|Interview With Doug Barry of RADIX
By Carrie Gress
LINCOLN, Nebraska, 11 JULY 2008 (ZENIT)
Prayer, study and rugged
physical exercise are the keys a man needs to fight for all that is just
and good in today's world, says the director of an apostolate aimed to
strengthen the family.
Doug Barry is the founder and director of RADIX, an apostolate he
founded to help strengthen the family, especially the roles of fathers
and sons, by learning and living the Catholic faith.
In this interview with ZENIT, Barry discusses RADIX and his efforts to
teach young men how to be real men.
Q: You are the founder of RADIX, a Catholic apostolate. What does the
name mean and what is the focus of your ministry?
Barry: RADIX is a Latin word that means root. It is where the word
radical comes from. I chose this word because at that time I was working
with a youth group at my parish and I was seeing a lot of young people
who did not know the basics of the Catholic faith. When we would discuss
things such as the sacraments, the Ten Commandments, the works of mercy,
the Beatitudes, etc. they knew very little about them. They had not been
formed to know even the basic virtues or the gifts of the Holy Spirit,
let alone to live by these virtues or gifts.
I was struck early on by the verse Matthew 19:16,17. Our Lord tells the
rich man that if he wishes to enter into everlasting life then he needs
to follow the commandments. Also in John 14:15 Jesus says that if we
love him we will keep his commandments. We cannot follow or keep what we
do not know. It seems clear that knowing, embracing and loving these
basics of the faith is essential to our salvation. It is going to the
"root" of our salvation.
Q: Part of your ministry has been the live one-man performance of
Christ's passion, which you started doing long before the movie "The
Passion of the Christ" was released. What was your inspiration for this
and how has it been received over the years?
Barry: Nearly 17 years ago I came upon an article from a medical
magazine that detailed the medical and historical aspects of a Roman
crucifixion. I was amazed! I had never heard of the spectrum of abuse
that went into a crucifixion. I was intent on studying more. I looked
into the accounts of saints as well as other historical, scriptural and
medical writings that I could find on it. I have always been careful to
accept only what is approved by the Catholic Church especially regarding
private revelation. There is much out there that can mislead.
I began to tell the story of the Passion of our Lord in youth group
settings, schools, retreats, conferences, etc. Eventually music was
added to the storytelling and we found that the combination created
powerful drama and clearly brought people closer to the story and the
relevance of this story in their lives.
Over the years we have performed this live all over the United States as
well as in five or six other countries. Through the live performance and
the DVD, this story of God's love for man has reached into many homes
and by God's grace into many lives. I cannot tell you how humbling it is
to tell this story and to see the powerful impact, healing and
conversion it has brought to so many lives. Thanks be to God!
Q: Explain the new endeavor RADIX is embarking on for fathers and sons.
Why do you think this is necessary in our day and age?
Barry: For the last four years I have been developing RADIX Camp for
fathers and sons. This is an opportunity for teenage boys and their
fathers to get away from the world's ideas of masculinity and the lies
that go along with it and realize what God has always intended a man to
be. RADIX Camp is about taking good young men and challenging them to
We focus on the three areas of a man: body, mind and soul. A man needs
to be seeking to honor God in all three areas of his life if he is going
to call himself a real man, a complete man. The deception that has
permeated the hearts of so many men and been embraced by many in society
has led to great destruction and chaos in countless lives. Men need to
wake up and realize that if we don't get busy and get in the fight for
truth, beauty and order, then those lives that God has given us
influence over and responsibility for will suffer needlessly on many
levels. This is happening all around us in today's world.
The formation of a heroic man begins from the very youngest years and
there are many things that effect that formation. RADIX Camp is a
powerful experience that makes a tremendous impact in the lives of men
of all ages.
We are just about to begin construction on a new facility in the
middle of an outstanding 100-acre piece of land. Some of the funds have
already been raised to accomplish our goal though we have a ways to go
to complete the project. The contributions thus far are nothing short of
miraculous. Many prayers and much financial support are needed to
continue the march forward. We all know that there is a great need for
men to be inspired as to the seriousness of their role in this world. I
believe that God will touch the hearts and minds of those and bring to
this effort the talents.
Q: How do you anticipate RADIX camp benefiting families, society and the
Barry: The benefits of an endeavor such as this will be seen and felt
for generations to come. RADIX Camp is the work of shaping men from the
inside out. It is uniting the body, mind and soul of a man, where by
prayer, study and rugged physical challenge these three aspects of a man
are forged into a sword to be held in the hand of God to do battle in
this world and fight for all that is good and just.
Throughout the world we see marriage, family, government, business and
other areas of society suffer on many different fronts. Much of that
suffering is rooted in poor or nonexistent leadership from the
husband/father, politician, religious leader, businessman, etc. From the
business world to the factory to the political arena and everywhere in
between, when a man neglects his duty or ignores his responsibility and
gives into the passions of the world and the flesh he becomes a
detriment to himself and to all those around him. He becomes a source of
The God-given design of a man has for centuries been that of a warrior,
defender, protector, provider, in a word, HERO! We see this perfectly
shown in Christ. By His strength, noble character, service and complaint
free sacrifice we have the perfect role model. The impact of a
heroically formed man has repercussions that can be felt for countless
Q: There always seems to be plenty of discussion about the new feminism
in Church discussions these days. Do you think there needs to be a new "masculinism"
to responds to this?
Barry: Disorder is always dangerous. It leads to destruction on some
level. Anytime a man or woman lives contrary to God's design there will
be problems. Many men seem to have simply folded when it comes to being
a real man in the Church. And when I say "real man" I am referring to
the role that God has given to men.
The understanding of that role is very evident in the example set forth
by the man that God chose as the chief protector and defender of both
the Redeemer and the mother of the Redeemer, St. Joseph. God has given
men and women their roles, their strengths and their weaknesses.
The magnificent thing about the mystery of these roles is that when we
live them out according to God's design they complement each other in a
powerful way and the world as a whole benefits greatly from this. Those
people who try to distort the truth of this mystery or cower in fear and
do not defend this God-given design only add to and perpetuate much of
the confusion and chaos that we see in the areas of marriage, family,
the Church and elsewhere.
By the grace of God, men absolutely need to unshackle themselves from
the chains of complacency and apathy, and break free of the bonds of
selfishness and worldly gratification. There is an ongoing battle raging
all around us. It is a battle for souls. God has given us his marching
orders. We are called to be faithful to those orders. Every man,
regardless of his vocation must first realize this if he is going to
understand how seriously he must take his role in this world.
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