“Helping Good Parishes become Vibrant Communities.”
Oct. 25, 2022
Quote from Living as Missionary Disciples
Let us continue to create communities where those who have been renewed can find continued nourishment and strength in their journey of faith. (pg. 8)
Why become Catholic?
Norma McCorey (aka Jane Roe of Roe vs. Wade). Norma’s mother tried to abort her when she was pregnant. Norma grew up in a stormy household and was raped by a male relative. Norma had a number of pregnancies and always gave the children up for adoption since she could not get a legal abortion. One major factor in her conversion was the unconditional love of a 7 year old girl (Emily) who invited Norma to go to Church with her. “Emily’s unconditional love eventually broke down Norma’s barriers.” She was baptized Catholic in Texas in 1998. Scripture says: And a little child shall lead them. (Isaiah 11:6) (Taken from A Century of Catholic Converts, Lorene Hanley Duquin)
Stepping Stones on the Road to Renewal:
Ideas to assist you in becoming a Family of Parishes (FoP)
- Exchange choirs;
- on the feast day of one parish, the other parishes host the reception;
- give a short history of the parishes in the bulletin;
- when a person dies in one parish, announce it in all of the parishes;
- invite anyone interested to a zoom call and break into groups sharing the question “Share what you love best about your parish?”
Outdoor Nativity Set. Every Christmas we hear people bemoan the fact that Christ is being removed from Christmas. Why not ask every household to place a Nativity Set desplayed on their front lawn. They range in price from $30 to well over a $100. As a FoP, encourage parishioners to accept the challenge – how many front lawns will display our belief at Christmas? Click here to view Nativity Sets.
Create a Wailing Wall in each parish. This idea is inspired by the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem (properly called the Western Wall of the Old Temple.) For generations people have put pieces of paper with prayers and petitions rolled up and inserted in the broken mortar between the bricks of the wall. The parish Wailing Wall serves the same purpose. (1) have cork board or space for people to tape needs, prayers and petitions so that all who pause before it may see, be moved and pray, or (2) a person might take a petition off the wall, keep it for a week and pray for the unknown writer whose heart is broken. Then you might initial it and put it back again so that the person who put it there originally may know that he or she is not alone; that someone gave comfort, sympathy, and concern. (3) Mention the wall aloud at the Universal Prayers. (4) Once a year (or more often) have Compassion Sunday as a way of clearing it off. At each Mass on the weekend have ritual where people gather a portion of the petitions and bring them forward in quiet process to be placed in a container and burned. As a FoPs you could remember the intentions on each other’s boards when the community prays. (Taken from The Total Parish Manual)
Everyday Evangelizing for Everyday Catholics
Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence. (1 Peter 3:15)
Everyday Evangelizing through Social Justice
- Share your time, talent or money.
- Identify your own prejudices.
- Be guided by Scripture.
- “See” the world through the lens of faith.
- Learn all aspects of a social issue.
- Publicly express your opinion.
- Speak and act on your conviction.
- Learn and address the values of our government.
- Vote with an informed conscience.
Two events to strengthen your Family of Parishes: Living the Mission God Gave Us! Tuesday, Nov. 8, 1:00 – 2:30. St. Leo the Great Parish. This workshop will present pastors and pastoral leaders with concrete ways to think about their parishes in terms of mission. It will focus on the practical realities of transitioning into a FoPs and propose a plan to assure that our vision as parish continues to center on the mission that God gave us. Presentation by Fr. Frank DeSiano: Click here for more information and registering.
Lent 2023 – Offer the Life in the Eucharist Retreat. One of the core areas in the Road to Renewal is to offer opportunities to revitalize our personal and communal appreciation of the Real Presence in the Eucharist. Life in the Eucharist is a 5 session retreat experience to empower Catholics to deepen their personal and communal relationship with Jesus Christ. It has 5 specific themes that explores the Eucharistic mystery. The 5 themes are: Nourishment, Reconciliation, Transformation, Abiding
Presence and Mission. This Fall we will be offering a training session in 2 different locations that will enable parishes to put on the Life in the Eucharist retreat within their FoPs. Click here for more information
We give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.