ARISE Has an Impact in Monterey Parishes

Posted by RENEW International on Jan 26, 2017 8:30:00 AM

The following are witnesses from participants in ARISE Together in Christ/LEVÁNTATE Unámonos en Cristo in the Diocese of Monterey, California. A total of 178 small groups in the diocese took part in the five-season process from RENEW International:

ARISE has been a blessing for my parish community because I see the growth in our apostolic groups and because that people seem to be more sensitive in regards to their treatment of others people in the community. Some small groups put their faith into action, cooking food and distributing it to the homeless in the park areas. The sense of belonging among them was great, and the people receiving the food showed a great deal of appreciation.”

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RENEW small groups a path to the priesthood

Posted by RENEW International on Oct 20, 2016 8:30:00 AM


A Texas priest who is now pastor of a church in The Woodlands discerned his calling to holy orders while he was participating in a RENEW faith-sharing process.

Fr. Patrick Garrett, pastor of Sts. Simon and Jude Church in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston has said of RENEW 2000:

“That really is the source of my vocation.’’

“I am a late vocation,’’ Fr. Patrick explained. “I have been a priest for six years; I worked in industry for twenty years.’’

The pastor said he had participated in the original RENEW process in the early 1990s at St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish in Houston, but the small group he was in drifted apart.

When RENEW 2000 appeared in 1997, Fr. Patrick said, he signed up again.

“I had been involved in the RCIA program, and I put together a group from that ministry, both people who had come through RCIA and people who had worked in the ministry.

“We started meeting, and our faith flourished. We kept wanting to do more and discussing what that ‘more’ might be.’’

The small group continued to meet after completing RENEW 2000, Fr. Patrick said.

"We kept doing whatever program we could get our hands on; we kept meeting and challenging each other to grow in faith.’’

In 2003, the men in the group started discussing the possibility of formation for the permanent diaconate.

“At the time, I couldn’t take part in the process because of my work schedule. I was traveling a lot, and I couldn’t start discernment.’’

As the group kept meeting, though, Fr. Patrick discerned his call to the priesthood.

He entered the seminary in 2003 and was ordained in 2009.

For nearly four years, he has been pastor of Sts. Simon and Jude.

“Because of my experience with Renew 2000,’’ he said, “I was adamant that we be part of ARISE’ —meaning ARISE Together in Christ, the faith-sharing process from RENEW International. “We were part of the first group of parishes to do ARISE in this archdiocese,’’ Fr. Patrick said.

Fr. Patrick said the parish has ARISE activities for various age groups in both English and Spanish.

“We have targeted having more young families involved with our ARISE program,” Fr. Patrick said, “and we have been real pleased with the number of families that have started to participate.’’

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RENEW to honor three at 17th annual Gala

Posted by RENEW International on May 13, 2016 8:30:00 AM

The 17th Annual RENEW Gala is fast approaching. Each year we honor three outstanding Catholics who make the connection between their faith and their everyday lives. This year, we are proud to honor Joseph Franzetti, Renée DeGagné, and Mary Ryan.

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Parish provides spiritual support and more to inmates

Posted by RENEW International on Oct 19, 2015 8:30:00 AM

For a group of men in a California prison, being incarcerated does not have to mean “out of sight, out of mind.” That’s thanks to the social justice ministries at the Cathedral of the Annunciation Parish in Stockton.

Parishioners are very conscious of the men housed at the nearby Deuel Vocational Institution (DVI) who participate in faith-sharing and other faith-based activities that have included small-group processes from RENEW International.

DVI serves the corrections system in a section of central California as a reception center where people who have been sentenced are evaluated for placement in other facilities, but from 300 to 400 inmates serve their time at Deuel.

Irene Killian de Ojeda, who directs the social justice ministries at the cathedral parish, has been active at DVI for almost ten years and meets weekly with a group of ten to twelve men who, she said, have taken very well to faith sharing in a small group.

Among the RENEW resources the men have used have been LEVÁNTATE. Unámonos en Cristo; La justicia brota de la fe, which focuses on social justice; and Reflexiones en Cuaresma, a Lenten series.

“We also conduct Bible study sessions,’’ Irene said. I do a series of talks about the social teachings of the Church, so they know about social justice. I’m also doing an eight-week series using the study guide on Pope Francis’ message The Joy of the Gospel.”


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ARISE inspired celebration of indigenous cultures in Ontario

Posted by RENEW International on Aug 20, 2015 8:30:00 AM

Faith-sharing in small groups in a diocese in Ontario led to three celebrations of the indigenous cultures in that part of Canada.

