This Advent, Help Build a Community of Skilled, Holy Men

As we approach a new liturgical year, and near the end of another calendar year, I am reminded that as Christians, we are always “in-between” two spaces: between birth and death; between heaven and hell; between the temptations of the world and the promises of eternal life with Christ.

In addition to all this, the men of Harmel Academy also continually find themselves “in-between”:

  • between their upbringing at home and independent lives as grown men;
  • between open-ended possibilities for their lives and discerning the particular path God has for them;
  • between being young men needing mentorship and being mature men able to offer it.


But the Gospel tells a story of integration as well.

Jesus Christ makes his death the path of our new birth. His death and descent into hell opens the way for our entrance into heaven. And even our failings in temptation become the occasion for his forgiveness, grace, and strength through the sacrament of reconciliation.

Likewise, the men at Harmel Academy are able to find an integrated life:

  • where they can integrate the practiced skill of their hands with the deep insight of their intellects;
  • where they can integrate attention to Christ in prayer with attention to the work at hand;
  • where they can integrate their own discernment about their vocation with service and encouragement to others in their discernment

The men at Harmel consistently tell us how appreciative they are to have a community where they can navigate this time in their lives alongside other men who love Jesus, who love working with their hands, who are all pointed at excellence.

But such a community is not possible without a much wider community of friends, friends who are essential members of that community, in their prayer, good will, and support.

To learn more about the work this generosity supports, I hope you’ll consider reading (and sharing with friends) our year-end letter (click here) that details why this work is so important and so urgent.

This calendar year is coming to a close. But the community of Harmel Academy is still in its own opening chapters. And I hope we can count on your continued support to help us build this community where young men can not only learn a skilled trade, but become excellent men who love Jesus Christ.

I hope you will consider a generous year-end donation to Harmel Academy of the Trades today.

We can’t do this without you.

In Christ, With Gratitude,


David Michael Phelps

President, Harmel Academy of the Trades

P.S. To make your gift electronically, you can click here. If you prefer to support us by check, please send a check made payable to Harmel Academy of the Trades to P.O. Box 150264, Grand Rapids, MI 49515. 

P.P.S. If you’re interested, you might also consider joining our monthly giving program, Friends of Harmel. A monthly commitment is especially helpful to us as we plan and execute our work to form the next generation of Catholic tradesmen. Click here for more details

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