MAN UP! is focused on delivering quality men’s ministry programs to engage guys and challenge them to be the men their families deserve and the men our Catholic Church needs. It is open to all men of our parishes, and Catholic men throughout the community, as guys are always encouraged to bring friends.  

We meet in Shamrock Hall at St. Patrick Catholic Church of Merna for just over an hour every Friday morning throughout the year beginning at 5:30am for coffee, donuts, and fellowship.  Our program wraps up around 6:45am, so guys can make it to 7:00am Mass, or get back home to help see the kids off to school, or get right to work with a positive message to carry them through the day and week ahead.  

Started in January 2019 with the support of our pastor Fr. Schultz, MAN UP! presented its first study on Korean War hero Fr. Emil Kapaun through the “Kapaun’s Men” series.  That was followed by a study the following summer using Bishop Olmsted’s apostolic exhortation for men called “Into the Breach”.  In fall 2019, MAN UP! began the first semester of “That Man Is You!” from the Paradisus Dei organization which continues to address the real issues men face in modern culture and seeks to help them become a man after God’s own heart.

Each of these multi-week series presentations provide a video segment, then pre-determined follow-up table discussion questions.  Men are adjourned with a challenge for the week to help them grow, and their table of 8-10 guys are encouraged to communicate between Fridays within the group for some accountability to each other on the challenges.  Between 60-75 guys participate on a regular basis, and new participants are always welcome to join us as there is no cost to participate.  

Feel free to contact either Phil Olinger (740.814.6018; or Kevin Cook (309.256.6653; to add your name to the MAN UP! distribution list, or show up on a Friday at 5:30am to join a faithful band of brothers. It’s early, but you just need to MAN UP! because it’s time for guys to interact faithfully.  Please come join us!

For more information please contact Phil Olinger at or Kevin Cook at