By Jodi Magallanes, Today's Catholic News
SOUTH BEND — The ARISE Together in Christ parish renewal process is reaching Hispanic Catholics who are both spiritually hungry and open to the Holy Spirit, say coordinators in the diocese’s Spanish-speaking parishes.
Earlier this year the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend rolled out ARISE, which encourages the faithful of all languages and heritages to come together and share their personal experiences in a faith-based architecture. Thousands responded, including large numbers from each parish that ministers to Spanish speaking individuals.
Enid Roman, diocesan Hispanic ministry coordinator, said that effective training of parish-level coordinators, along with the program’s simple premise, made participants feel comfortable with ARISE.
By Jodi Magallanes, Today's Catholic News
Bobbi Govanus, parishioner at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Kissimmee, knows that through her Baptism, she was appointed Priest, Prophet and King. As she embarks on a year of renewed spiritual growth during the Year of Faith, she feels that calling comes with a big responsibility – to share God’s Word with others.
“My calling to evangelize is no different than that of St. Dominic, Mother Theresa or Tim Tebow,” she said. “I know I have been commissioned by God, and I will continue to seek the ways I am to serve him. I will testify to his faithfulness and attest to the joy which is knowing him and doing his will.”
Govanus is among many Catholics from 40 parishes and missions throughout the Diocese of Orlando growing in their faith during the upcoming year through the small Christian communities of Why Catholic?, a rich scriptural and catechetical approach created by RENEW International, a Catholic ministry organization, that gives Catholics a solid foundation to express their faith and reach out to others in faith. Govanus facilitates one of her parish’s four Why Catholic? groups.
“While preparing for our third year of Why Catholic?, I have learned that faith is not enough,” Govanus said. “Out of our weekly meetings must come action and change. If the people piously grow close to one another without taking it to the streets, God’s will for us is not being done.”
This is the third year for Why Catholic? in the Diocese of Orlando and the new session, which is all about the Sacraments, began on October 1. Throughout the upcoming year, participants will explore the importance of the Mass and Christ's presence in the Eucharist. The first four sessions cover the liturgy and provide an understanding of the Sacraments, while the following two sessions examine Baptism, one on the sacrament itself and another on the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. The last six sessions, which will be held in the spring, look at the remaining Sacraments, as well as devotions, sacred time and sacred space.
“One of the hopes expressed by the Holy Father for the Year of Faith is that people would re-engage their journey of faith,” said Dennis Johnson, Jr., executive director of the diocesan Office of Faith Formation. “Why Catholic? provides a great opportunity to do that in the context of small-group faith-sharing.”
Article courtesy of the Diocese of Orlando.
Dolly Donahue, RENEW International Trustee Emerita, sent the message below to RENEW's President & Executive Director, Sr. Terry Rickard, after her small group completed faith sharing with Longing for the Holy. It is a heart-warming illustration of faith moving to action.
I had to tell you about our summer RENEW group which meets on six Monday mornings at my home in Mantoloking, NJ. We are a group of about 12 to 14 women, who gather around the dining table. We are all very different people in many ways, but alike in our desire to become closer in our relationship with the Lord; we include one agnostic (or so she says), one convert, and one born-again evangelical Christian. The sharing is wonderful.
A year ago,we shared on the first six sessions of Longing for the Holy and enjoyed it very much. The second half of the book was even better this year, and when we got to the last three chapters, we were blown away. What spectacular thoughts and beautiful writing!
By Melissa McNally, The Catholic Advocate
NEWARK-The unwavering dedication of three individuals to the mission of RENEW International was honored June 2 at the organization's 12th annual awards dinner.
Sister Mary C. McGuinness, O.P., Ronald J. Bushwell, and William B. McGuire were rewarded for years of commitment to RENEW’s values.
By Sr. Veronica Mendez, RENEW International Pastoral Services Team
Parishes in the Diocese of Phoenix, AZ are in the third year of RENEW International's four-year program of adult faith formation and evangelization, Why Catholic? Journey through the Catechism. The Beatitudes (and Commandments) are the theme of the third section the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Why Catholic? book, Life in Christ.
Dan Farkas, a Why Catholic? small community leader in the parish of St. Germaine, Prescott Valley,explains the stones were part of two different sessions. Session Four speaks of virtues. In the book, as part of the prayer environment, leaders are encouraged to place colorful stones representing virtues on the Bible with the name of one of the virtues on each stone.
Dan also did this for Session Nine, writing the names of the Beatitudes on the stones. He tells what his small group did with them.
The following is a note from one of the facilitators at Church of the Presentation in Stockton, CA. Rio Las Palmas is an assisted living facility and some of the seniors participate in an ARISE group.
There was hope and laughter as the group gathered. It was a celebration of the Vietnamese New Year, the Year of the Cat. For this group of 25 adults and children it was a new year in a special way.
“For the Vietnamese community, the New Year is like the American celebration of Thanksgiving,” remarked Hung Nguyen to Sister Honora Nolty, OP of RENEW International, a guest at the gathering. The variety and beauty of the foods prepared and presented by many testified to this cultural significance. As the group gathered around the table for grace in English and Vietnamese, there was a sense of living the Eucharist, of nourishing one another’s cultures as well as bodies; an experience of the One who gathers and calls us all to one with Him.
A Vietnamese priest, a Vietnamese deacon, and three Vietnamese seminarians were among this group. They enthusiastically shared spirited conversation about the faith life of the Vietnamese community here in Boston.
The core of this gathering was a team of parishioners from five different parishes in the Archdiocese of Boston: St. Ambrose and St. Mark, Dorchester, St. Thecla, Pembroke, St. Bernadette, Randolph, and Sacred Hearts, Malden. The team included a Vietnamese deacon and seven laypersons, 6 men and 1 woman. This team had never worked or socialized together before; they came together and organized themselves around a task that would enrich their lives as members of the church of Boston.
As the Archdiocese was preparing to support the small Christian communities which had been formed and flourished during ARISE Together in Christ, this team volunteered to translate the materials for Lenten Longings, the RENEW International resource that would follow ARISE. This team divided the labor and planned the communal editing and reviewing of the body of work in order to present it in a timely manner to RENEW International for review and approval.
“The Vietnamese community valued the experience of coming together as part of the Archdiocesan-wide ARISE effort, and we want to make ongoing small Christian communities a foundation of parish life. And having Lenten Longings in Vietnamese is a way to respond to Archdiocesan needs and to the growing needs of the Vietnamese speaking Catholics in the Archdiocese of Boston,” said Deacon Van Nguyen.
As the team gathered at table, they reflected on variety of ways that their work on the translation would be a blessing to themselves and others. New friendships were being made and old ones deepened by working on this common task by putting their faith into action, they would have something to enrich the lives of their parishes and archdiocesan community. There was a sense of pride as they realized their finished product has potential to reach the larger Vietnamese Catholic community in other parts of the country through RENEW International.
Plans were made for how they could present workshops to train small community leaders in Vietnamese in Why Catholic? this coming Fall.
Article and photo courtesy of Hung Nguyen
|by Melissa McNally, Staff Writer
Sr. Alice was executive assistant to RENEW International founder/president Msgr. Tom Kleissler for 23 years and still volunteers as the organization's archivist. She is also director of religious education at Saint Joseph the Carpenter Parish, Roselle, and volunteers as administrative assistant to the school's principal.
"Sr. Alice is an incredible gift to the Church, both locally and far beyond our archdiocese," Msgr. Kleissler said. "She was often the face of RENEW and the person people first came in contact with. Her pleasant and winning ways guided them. She is a great factor in the tremendous growth of RENEW in her time."