Archbishop of Miami Thomas Wenski knows when it’s time to lead from the pulpit and time to “mix it up on the street.”
“You can’t be removed or distanced from your people or you forget to speak the language they understand,” he said.
So Wenski, the motorcycle-riding, Spanish- and Creole-speaking leader of the Roman Catholic Church in South Florida, will kick back, smoke a stogie and mingle with other men Friday during a fund-raiser called the Man Cave.
“It’s a good way to relax and build camaraderie,” said Wenski, who emphasized that event is made for men. “Because it’s an informal setting, people can get to know me as a human being, and not just an office.”
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The old Havana-style evening, at Cuban Crafters, 3604 NW Seventh St., Miami, will benefit the Unaccompanied Minors Program within Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Miami.
Men can play dominoes, sip rum or coffee and enjoy a cigar.
Wenski, who modeled the evening after a similar event held by a Jewish organization in Orlando, said about 80 people attended the inaugural Man Cave gathering last year, including a Mexican movie star and several people who came to Miami in the Pedro Pan airlifts.
Conversation covered a swath of topics including dominoes, the weather and cigars.
“We did what men do,” he said.
Wenski, who favors a Romeo y Julieta cigar, said he plans to wear a guayabera and drink Cuban coffee. He encourages other men to join him — as long as they cough up 100 bucks for the cause.
“It’s a place where the men can go and the wives could be at peace,” he said. “Being with the bishop gives you a pretty good alibi.”