Awakening the Domestic Church

February 13, 2017

Please take some time to review the Awakening the Domestic Church website.  This apostolate is being coordinated by Dcn Darrell Wentworth of the New Creation Community in Virginia Beach.

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Can you confidently say “Look at me”?

November 10, 2013

Msgr Charles Pope recently offered a wonderful post on the New Evangelization.  It included this insightful mini-examen regarding our relationship with Jesus:

Critical though it is, all the apologetics in the world may founder if we cannot authentically and authoritatively answer the question “How do I know it’s true?” by saying, authentically:

“Look at me. ” In other words to be able to say, “This word, this teaching, is true, because in the laboratory of my own life, I have tested it, and found it to be true, and here’s how. And Jesus is real, because I have met him and here’s when, and here is how. And here is how I’m experiencing him today in my life. Yes, when I pray, I am heard. The Lord speaks in the depths of my heart, sometimes in wordless contemplation, at other times vividly through his proclaimed word, and in my mind, and in the experiences and interactions of my day. I see him, I know him, and I experience his presence, and this is changing my life.”

  • Can you authentically speak like this?
  • Have you met the Lord,?
  • How, when?
  • Do you know him?
  • And how is your relationship with him changing your life?
  • What has your walk with him done?
  • Have you encountered him in his word, and in the sacraments celebrated?
  • How, when, and what has this liturgical experience of the Lord done for you?
  • How is it changing you?

These are essential questions and truths to ponder to be able to answer briefly and articulately if we are going to personally evangelize others today.

Ask the Holy Spirit to anoint you to know the answers to these sorts of questions, and to be able to access the memories of how the Lord is living, working and relating with you in your life. Ask God the Holy Spirit to help you form a testimony, so as to become a first-hand witness to the power of the Lord in your life!

It would be a good exercise for us to answer the questions he poses.  If we struggle to provide answers to these questions, perhaps we are assuming more of a relationship with Jesus than we really have with Him.  If the answers we provide are weak, perhaps we need to strengthen our efforts to seek the Lord and implore His grace.  If our personal attempts to evangelize have been not been fruitful, it could be because the foundation of our efforts – our personal relationship with Jesus – needs to be fortified.

In a follow-up post, Msgr Pope shares his personal testimony.


Two inspiring interviews on evangelization

October 20, 2013

First: (audio)
Al Kresta discusses the urgency of the new evangelization with Ralph Martin here (or here) [from 5:15 to 34:20].

Second: (video)
Ralph Martin and Fr John Riccardo discuss evangelization and discipleship from a parish perspective here.


Discovering Christ

September 10, 2013

The 20+ participants view the video presentation during Week 2 of Discovering Christ:

Discovering Christ Session 2 - 2013-d


Encounter Jesus Christ this Fall

August 12, 2013

We’ll be running a “Discovering Christ” program on Tuesdays in September and October.  Here’s a printable flyer to help us promote the program.

DiscChrist 2013

Note:  Our variation of “Discovering Christ” does not include the meal at each session or the retreat day as mentioned in this promotional video.


Fr Serra’s example

June 25, 2013

Here’s a tremendous talk given by Philly Abp Chaput a couple days ago at a conference held on the island of Mallorca.  He uses the occasion of honoring Fr Junipero Serra to emphasize the critical importance of today’s New Evangelization.

The Island of Mallorca

The Island of Mallorca

Fr Serra's missions


“Discovering Christ” — Session 6

April 1, 2012

Last Tuesday evening (March 27) was the sixth and FINAL session sponsored by our Community during which we previewed ChristLife’s “Discovering Christ” program.

After some prayer and praise, the group viewed the eighth video entitled “New Life in the Spirit: Being a Catholic Disciple,” by David Nodar, and then the ninth and final video entitled “Community and the Sacraments:  Why We Need the Church,” by Father Erik Arnold.   After the videos, the group discussed the presentations.

Some of the impressive qualities of the program which were highlighted by those in attendance:

  1. Someone commented that at least one point in each talk has “touched him in a very deep way.”
  2. Fr Arnold’s “Church without Christ” comments were especially timely in light of recent internet buzz on “faith in Christ without religion.”

Some of the challenges that were surfaced:

  1. There were still comments in favor of LIVE presentations, and something else was needed to “Mix-up” (i.e., add variety to) the constant DVD presentation.  To balance this, the point was also made that we are NOT seeing the true effectiveness of the program because we do not know what happened in the share groups.  
  2. While there was some concern over the lack of reference to the parish for community, it was believed the participants in these particular videos were probably students who would not find community at a local parish, but at home. 
  3.  This point helped us all realize that this presentation is very important and usually “tailored” to the situation.  Where there is strong opportunity to experience community in the parish, direction is given; if that encouragement needs to be directed to another group (i.e., prayer group, covenant community, etc.), then that suggestion can also be made.  Ideally, a parish would have ways to bring in those completing the seminar, but that is not always the case.
  4. Some questioned if the ChristLife approach falls short our expectations of the Life in the Spirit Seminar in the Catholic Charismatic renewal.
  5. The point was made that any concerns about the DVD vs. Live presentations should be carefully discerned.  Can our own desire to give talks be in the way?  Do we have too much ownership? 

