Living as Missionary Disciples

Quote from Living as Missionary Disciples

One way to ensure that our parishes are true communities of evangelization, is for the whole parish to undertake a process of discernment to evaluate current pastoral ministry and outreach programs. (pg. 4)

Why become Catholic? 

John Wayne (actor). 1907-1979. John was baptized on his deathbed. During his life he was deeply influenced by his deep friendship with fellow actor, John Ford who was a devote Catholic. Never underestimate your influence on your friends.   (A Century of Catholic Converts, Lorene Duquin)

Stepping Stones on the Road to Renewal. 

The only person who enjoys change is a baby with a wet diaper! Yet, all of us are asked to embrace change as we embark on a journey that is uncertain and uncharted. Let’s take it slowly, allowing the Spirit to lead us. Here are some ideas to assist you in becoming a Family of Parishes.   

All Saints Day:  Know the Saints in your Family of Parishes (FoPs). 
Each church in the FoPs has a certain name. Research the saint behind the name and put the information in each other’s bulletin. Consider visiting each other’s church and pointing out all of the saints that are part of the worship space. Why do these particular saints adorn your church? Was it a Franciscan Parish? Started by the Polish community? Jesuit saints? Ex. St. Martin de Porres has a beautiful stained glass window with symbols on the life of St. Martin. This is a great way to appreciate the beauty and history of each other’s spiritual home. 

Advent: Taizé prayer. 

We often heard the Catholic adage was “The family that prays together, stays together.” What better way to bring the FoPs together than to prayer together. Consider doing Taizé prayer in your FoPs during Advent. It is easy to organize. One participant said: “To say Taizé prayer is spiritual doesn’t begin to describe the service. It’s peace, it’s comfort, it’s home. You really belong.” Taizé prayer is like a sacred pause. 

Taizé is a form of prayer started in a small village named Taizé in France. It was created as an ecumenical experience but any parish can do it. Here is a simple outline but you can adapt to your own FoPs. People enter the church in silence. A greeter offers them a candle and a guide to the service. For the next hour, they will join together in a Taizé prayer service that includes Taizé songs, silence, and Scripture. The songs are simple and repetitive. This can be followed by a psalm and an Alleluia. All the candles are lighted and there is a reading from Scripture based on the liturgical season. People come forward to place their candles in clay pots around the altar. There is a period of silence. During this time, the lighted candles and several icons or an empty manger provide a visual focus. The group then prays a Kyrie for peace and reconciliation. The leader offers general intercessions to which the community responds in song, and the service closes with a sign of peace. As a FoPs you could move it around every week to a different parish. (An example of Taizé music is the song: “Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom”. Click here to learn more about Taizé prayer https://www.Taizé.fr/en_article337.html    and Taizé music

(Idea taken from Great Ideas from Great Parishes)

 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.  Through the Eucharist, Jesus invites us to a deep experience of all of these aspects. 

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

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 in all Situations (for bulletin and social media) 

  • Wear a cross or other symbol of your faith.
  • Be sensitive to people around you.
  • Ask people to pray for your intentions.
  • Gently start a discussion with “I believe” or “Jesus says”.
  • Absorb violence rather than spreading it.
  • Invite to church those who are not part of a faith community.
  • Make the sign of the cross at restaurants. 
  • Treat everyone with dignity.
  • Post a religious message on social media.
  • Welcome the stranger in the neighborhood.
  • Leave religious materials in unexpected places. 

Coming Soon – don’t miss this event – mark your calendar: 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 byFr. Frank DeSianoClick here for more information and registering.  

Last thought . . . Church sign. 

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