Share in the Masses That Celebrated Father Tom: Watch the Videos

Posted by RENEW International on Feb 11, 2021 8:32:16 AM

For those who were unable to attend the Masses of Christian Burial on February 6th and February 8th, we share the recordings below:

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Topics: Watch Video Now, Monsignor Thomas Kleissler

RENEW Mourns the Passing of Co-founder Msgr. Thomas Kleissler

Posted by RENEW International on Feb 2, 2021 2:10:35 PM

Monsignor Thomas A. Kleissler, who launched a parish-renewal program that turned into an international movement, died on Tuesday February 2, at St. Catherine Healthcare Center, Caldwell, N.J. He was 89.

Father Tom, as he preferred to be known, co-founded RENEW International, which has been serving Catholic parishes for more than 40 years with processes that help the laity, meeting in small Christian communities, assume roles of leadership and service in the Church.

Born in Newark, Father Tom attended Seton Hall Prep and Seton Hall University and the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Darlington. He was ordained at Sacred Heart Cathedral on May 25, 1957.

From the beginning of his work as a pastor in the Archdiocese of Newark, Father Tom promoted lay participation in the life of the Church.

In 1976 Archbishop Peter L. Gerety asked him to develop the Office of Pastoral Renewal, which encouraged the formation of parish councils, and worked to engage the laity in a deeper relationship with the Lord. Then, together with the late Msgr. Thomas Ivory, he founded the original RENEW process in the archdiocese and was appointed its director.

Under his leadership, the mission grew beyond the original RENEW experience, developing RENEW 2000, Healing the Body of Christ (in response to the sexual-abuse crisis), Why Catholic? and many other programs for small Christian communities.

These processes have reached over 160 dioceses in the United States and 140 dioceses in 24 other countries. Father Tom traveled extensively to plant seeds of RENEW’s message of conversion and community in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania.

“Father Tom's legacy is not about a program or an organization but about a way of renewing faith, building communities of hope and gospel action, and transforming the Church and the world,’’ said Sister Terry Rickard, OP, president of RENEW. “It is largely because of his vision and his work that diocesan spiritual renewal, parish small groups, faith-sharing, and faith-based action are part of the fabric of Catholic life.”

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Topics: catholic RENEW program, renew catholic program, RENEW International, Monsignor Thomas Kleissler

Our Christmas Message to You

Posted by RENEW International on Dec 23, 2020 10:15:00 AM
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Topics: Christmas, hope, Christmas Star, Star of Wonder, new light

Women in Conversation: The Unopened Gift

Posted by RENEW International on Dec 10, 2020 6:00:00 AM

What is in that mysterious unopened gift under the tree?  And who put it there? 

In anticipation of RENEW’s upcoming small-group guide for women, Stand Up! Women in Conversation with Christ by Loretta Pehanich, you are invited to a virtual Christmas gathering of Women in Conversation using Zoom on Wednesday, December 16, 4:30-5:30 P.M. PST. The theme is "The Unopened Gift." 

Join women near and far for an unusual holiday treat complete with break-out conversations, music, prayer, and more.  Plan to wear something festive, to show some Christmas décor in your background, or wear your Christmas jammies!

If you would like to attend this unique virtual gathering, please send an email to by Monday, December 14th and you will receive an email with the Zoom link and more details.

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Topics: Christmas, catholic program renew, faith sharing group, renew catholic program, RENEW International, small groups, virtual, online small groups, Women in Conversation

A Thanksgiving Prayer for 2020

Posted by Jennifer Bober on Nov 25, 2020 9:00:00 AM
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Topics: compassionate heart, God's blessings, God's grace, gratitude, prayer, RENEW International, pandemic, covid-19, Corona virus, Thanksgiving Day

RENEW Enters Partnership with Parish Catalyst

Posted by RENEW on Oct 30, 2020 11:22:33 AM

Two ministries that have invigorated parishes around the country have joined forces. RENEW International and Parish Catalyst are now a team with one mission—turning churchgoers into disciples and helping parishes thrive. Parish Catalyst will become a featured program of RENEW. Our partnership will widen and deepen the impact of our mission, helping to revitalize the Church at a critical time. 

