Posted October 27, 2009:

by Catherine Doherty.

Back in 1971, someone must have asked Catherine Doherty what she expected from the men of Madonna House. This is the answer she gave.

What I expect from a man is that he be a man. And that embraces, perhaps romantically, the whole concept of knighthood. Knighthood, in my estimation, is courtesy or, if you will, charity—the concern of a man for those who are weak, old, and young.

Like they said of knighthood, "he looks after the widows and orphans, the old people and the young in distress."

That’s my idea of a man. I see him as very strong and intensely gentle.

I see him with a deep relationship to Christ because they are both men. And I sort of expect to see in his eyes, the eyes of Christ. I mean this semantically, as it is meant in legend, in symbol. I expect to see the strength of Christ, the gentleness of Christ. And I expect protection from a man.

There is one thing that I pray for from you—that you be sensitive to other people’s reactions. This is part of the kindness and gentleness of a strong man to his brothers and to women. So is the ability to listen to them.

Adapted and excerpted from the transcript of a staff meeting in February 1971. Unpublished.


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Madonna House - A Training Centre for the Lay Apostolate