What is Next?

Jim

Jim Gialanella thanked the attendees for their steady participation in the project, and had everyone complete a questionnaire on the presentations.  Jim has subsequently tabulated these responses, and will report them to the CCR Life in The Spirit Committee that will meet on Wednesday, April 11.  Hopefully, the committee can come to some conclusion about using the ChristLife Program in any future Life in the Spirit Seminars.  Finally, many thanks to all at ChristLife for making this tool available to the Church!


“Discovering Christ” — Session 5

March 21, 2012

Yesterday evening (March 20th) was the fifth of the sessions sponsored by our Community during which we’re previewing ChristLife’s “Discovering Christ” program.

After some prayer and praise, the group viewed the seventh video presentation entitled “The Holy Spirit and You,” by Father Erik Arnold. After the video, the group discussed the presentation. 

Some of the impressive qualities of the program which were highlighted by those in attendance:

  1. Many commented on the easy, positive flow of the presentation. 
  2. There is a definite “gentleness” in the approach of this program. It is not a hard sell, but still gets to the heart.
  3. The reference to Church Tradition in the “laying on of hands” was very effective. 
  4. Fr Arnold made reference to the “Act of Faith” involved when the participant comes forward and makes the “Prayer for Renewal.”  Some in the group saw that same “Act of Faith” in the prayer teams when they depend more on the providence of God, than on the depth and duration of their own prayers. 
  5. Many noted the inclusion of the 2008 Pentecost quote by Pope Benedict XVI.
  6. One person was very touched by Fr Arnold’s story of his crisis of faith.  It was an emotional connection to his own experience.

Some of the challenges that were surfaced:

  1. While there was general agreement on the approach not to get into too much depth regarding the spiritual gifts at this point, several still felt a little more preparation was necessary before the prayers for the baptism in the Holy Spirit. 
  2. There was some thought expressed that talks six and seven could be combined, with a live witness.  This would allow for an eight week program.
  3. Since the ChristLife materials actually state that 25 to 40% of participants do not attend the special Holy Spirit Retreat day, there was general consensus that this may not be the better context in which to offer the prayers for the baptism in the Holy Spirit.  The personal experience of just about everyone in the group was that the attrition rate was usually less than 10% when done in the routine weekly schedule instead of a separate retreat. 

The Prayer for renewal in the Holy Spirit:

There was overwhelming support for the format for the Prayer for Renewal.  The group thought it was very “participant centered.”  Items especially noted were:

  1. Clear instructions for prayer teams and participants
  2. Being sensitive to participant approval for laying on of hands
  3. Specific direction for prayer teams to be supportive, loving and confident in their prayers, keeping it simple and direct. One commented “God is bigger than our attempts at perfection.” 
  4. Keeping the TOTAL time frame under five minutes (including explanation/instructions to participant)
  5. There was a suggestion to lengthen the Prayer for Renewal, making some connection to participant’s Baptism and Confirmation.
  6. There was a sense that the prayer teams really needed to be prepared in advance for this activity.  They need to be familiar with the instructions and the “Act of Faith” concept for both participant and prayer team members.  Jim reminded everyone that there is supposed to be a “Leaders Day Retreat” in preparation for the sessions.  Discussion of how to lead small groups and the Renewal Prayer were part of this day.  Several believed this has been an OVERLOOKED AREA in recent Life in the Spirit Seminars.  We need to get back to that preparation.

In preparation for next week:

  • Participants should be ready review talk #8 “New Life in the Spirit: Being a Catholic Disciple,” and talk #9 “Believing & Belonging: Why We Need the Church,”  after watching those videos.
  • Next week will be the last session of this evaluation of the ChristLife Seminar Series entitled “Discovering Christ.”    All comments will be referred to the Diocesan CCR Service Team’s “Life in the Spirit Seminar Committee.”

“Discovering Christ” — Session 4

March 15, 2012

Tuesday evening was the fourth of the sessions sponsored by our Community during which we’re previewing ChristLife’s “Discovering Christ” program

After some prayer, the group viewed the fifth talk in the series entitled “Why is the Resurrection Important for Us” by David Nodar, and the sixth talk entitled “Who is the Holy Spirit?” also by Dave Nodar.

