Men of St. Francis

Pat McNeilly (left) and Bill Weinig grilling at the men’s shelter.

The Men of St. Francis (MSF) is a fellowship organization open to all male members of St. Francis Church, Potomac Parish.  We meet periodically for fellowship dinners, participate in community service events, and support preparing and serving meals for the parish.

Summertime Fun for MSF

The Men of St. Francis have three fun-filled events coming up this summer. Note space limitations (10) on both the trap/skeet shooting and the baseball game.

MSF Men’s Shelter Cookout
When: Friday, June 23 at 3:30 pm (cooks) and 5:30 pm (servers)
Where: MCCH shelter on Gude Drive
Cost: Free
Organizer: Chris Rigaux

MSF will meet at 3:15 pm at St. Francis front parking lot to carpool up to the men’s shelter, or you may drive yourself up to the shelter at 600 East Gude Drive. We will grill hotdogs and hamburgers for about 80 men. We will then serve them dinner, offering watermelon, ice cream treats, chips, and sodas. Dinner is to be served at 5:30 pm. After dinner, plan to spend a few minutes socializing with the men. We should be done about 6:45. Contact Chris Rigaux at for more information.

MSF Trap/Skeet Shooting
When: Saturday, July 15 around 10 am
Where: Prince George’s County Trap and Skeet Center
Cost: $6 per round trap/skeet; $22 per round shooting clays; guns and ammo extra
Organizer: Pat McNeilly

The Men of St. Francis are planning an outing to get in a little shooting time at the Prince Georges County Trap and Skeet Center (a facility formerly owned by Beretta USA). The event is being planned for Saturday July 15. We will meet at the church front parking lot at 9 am and carpool to the Trap and Skeet Center in Glendale, MD. Those interested may wish to warm up with a round of trap or skeet and then plan on a shooting a round of sporting clays (50 targets). If you have never enjoyed sporting clays, it is lots of fun and is often referred to as “golf with a gun” and can be quite a challenge.

Costs will be to on each individual for each round shot. Trap/skeet $6/round; sporting clays $22/round, plus the cost of ammunition (either bring your own or available at the facility). The facility even rents shotguns, in the event you don’t own one. All shooters will also be required to have eye and ear protection.

If someone has a suggestion place for lunch afterward, we can do that. We could always eat at Hunter’s Inn if we like.

So, dust off that shotgun that is sitting around and come join us for a little fun. If interested, please contact Pat McNeilly at or (301) 869-0805 no later than July 8. If you would like to see what is offered at the PG Count Trap and Skeet Center, their website is


MSF Nationals Baseball Game with Youth Group
When: Saturday, July 29 at 6:00 pm
Where: Nationals Park
Cost: $40 per man; free for youth
Organizer: Chris Rigaux

On Saturday, July 29th, we will meet in the church front parking lot at 6 pm. We have 10 free tickets for the youth group; our tickets cost $40 apiece. We are sitting in the left field bleachers, just behind the Nationals bullpen. They are playing the Rockies. We will provide transportation and parking. Everyone is on their own for food or drinks. To reserve your spot, please make out a check for $40 to St. Francis Church (put MSF in notation line). Please the check in my mailbox at St. Francis; I will turn them over to Margaret. Let me know if you wish to drive and how many will fit in your car. Any questions, contact Chris Rigaux at

MSF Land 14 Big Stripers

On a perfect afternoon, June 10, 2017, seven Men of St. Francis ventured out onto the Chesapeake Bay in search of the big ones: 20-inch or longer stripers, aka rockfish. Under the leadership of Capt. Billy Gee and his first mate Kenny, we left from Deale, Maryland, aboard the Ebb Tide ( at 12:45 pm. After steaming across the bay for half an hour, Kenny and Billy baited and dropped 17 lines into the water for us, using two lures: hot hoses (red worms) and green fish. Less than an hour later, Chris Rigaux reeled in the first keeper. As Kenny and Devar shouted “fish on,” the men took turns reeling in fish after fish. Over three hours, we landed 14 keepers, including 2 over 30 inches. Only poor Doug failed to catch any keepers, reeling in 5 little guys. When we had only 1 fish left to land, we gave Doug one last chance and he landed the biggest of them all, a 32-inch whopper. Beers and celebrations accompanied our trip back to the dock, where Kenny filleted all the fish. Each man left with a bag full of filets, and stories to last a lifetime. Let’s do it again next year, gents.


Devar Burbage, Doug Bowers, Chris Rigaux, Clay Hough, Keith Gardiner, Alan Van Egmond, and Chris Nurse, show off their prized stripers aboard the Ebb Tide.

We will offer to prepare brunch for Renewal Sunday in September. We will have another Okoberfest in October and another Lobsterfest in November.  We also plan to cover one of Laurel Bahar’s Loaves and Fishes days.  

Ready and willing to do damage in the kitchen are Ken Hurdle, Don Harrison, Chris Rigaux, Devar Burbage, Fred Johnsen, John Jasin, and one more.

Past Dinners

On March 19, 2016, in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, we celebrated by shopping, cooking, and serving a typical Irish meal, featuring Dexter Ewel’s Dublin cobbler.  We also took advantage to honor long-time member Mac Jacoby.  Thirty-five men joined in this fellowship event.

Alan Van Egmond and Fred Johnsen enjoy a cold one at our St. Pat’s Dinner.

On Oct. 15, 2016, we shopped, prepared, and cooked an Oktoberfest dinner in support of our parish-wide outreach program.  A special trip to Binkert’s in Baltimore provide a trove of german delicacies, such as bratwursts, kummelbraten, liverwursts, mustards, and pickles.  The Oktoberfest dinner was a thank-you to the patrons who donated money in support of Outreach’s annual fundraising drive; over 75 parishioners participated.

In our second year of hopefully an annual tradition, we procured, cooked, and decorated for a lively Lobsterfest on Nov. 12, 2016.  Sixty-five parishioners came to tuck in their lobster bibs and enjoy each other’s company.  Special thanks to Nancy and Bob Cressy for spearheading this effort.

Community Service

To assist with the parish picnic, we purchased and grilled hotdogs and hamburgers on June 4th.  Nearly 100 parishioners gathered to enjoy the games and activities, and to honor Mr. Thai for many years of service as our sexton.  This year’s picnic will be on June 4.
For the second year, on July 31st, 2016, we hauled tons of hotdogs, hamburgers, watermelons, salad, chips, soft drinks, and ice cream bars to the Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless shelter in Rockville, Md.  Despite rainy conditions, we managed to grill and serve food to 80 men.  We also took time to enjoy their company after the meal.

General Information

We also purchased new aprons and matching hats to show our spirit and fellowship.  We have about 48 active members, and we are always open to new ideas.  The Men of St. Francis is made possible by an informal leadership group comprising Dexter Ewel, Devar Burbage, John Jasin, Pat McNeilly, John Whatley, Ken Hurdle, Don Harrison, and Alan Van Egmond.  For more information, contact Chris Rigaux at (240) 441-9288.