Missionary Disciples | August 23

Years ago, a man was shocked to read his own obituary in the morning paper. His death was mistakenly reported. But what shocked him most was how the obituary described him: as someone who had devoted his life to making weapons of war. That morning he resolved to turn his energies in a new direction: working for world peace and human betterment. That man was Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Peace Prize. 

If you were to die today – what would your obituary say? What would you like it to say? So...

Quote from Living as Missionary Disciples

We cannot live a life of discipleship alone. Weneed others to model lives of discipleship and accompany us as we grow in the spiritual life and experience ongoing conversion. (pg. 15)

Parish Funerals

How many times have we said, “how do we share the richness of our faith with those who are inactive or have no faith community?” In my years of parish work, I know of several people who have become Catholic or returned to the Church because of the experience they had at a Catholic Funeral Mass. (One person even became a Religious Sister!) 

Click here for practical pastoral suggestions regarding grief and funerals:

  • Simple Ways to enhance the Funeral Liturgy
  • Other considerations and Suggestions 
  • Resources for Grief and Funerals. 


Nearly one in 3 Catholics opt for cremation today. If a Catholic family chooses cremation, the Church requires reverent disposition of the ashes. The Vatican says the ashes must be treated in the same way a body would be. The ashes are to be kept in a sacred place, not in one’s home, scattered, or divided among family members. Read Catholic Cremation Beliefs.


This suggestion was in the Oct. 2022 newsletter. Fr. Rob Wozniak wrote to say his parish set up a Wailing Wall at St. Pius X Parish. (see picture). He said how successful it has been. 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. Have a space (perhaps a corkboard) for people to tape their unsigned prayers and petitions. Encourage parishioners to stop and pray. People are invited to 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. Mention the wall aloud at the Universal Prayers. A couple times a year have Compassion Sunday as a way of clearing off the wall. At each Mass on that weekend have a ritual where people gather a portion of the petitions and bring them forward in quiet process to be placed in a container and burned. (Taken from The Total Parish Manual)

GRANDPARENTS DAY – Sunday, Sept. 10.  Ideas on ways to celebrate this can be found in last month’s newsletter.


Aug. 29 or Aug. 31: An Interactive Online Training to Experience What it is Like to Run Alpha.

Alpha is a space for people outside the church to explore faith within the context of the local church. Gather with other churches and leaders from across the country for interactive training to develop an understanding of Alpha and how to get the most out of running a course in your context. We will cover topics like ‘What is Alpha?’, the 7 best practices of Alpha, the Alpha small group and leading prayer ministry. 

August 30 –Nov. 27 (11:00): Alpha Administrators Meeting. Every Wednesday. This is for any parish that is running Alpha and wants to hear and share insights and best practices to maximize your opportunity to have a successful Alpha. 

September 5 (7-8:30). Alpha Host and Helper Training. Click here for more info.

September 7 (7-9:00 PM). Alpha Prayer Ministry Training. Click here for more info.

September 17: Start of Adult and Youth Alpha in FoP.  

November 4: Retreat day for Parishes doing Alpha. St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Springbrook. 9:00 – 4:00. Free, lunch provided. The theme of the retreat will be the 4 sessions of the Holy Spirit that are part of the Alpha course. Registration for Alpha Retreat Nov. 4, 2023

Click the following link for a brief 2-minute video on Alpha. You may want to show it to the leaders of your parish: Introduction to Alpha

Two new training locations: Alfred, NY and Mayville, NY. Click here for more information and registration. Remember: Lent begins Feb. 14, 2024. If you are planning on doing LITE during Lent, it is important to get your training in the Fall so you will be prepared. I will inform you of any additional training dates. 

One more special invitation: 

October 10: Webinar: A Pastoral Plan for Evangelization. This will be held twice: 3:00 and repeated at 7:00 PM. Presented by Fr. Frank De Siano, CSP. Click here for more information and registration.