"The retreat gave me a wonderful opportunity to connect with other blokes, all good men, to address some needs that perhaps I don't allow to surface too often. It was just good to share personally and to do so in the context of my Catholic faith." Josh
"For me, Menalive was not therapy or theology, pious preaching or evangelical enthusiasm, all of which would probably have turned me off. It was simply the power of brotherhood, ordinary blokes getting together in a spirit of solidarity, comradeship and care. We were sharing our common humanity as men, sharing our common responsibilities, interests and values: respect, honesty, concern and care. Barriers broke down when we came together and we became more alive." David
1.I’ve never heard of this before - what is MAX18NZ?
This is the first event of its kind to be run in New Zealand so you can be excused for not having heard of it before. MAX18NZ is a fully Catholic weekend event for men. It will provide the opportunity to step aside from the busyness of the world for a brief time so as to try and listen, learn and grow in what God is saying to us. It’s a chance to deepen our understanding of God’s call and challenge within our lives in the company of other like-minded men of faith. Men will be travelling to this event from all over New Zealand. We are even expecting some to travel over from Australia for this.
2. Does this event have the approval and blessing of the Catholic Church?
Yes. Bishop Pat Dunn of Auckland is fully supportive of this event as is the National Chaplain of Joshua Catholic Men’s Fellowship, Emeritus Bishop Denis Browne. Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane has been very supportive of this type of event in Australia over a number of years.
3.What is the meaning behind the name for this event, MAX18NZ?
The name has 3 parts to it. menALIVE over the last 10 years or so have run many parish based events for men across Australia, and in recent years, a small number of similar events here in New Zealand as well. Over the years, menALIVE Australia have also hosted an annual national Catholic men’s event in Queensland which the call menALIVE to the MAX. They differ from the parish based weekends as they are live-in weekends, running from Friday night through to Sunday lunchtime, and offer a more comprehensive program than what would be presented at a parish based weekend – so a maxed-out weekend event if you like. As we all know, our Aussie brothers love to shorten up words or phrases so these annual weekends have come to be known as MAX weekends, usually followed by the year of the event, e.g. MAX16, MAX17 and so on. To distinguish our New Zealand event from the MAX18 weekend to be held in July in Brisbane this year, our event has been called MAX18NZ.
4.What is the significance of the word “UNLESS” with regard to this event?
The word “UNLESS” appears a number of times in the scriptures. An example of one of these is a verse we know well, John 12:24 “UNLESS a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” UNLESS can be a challenging word and throughout the weekend, we will be encouraged to try and discover the “UNLESS” in our lives that God wants to bring to our attention. This short video clip helps to underscore this theme: www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFKJXZpHsUc
5.Who are the organisers behind this event?
MAX18NZ is a joint venture between Joshua Catholic Men’s Fellowship here in New Zealand and menALIVE who are based in Australia but have two New Zealand regional representatives, Jim Gribble and Mike Conroy.
6.What is Joshua Catholic Men’s Fellowship?
Joshua Catholic Men’s Fellowship has been around in New Zealand for more than 30 years since the time a small group of men felt that they were being called by God to form a group for men to come together for worship, prayer, teaching and fellowship. It operates with the approval and blessing of the NZ Catholic Bishop’s conference and currently has Emeritus Bishop Denis Browne as its National Chaplain. Since its inception in Auckland in 1986, Joshua has spread to a most regions in NZ in one form or another. Some branches hold regular monthly meetings that are open for anyone to attend. Other smaller groups tend to meet less formally as home based prayer groups. Over the years, Joshua Catholic Men’s Fellowship has organised and run many live-in weekend retreats for Catholic men. It is with great excitement that they have collaborated with menALIVE Australia to present this weekend. For further information about Joshua you can go to www.joshua.org.nz
7.What is menALIVE?
menALIVE is a national Catholic ministry to men in Australia. It was founded in Brisbane in 2003 to reach out and bring Catholic men together, to renew their faith in God and to encourage them to become an active force in the life of the church. The flagship event that menALIVE fosters is the menALIVE parish based weekends where men of all ages and walks of life find the opportunity to share their faith and review what matters most in their lives, whilst enjoying the company of other Catholic men. Over the last 12 years, teams of lay men have run more than 350 events for over 20,000 men mostly in Australia as well as several parish based weekends here in New Zealand. As well as parish based weekends, the ministry has grown to also present programs such as Growing Good Men father and son events, Catholic Man Breakfast Series, Renaissance of Marriage seminars and several more. For further information about menALIVE you can go to www.menalive.org.au
8.What are the accommodation facilities like at Kings College?
Kings College is a well-known boarding school in Auckland. Situated on a large sprawling campus, it boasts well-maintained single room accommodation houses, a great cafeteria and other excellent facilities for hosting weekend events such and MAX18NZ.
9.How much is this going to cost?
The organising team is working hard to keep the cost of the weekend affordable. The final pricing has not yet been determined but it is expected to be around $300.00.
10.What can I expect at MAX18NZ
The program will commence on the Friday evening and runs through to Sunday around midday when it will conclude with Mass and lunch. There is a great line up of speakers who will cover key topics around growing and revitalising our faith as men in the church today, plenty of opportunity for discussion in small groups, workshop options, some free time and a whole lot of new friendships to make. And of course one of the most important components of any great men’s weekend event, food…man food will be served in abundance.
11.Will there be Mass and the Sacrament of Reconciliation available there?
Yes, of course. A Catholic men’s event would not be complete without both. Mass will be celebrated on both the Saturday and the Sunday.