Story and photos by Kate Gibbons for Denver Westword
A priest walks into a bar.
This isn't beginning of a joke. On Monday night, Reverend John Riley walked into Katie Mullen's Irish Restaurant and Pub for the Catholic Archdiocese of Denver's monthly Theology on Tap gathering.
On loan from the Archdiocese of Arlington, Virginia, Reverend Riley, a Guinness drinker, opened with a prayer as the people in the packed bar bowed their heads. The crowd, mostly in their twenties and early thirties, and presumably Catholic, had gathered to listen to Riley address the night's topic "Confessions From the Other Side of the Screen." In the middle of the Lenten season, it was an appropriate topic.
Story and photos by Kate Gibbons for Denver Westword
By Tim Johnson for Today's Catholic News
“ARISE is a life changer in my book!” That was the reaction of Jeff Krudop after attending the first session of ARISE last fall at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Fort Wayne.
Many parishes across the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend will sign members up for the upcoming Lenten series of ARISE Together In Christ in the mid-to-late weeks of January.
Cindy Casper, who was part of the parish team coordinating ARISE at her parish, St. Michael the Archangel in Plymouth, encourages new people to sign up for the spring session.
“(ARISE) has deepened my faith and love for my parish family,” Casper told Today’s Catholic. “As a parish team member, I was also blessed with lots of feedback of spiritual renewal and excitement in experiencing God in this special way from many of the small group leaders and participants.”
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.
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.