Some of the impressive qualities of the program which were highlighted by those in attendance:

  1. Some commented that they really never put all this evidence together in the way David Nodar did.
  2. These presentations really meet the younger, logical mind of today.  It helps them “prove the thesis” for the evidence that supports the resurrection.
  3. The information and connections build throughout the presentations.
  4. Some expressed these two talks were done with more passion than others.
  5. The content of these talks was different in contrast to the “New Life” and “Preparing for the Gifts” talks of the more traditional Life in the Spirit Seminar.  There was general agreement that the “Discovering Christ” talks were more in-depth and provocative.  There is good movement toward the actual baptism in the Holy Spirit to come.
  6. The technology of viewing the scripture passages helps in emphasis and attention.
  7. Pointing out the difference between infant and adult baptism helps in the understanding of why there is a disconnect today with our faith/commitment and God’s grace when it comes to receiving the power and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
  8. Great tie in with Old Testament signs of a new outpouring of the Spirit.  The explanation of what happened at Pentecost is better seen as part of the long, unfolding plan of God as foretold by prophets of old.

Some of the challenges that were surfaced:

  1. Comments still came forward expressing the advantage of “live” presentations over using the DVD’s.   This is not a concern that is going away.  Some expressed the connection felt when the presentation is by someone they know or who they have actually met through the seminar.  The relationship connection helps in appreciating struggles and successes as expressed by actual live speakers.
  2. Some of the reviewers did not think the joke at the start of talk six was appropriate.  Not only that, it did not seem to connect to the talk.  They suggested fast-forwarding that part to the start of the teaching.
  3. There was some disagreement on the issue of emphasizing the impact of sin more.  The comment was made that a more pronounced emphasis on sin and eternal death by Father Arnold in an earlier talk would have made talks 5 and 6 even more powerful.  There was a response that to do this may give the wrong message.  It may tend to over emphasize the fear of Hell as opposed to the love and mercy of God.

In preparation for next week:

  • Participants should be ready to move into actual “small groups” as we review the baptism in the Holy Spirit dynamics of the program.
  • Jim Gialanella, Bob Valiante and Kathy Bagley recounted some of what they remembered from the February ChristLife Conference in Maryland.  There does seem to be a caution against over-extending the prayer time and including elements of distraction from the participant’s genuine time of surrender and petition. 
  • Jim explained he would have better instructions for everyone after reviewing the ChristLife materials prior to next week.  He suggested we may not get beyond talk #7 “The Holy Spirit and You.”

Hopefully next week’s session will be just as rewarding.  Invite someone!


“Discovering Christ” — Session 3

March 7, 2012

Yesterday evening was the third of the sessions sponsored by our Community during which we’re previewing ChristLife’s “Discovering Christ” program.  Again, about 35  joy-filled Catholics involved in various apostolates (CCR, parishes, youth ministry, men’s movement, etc) responded to our invitation.

Walt Babetski lead the discussion after a time of quasi-Liturgy-of-the-Hours Evening Prayer.  The group viewed the third DVD entitled “What Does Jesus Want Us to Know,” by David Nodar, and the fourth DVD entitled “Why Do I Need a Savior” by Father Erik Arnold.  There was also a very brief 10-minute DVD called “Lump” that was part of the third talk.  It was viewed immediately at the end of talk three.  Following the DVD presentations, the group discussed the videos.

Some of the impressive qualities of the program which were highlighted by those in attendance:

  1. Now, after four DVD’s, it has become very evident that the speakers do an excellent job each time in recapping the previous talk and immediately connecting it to the new presentation.
  2. The talks are very clear and the information is presented in a well organized, understandable way.
  3. Some of the vernacular used in talk three especially connects well with young people.
  4. The LUMP DVD was, by far, the most impacting.  It was likened to a “modern day parable” in how it was presented.  It was a very EMOTIONAL presentation.  Many believed this could easily be a key transition point for participants and that the share group leaders need to be keenly aware of the deepening level of discussion that may take place in the groups that night.   Many of the program previewers present spoke of the impact the LUMP DVD was having on them.  It brought home the clear message that many who think they may be “seasoned” in their faith still have much to learn and experience about God’s love for them.
  5. Questions for share groups were reviewed and appeared well connected and provocative for discussion.
  6. Father Arnold brings home clearly the point that “Knowing” is not enough.  We need to “ACT” on what we hear.    We need to DECIDE!  He also noted the important concept that it is an ONGOING PROCESS.  The “Prayer of Commitment” was an excellent tool to bring participants closer to the surrender soon to come on the evening of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. 
  7. The camera shots of participants helped develop a sense of importance, attentiveness.
  8. While some concern still surfaced using DVD’s instead of live talks, others expressed the positive in the DVD’s, such as the consistent high level of information, clarity, and positive use of technology.