RENEW, based in Plainfield, NJ, will fully integrate Los Angeles–based Parish Catalyst into its menu of offerings as a featured program of RENEW. RENEW offers parish renewal through small-group programs, including its popular Why Catholic? and ARISE Together in Christ. RENEW recently introduced Baptism Matters, a baptism-preparation program built around online learning modules, and Healing Our Church, a small-group program that helps Catholics confront the crises of sexual abuse by clergy and coverup by Church leaders and envision a way forward for the Church.

The mission of Parish Catalyst is to create vibrant Catholic parishes through an 18-month program for pastors and parish leadersa program that generates and refines new ideas for ministry and then shares them with other communities. Parishes emerge from the program with an enriched prayer life, clearer goals, stronger leadership, and a more active outreach to young adults.

The agreement has been signed by Sr. Theresa Rickard, O.P., president and executive director of RENEW International, and William E. Simon, Jr., chairman and founder of Parish Catalyst. RENEW’s Board of Trustees has approved the agreement, which has also been ratified by Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., D.D., Archbishop of Newark, NJ.

“Nothing seems more Spirit-driven to me than that Parish Catalyst and RENEW should join forces,” Simon remarked. “We share in common a mission to revitalize Catholic parish life, using distinctive approaches which are entirely complementary. RENEW’s faith-sharing and discipleship programs have transformed the spiritual lives of millions of Catholics as they learn to live their faith, while Parish Catalyst brings parish leaders together in a unique, collaborative strategic-planning process to drive parish renewal. Together, we will be able to offer more Catholic parishes the resources they need to experience positive change in every area of parish life.”

“I am excited about the addition of Parish Catalyst as one of RENEW’s featured parish revitalization programs,’’ said Sr. Terry. “Our partnership will expand the tools we can offer to parishes today who are seeking to transform their parishes into centers of welcome, healing, and disciple-making. We join with Parish Catalyst to help clergy, lay ecclesial ministers, and lay leaders to think creatively, act courageously, and renew the Church.”

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Topics: discipleship, parish, Parish Catalyst, pastor, Catholic Church, RENEW International, Sr. Terry Rickard OP, William Simon Jr, parish renewal

A Message from Sr. Terry on the Passing of Co-founder, Msgr. Tom Ivory

Posted by Sr. Terry Rickard, O.P., D.Min. on Oct 8, 2020 9:41:45 AM

Dear Friends of RENEW,

It is with great sadness that I announce the death of Monsignor Thomas P. Ivory, a co-founder of RENEW International. Fr. Tom died on the morning of Wednesday, October 7 while undergoing heart surgery.

In the mid-1970s, Fr. Ivory collaborated with Monsignor Tom Kleissler in developing the original RENEW process within the Archdiocese of Newark. RENEW eventually became the leader in providing materials and leader training for small Christian communities in parishes around the world.

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Topics: Cardinal Joseph Tobin, catholic renew progam, RENEW International, Monsignor Thomas Ivory, Monsignor Thomas Kleissler

RENEW International Welcomes New Vice President

Posted by RENEW International on Jul 16, 2020 9:41:55 AM

RENEW International is excited to announce—and welcome—Theodore “Ted” Musco as the Vice President for Pastoral Services and Operations effective July 6, 2020. Ted will oversee the pastoral services and operations teams of RENEW, bringing to this new position his numerous pastoral and administrative skills gained from previous ministerial positions. 

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Topics: evangelization, leadership, RENEW International, small groups, Musco, Diocese of Brooklyn, mission of the Church

RENEW's Response to COVID-19

Posted by RENEW International on May 20, 2020 11:53:00 AM

A Message of Hope from Sr. Terry


Online Resources, Webinars and
Faith-Sharing Sessions
to Help Parishes
through the Pandemic

Visit our EVENTS & WEBINARS page to learn about our upcoming free webinars and online faith-sharing experiences in English and Spanish to help parishes, small groups, and individuals at this difficult time. 

If you missed one of our webinars or just want to watch again, we will add links after the events you can stream the videos at your convenience:

"Becoming the Saint Next Door":
A Conversation with Sr. Terry Rickard and Chris Lowney

In this recording of an April 23 online conversation, RENEW's Sr. Terry Rickard and best-selling author Chris Lowney share their personal insights on everyday holiness and what it means to be the "Saint Next Door" during this time of pandemic.

