Catholic men encouraged to arm themselves with God

By Burnie Cook

The Central Texas Fellowship of Catholic Men (CTFCM) recently held a motivational and action-inspiring event that encouraged Catholic men to stand up and fight against the evil present in the world. The annual Catholic men’s conference was held Feb. 21 at St. William Parish in Round Rock. 
Men from all over the Diocese of Austin gathered to hear Charlie Aeschliman, who spoke on being a “Catholic Comando,” and Jesse Romero, who discussed evangelization. 
Steve Jaramillo, a parishioner of Holy Family Parish in Copperas Cove and married for 35 years, saw Romero as a great role model and passionate speaker. Jaramillo, who attends the CTFCM men’s group “That Man Is You” at his parish, plans to pass along what he learned to his 20-year old and 34-year old daughter (a Catholic school teacher) and others. 
“Men should defend the faith!” Jaramillo said.
This was the second men’s conference Richard Lo of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Austin had attended. He also saw the speakers as very engaging and said “their enthusiasm is contagious.” 
“Their passion reignited me to dig deeper in my faith. Our faith isn’t stagnant; it should be active and vibrant,” he said.
Edward Mullen, a parishioner of Holy Cross Parish in Austin, was especially touched by Romero’s account of confronting evil. We have to consciously put on the “jersey for team Jesus” every day and prayer gives us power over Satan was the message Mullen came away with. 
Joseph Cannon, also a parishioner of Holy Family in Copperas Cove, agreed with the other participants.
“As Catholic men, we can’t sit on the fence. We’ve got to pick a team, team Jesus or other team, and we’ve got to defend our faith,” he said. 
Brendan Bierman, another parishioner of St. Vincent de Paul in Austin, was impressed by Charlie Aeschliman’s “Catholic Commando” words when “he [Aeschliman] compared his Navy SEALS training to his training to become a better Catholic. Both are not easy, but with perseverance and help from like-minded individuals, anyone can become a saint.” Bierman also saw Jesse Romero as a role model regarding the “importance in standing up for one’s faith in all situations no matter what the cost, and in the power of praying the rosary daily.” 
Romero said men are called to honor the Blessed Mother daily and to ask for her intercession on matters.
Robert Prybyla attended the conference with his son, both are parishioners of St. William in Round Rock. He saw this event as something that “helped bolster faith and learn from some ‘on fire.’” Prybyla also saw it as an opportunity that one “can take comfort in others around you.” 
Robert Prybyla Jr. (who is 26) agreed and liked that the speakers highlighted that Catholic men should have and understand the “power of prayer, [praying with] conviction, and have a devotion to Mary.”
Russ Christopher, parishioner of Sacred Heart Parish in Elgin, admired the “prayer, power and passion” of the speakers. 
“I was inspired to be more selfless, not to give into fear and temptation, to [be more of a] servant leader and role model,” he said. 
Throughout the day, the men were encouraged that their strength lies in God, as it says in chapter 6 of the book of Ephesians. “In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all [the] flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph 6: 16-17). 
For more information regarding the Central Texas Fellowship of Catholic Men, visit