The celebrations were organized after English- and French-speaking Catholics in the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie in Ontario completed the third season of ARISE Together with Christknown in French as DEBOUT Ensemble dans le Christ.
Jeanne McHarg, coordinator of the English-speaking ARISE program in the diocese, said that after the third season—which has a social-justice theme—she and the French-speaking coordinator, Mijou Pelletier, met with Bishop Jean-Louis Plouffe to discuss how the ARISE participants might put their faith into practice in the community.

“He said he would like us to do something with the indigenous people,” Jeanne said.

That population includes First Nation and Métis people and a small number of Inuit, some living on “reserves” and others in the community at large.

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A Bishop's Dream Come True

Posted by RENEW International on Mar 27, 2015 8:30:00 AM


RENEW International recently completed its four-year engagement in the Diocese of Amarillo where parishes were engaged in Why Catholic? Journey Through the Catechism and ¿Por qué ser católico?

Over the years, RENEW’s presenters—Sr. Kass Collins, Alma Garcia, Sr. Pat Thomas, Dr. Laura Zane Kolmar, Anne Scanlan, and Manuel Hernandez—travelled to this mission diocese, which is small in number of parishes yet vast in area. There, they were met with enthusiasm by parish teams in both English and Spanish. To support this effort, RENEW partnered with Catholic Extension, an outreach organization that funds pastoral initiatives in less economically-developed areas of the U.S. Catholic Church.

Recently, Bishop Patrick Zurek extended his gratitude to RENEW’s staff in a gracious personal letter of thanks. He described the significant blessings of Why Catholic? for the people of his diocese—increased understanding of the Catholic faith, the desire to speak of faith to family and friends, more integration in parish life, and friendships among those of different ethnic groups.

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ARISE group provides water to Myanmar villages

Posted by RENEW International on Jan 27, 2015 8:30:00 AM

Few things are as easily taken for granted as clean water, and that fact prompted a small Christian community in New Jersey to help their brothers and sisters half-way around the world.

According to Jackie McNulty of St. Mary/St. Andrew Parish in Bayonne, the small group that was experiencing its second season of ARISE Together in Christ from RENEW International was determined to turn faith into action.

During the third session of that ARISE season, the group was meditating on the story in the Gospel of John about the encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well.

“We were all so moved by the story,’’ Jackie said, “that we were inspired to donate some bottled water to the local food pantry and bring it with us to Mass the following Sunday. Our entire group participated in this activity.”

The group was so motivated, that they wanted to act in a more far-reaching way to bring water to people in need—perhaps by making a donation to an organization that provides water resources in the developing world—and one of the members, Maisie Prussak was chosen to bring the idea to the pastor, Fr. Peter Wehrle.

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Parish Puts Why Catholic? on Parade

Posted by RENEW International on Oct 28, 2014 8:30:00 AM

Why Catholic? participants in Delhi (pronounced DEL-hi) in Ontario, Canada, took advantage of a weekend fall festival to show the whole community the enthusiasm surrounding the faith-sharing process from RENEW International.

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Dedicated Catholics Recognized for Outstanding Service at RENEW Gala

Posted by RENEW International on Jun 10, 2014 12:00:00 AM

RENEW International, a Catholic not-for-profit organization based in Plainfield, N.J., held its fifteenth annual fundraising gala on June 5, 2014 at the Pleasantdale Chateau, West Orange, N.J. Sr. Terry Rickard, OP, RENEW International’s president and executive director, presented awards to four notable Catholics who have played a significant role in fostering RENEW International’s mission of spreading gospel values in daily life.

“We at RENEW International are truly blessed to pay tribute to the faithfulness, leadership, and service represented by these exemplary individuals,” Sr. Terry said. “They are models of Catholic commitment in their personal and professional lives, with a level of dedication that is exceptional.”

This year’s President's Award was given to Mr. Donald M. Daniels, chairman and co-founder of the Daniels Group, an employee benefits consulting and brokerage firm. Prior to starting the Daniels Group, Mr. Daniels spent 42 years at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, retiring as the chief executive officer in 1991. Mr. Daniels has been a leader in health care in the not-for-profit world, serving on more than 20 health-care boards of directors in a number of Catholic dioceses. He and his wife, Esther, are parishioners at Sacred Heart Parish in Bay Head, N.J. The President’s Award recognized Mr. Daniels’ support in advancing RENEW International’s mission of evangelization, spiritual renewal, and faith formation in dioceses and parishes.

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Jesus in Disguise Food Pantry Feeds Families

Posted by RENEW International on Apr 3, 2014 8:30:00 AM

People in need of food in a southeastern Missouri community can now get help close to home, thanks to members of a parish who have been taking part in a faith-sharing process from RENEW International.

Members of St. Denis Catholic Church in Benton—a rural city with nearly 900 residents —were prompted by their participation in ARISE Together in Christ to organize a food pantry in cooperation with three other churches in the area.

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