"Till We Meet Again" Series

NEW Online Faith-Sharing Sessions

The pandemic may keep us at a distance, but it need not keep us apart. RENEW International offers these faith-sharing sessions for your small groups to use via conference call, Zoom, or other new technology:

Easter Message 2020: Hope will not be cancelled

Almost everything is cancelled—even Easter Sunday Masses. But hope refuses to be cancelled. So many people are rising above the fear and turning to help their neighbors: delivering groceries for the elderly and infirm, making masks for health-care workers, and checking in on friends and family. Our technology-challenged Church has come alive by offering live-streamed Masses, retreats, and Stations of the Cross. Priests are hearing confessions in parking lots and small faith-sharing groups are meeting via Zoom and conference calls. Some neighbors turn to chalk art to share messages of hope. One of my favorites is “Hope will not be cancelled.”

We will not gather for Eucharist at our parishes nor enjoy our usual Easter dinner gatherings with family, but Easter comes nevertheless, reminding us again that Jesus has defeated death and revealed his merciful love to us. Our Christian faith assures us of the final victory of good over evil, health over sickness, and life over death. During the pandemic, love is not cancelled, faith is not cancelled, charity is not cancelled, and hope sustains us all. Hope is not just something that happens; it is something we choose. Hope is something we must nurture and share. Our hope lies in our faith in Jesus Christ and his power to redeem us. This Easter we affirm our belief in Jesus, our healer and redeemer. He is with us and for us during this pandemic. And because we believe, we have hope even in this dark time.

Jesus is alive and among us. Amen. Alleluia!

Wishing you and your family a Blessed Easter!

—Sr. Terry Rickard, President and Executive Director of RENEW International


RENEW Prayer Amid a Pandemic*

Lord Jesus Christ, we pray for your healing touch during this pandemic. We ask you to accompany those in our small groups,
our parishes, our communities, our nation, 
and throughout the world who are impacted 
by the virus through infection, economic loss,
or anxiety.

Renew our faith in your promise to be with us always.
Keep us mindful, Lord, that we share in this crisis as a family and that whatever we are asked to do to prevent the spread of infection, we do for the good of all.

May we be patient and generous with each other, following your example, you who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Copyright © 2020, RENEW International. All rights reserved. This text may be reproduced in whole or in part without alteration for nonprofit educational use, provided such reprints are not sold and include this notice.

*Click title to download prayer.

Oración en el tiempo del coronavirus – RENEW*

Señor, Jesucristo, te pedimos impongas tus manos sanadoras sobre este virus. Te pedimos que acompañes a las pequeñas comunidades de fe, nuestras parroquias, comunidades, nación y a todos los que han sido afectados por este virus en el mundo, ya sea por infección, pérdida económica, o ansiedad. 

Renueva nuestra fe en tu promesa de estar siempre con nosotros. Recuérdanos, Señor, que estamos juntos en esta crisis como familia y que todo lo que se nos pide para prevenir la diseminación de la infección, lo hacemos por el bien de todos.

Siguiendo tu ejemplo, que seamos pacientes y generosos el uno con el otro, Tú que vives y reinas con el Padre y con el Espíritu Santo, por los siglos de los siglos. Amen.

Copyright © 2020, RENEW International. All rights reserved. This text may be reproduced in whole or in part without alteration for nonprofit educational use, provided such reprints are not sold and include this notice.

*Haga clic en el título para descargar la oración.


NCR Online Cites RENEW as a Leading Promoter of Small Groups

In a recent article in National Catholic Reporter Online, NCR news editor Peter Feuerherd names RENEW's contribution to small-group faith communities for both Latino and non-Latino Catholics. Feuerherd predicts that the small-group model of "human connection with faith life" will help fill a need for US Catholics during the pandemic.  Given that gathering even in small groups poses risk at this time, RENEW is offering online options for faith-sharing and other opportunities. Please check our EVENTS & WORKSHOPS page for the latest offerings.

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Topics: small groups, Announcements, pandemic, COVID, webinar

Social distancing and the sacraments: How the coronavirus pandemic has changed our sense of communion

Posted by RENEW International on May 19, 2020 8:56:12 AM

America Magazine's Kerry Weber recently interviewed RENEW's president, Sr. Terry Rickard, and other Catholic thought-leaders about the spiritual, emotional and logistical challenges the pandemic and physical separation have brought us, but also about the  opportunities it presents for the Church as we move forward.

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Topics: sacraments, pandemic, COVID, social distancing

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