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Catholic Men, Servant Leaders
Diocese of Lexington begins new group to support men’s ministries


Lexington, KY – Duncan Taylor and Joe Cieply, Regnum Christi members in Lexington, KY, bear a great debt of gratitude to Bishop Ronald W. Gainer of the Diocese of Lexington, KY.  With the bishop’s support, Duncan, Joe and their “co-workers in the vineyard” are now part of a new men’s ministry in their diocese.

Called “Catholic Men, Servant Leaders,” CMSL is a ministry serving ministries. The group seeks to promote men’s ministries within the Diocese of Lexington by developing new programs and by working with several existing ministries to combine efforts and resources and better serve the men in the diocese.

The CMSL mission statement is “to develop and sustain virtue, building programs for all men of the diocese, in accordance with the bishop’s direction and to integrate and coordinate among existing programs, so as to ensure the fullness of grace is available to all men.”

“Our vision is to help men strive for holiness through virtue,” said Joe. “The scriptural foundation for our group is from 2 Timothy 1:9: ‘He saved us and called us to a holy life.’”

Bishop Gainer is the chaplain for CMSL, and
Bishop Gainer
Bishop Ronald W. Gainer
the group is now included in the diocesan organizational structure under the Secretary for Pastoral Life.  To formally introduce CMSL to the diocese, Bishop Gainer hosted a dinner for over 200 men on Jan. 29, 2013, at the Cathedral of Christ the King.  During the event the Bishop said “men are called to evangelize and bring Christ into their homes and work life.”

How did the idea for the new group come about?  Joe said the seed was planted years earlier when Joe’s local Regnum Christi team was studying the Familia program based on Blessed Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Laborem Excercens or “Men and Work.”

“One of our men suggested that we organize a program whereby someone could give a presentation on these principles to business executives and university students,” said Joe. “As we began to research this idea, we understood that to have a lasting impact, we would need to offer regular formation talks.” Also, it was clear that a personal approach to include coaching and mentoring would be important to help men live their lives in a balanced and integrated way.

Joe said the group was also inspired by a businessman named Peter Freissle, who is an RC member in Spartanburg, SC, and a businessman who has worked hard to make sure Christian virtues are part of his workplace.  Last January, Duncan Taylor, Joe Cieply, and Jose DeCamargo visited Peter’s company, Polydeck, for a “Winter Summit” hosted by Peter and the group “His Way at Work.”

The RC team also read and studied a book by Andreas Widmer, a former member of the Swiss Guard who applies the management principles he witnessed from his time working under Blessed John Paul II.  The team members got to meet Andreas, and with his influence, they developed a program called BLESS (Balanced Life Executive Series) designed to coach/mentor businessmen in living a more balanced and integrated life.

(Peter Freissle also was the featured presenter during the previously mentioned CSML dinner hosted by Bishop Gainer in January.)

At the same time a few of the men from Joe’s group, Deacon Scott Hunt and Frank Corea, who had been attending the RC “Encounters with Christ” and participated in the Familia study, began working with Father Nick Pagano, pastor of Pax Christi in Lexington, to plan breakfast formation talks for men. They wanted to plan an annual conference for all the men in the Lexington Diocese.  Providentially, members from Joe’s group had also been meeting with Bishop Gainer regarding developing men’s ministries in the diocese.

“The fruit of all this work behind the scenes has lead to the CSML, a diocesan team of men from six different parishes serving the Bishop with this apostolate under his direction,” said Joe. “They look forward to coordinating, communicating, and integrating men’s ministries with all our parishes and the outstanding organizations that already exist, helping to establish new activities as appropriate.”

The CMSL has already organized a Breakfast Talk series designed to combine food, relationship-building, faith sharing and the sacraments. The first breakfast took place on September 22, 2012, at Pax Christi parish, featuring a talk by Father Norman Fischer.  The group also watched the movie Courageous, and had the availability for confession.  Seventy-three men attended from thirteen parishes.

The second event was held at Sts. Francis and John parish in Georgetown on Nov. 10, 2012.  The speaker was the founder of the New Way Bible Study program, Lavinia Spirito. Forty-two men from 8 parishes attended her talk titled “Real Men of the Scripture.” Joe said a “model” of this particular breakfast series will be designed to share with all the diocesan parishes so they can host and or sponsor the Breakfast Talk series throughout the diocese.

“This is the type of thing that CMSL will be doing, with much more to come” said Joe.



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