CULLMAN, Ala. – On Saturday, members of Fraternus, a Catholic organization that encourages men to pass along Christian virtues to the next generation of boys- their own and especially those without fathers in their lives- made a pilgrimage through Cullman County. Starting at St. Bernard Abbey in Cullman, around 75 adults and youth from Fraternus chapters at the Cathedral of St. Paul in Birmingham and Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Huntsville made their way on foot from town roughly 13 miles to the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament near Hanceville.
According to the Fraternus website, outdoor activities like Saturday’s walk are regular activities for members, saying, “From St. John Bosco to BI. Pierre Giorgio Frassati to St. John Paul II, saints with a particular skill at reaching the hearts of young men know that when you bring boys out into creation they become more open to the Creator. This experience of the outdoors is needed in a world saturated with media and materialism, especially in the teen years. Fraternus Excursions are designed with a common theme and goal, namely, learning about our true identity as men. Sometimes only when we disconnect from daily life and go into the wild can we realize this true identity.”
According to a source at the Shrine, while this year’s event included only participants from the two central and north Alabama chapters, the event’s organizers have already been contacted by chapters from multiple states with commitments to join with the local groups next year.
The organization says of itself: “Fraternus provides the materials and experiences to help ‘remake your minds’ in Christ in the spirit of fraternity and virtue with a special emphasis on the roles of fathers in the home and community. The goal is simple: regain self-mastery through discipline and prayer, unite as brothers for accountability and encouragement, order our household towards God and virtue, and unite in our community for the apostolate (bringing others closer to God).”
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