sons ages 11 and up. There will be opportunitis for prayer, Confession and Mass.
The Bible verse on the poster says of Jesus, “He withdrew himself into the wilderness to pray.” Luke 5:16
“Outdoorsmen are welcome, but no skills are necessary,” the organizers say.