Some of the challenges that were surfaced:

  1. Comments still came forward expressing the advantage of “live” presentations over using the DVD’s.   It again came up to include more live witnesses if using the DVD’s.
  2. There was a comment to have more on SIN in Father Arnold’s talk, since so many Catholics feel that they commit personal sins very rarely. 
  3. There was a comment that the talks need to be more dynamic.

The Team then agreed:

  • To continue to try and review two DVD’s next week.  Doing discussion after each DVD, not waiting to see both first.
  • To be ready to move into actual “small groups” as we review the Baptism in the Holy Spirit dynamics of the program. 

Hopefully next week’s session will be just as rewarding.  Invite someone!


“Discovering Christ” — Session 2

February 29, 2012

Yesterday evening was the second of the sessions sponsored by our Community during which we’re previewing ChristLife’s “Discovering Christ” program.  Again, about 30 joy-filled Catholics involved in various apostolates (CCR, parishes, youth ministry, men’s movement, etc) responded to our invitation.

With Walt absent due to a last-minute family emergency (just plumbing), Jim Gialanella led the discussion after a time of prayer and praise.  The group viewed the second DVD in the series entitled “ Why Does Jesus Matter,” by Father Erik Arnold.  Following the DVD presentation, the group discussed the video.

Some of the impressive qualities of the program which were highlighted by those in attendance:

  1. Creative use of technology/media again noted, especially with the quick “man on the street” question – “Who do you say Jesus Christ is?”  This helped look at all perspectives of answers.
  2. The presentation is geared to meet today’s “modern mind.”
  3. This session, like the first “What is the Meaning of Life,” was genuinely provocative.  To consider the question, “Who is Jesus Christ” was inescapable.  The unsettling question was suggested to those present who supposedly have already discovered Christ, “do they act like they really found Him and know Him?”
  4. The provocative presentation gives participants a reason to continue.
  5. While there was a question regarding the need for more background for the answer to the Question “Who Is Jesus Christ,” it was generally agreed that too much information too soon is counter productive.  The presentation struck just the right balance between inquiry and information.  To dwell too much on this is to begin to question the Providence of God to act unless the informational level is perfect.

Some of the challenges that were surfaced:

  1. The necessity to have share groups arranged by gender, youth, age was seen by  several as not extremely necessary.
  2. Attracting participants was again part of the discussion.  Representatives of Our Lady, Queen of Peace parish talked about using Facebook and the church website.
  3. Another question arose concerning how would this new ChristLife approach be presented to a parish team.  The general consensus was to consider this later after the entire program (Discover Christ) had been evaluated.
  4. Many expressed the opinion that there still needs to be a “flesh and blood” witness that can be combined to the DVD.
  5.  There was a suggestion that an “assignment” after week one should be to have the participants ask at least three people the question “Who Is Jesus Christ” and have them share their responses as part of the Talk 2 share group.
  6. There was general concern expressed that the “Participant Guide” did not provide related scripture readings from week to week.  The use of the familiar, most recent “Life In the Spirit Participant Guide”  was suggested for use from talks three through nine.

The Team then agreed:

  • To review two DVD’s next week, with less discussion time.  Everyone felt comfortable with this suggestion and believed the assessment of the talks would now move much faster.
  • To STAY in one group for the discussions.
  • To be overly concerned about perfect level of information provided or total dependence on publicity denies the Providence of God to work in this effort.

Hopefully next week’s session will be just as rewarding.  Invite someone!


First “Discovering Christ” preview session

February 22, 2012

Yesterday evening was the first of the sessions sponsored by our Community during which we’ll be previewing ChristLife’s “Discovering Christ” program.  More than two dozen joy-filled Catholics involved in various apostolates (CCR, parishes, youth ministry, men’s movement, etc) responded to our invitation, so we had about 40 people, including one priest, in attendance overall.

After providing a brief overview of the ChristLife apostolate and it’s Discovering Christ, Following Christ, and Sharing Christ programs, we viewed the short “invite” video, followed by the “Meaning of Life” talk by Dave Nodar, which is the first talk in the Discovering Christ program. An hour’s worth of healthy discussion ensued.

Some of the impressive qualities of the program which were highlighted by those in attendance:

  1. Creative use of technology/media
  2. The content is understandable by those with little or no spiritual maturity
  3. Dave’s presentation was well-composed with it’s variety of stories, quotes, and the inclusion of a video segment
  4. The “invite” video surfaced those particular occasions during our life when we might be most open to introspection
  5. Quotations from a wide variety of sources
  6. Appropriately Christ-centered
  7. Capable of affecting the participants from the very first session

Some of the challenges that were surfaced:

  1. The necessity of the dinner, and the resources required to have it
  2. Attracting participants
  3. Perceived competition with the “Life in the Spirit Seminar”
  4. Getting all of the participants to persevere through all three programs (Discovering, Following, Sharing)

Hopefully next week’s session will be just as rewarding.  Invite someone!


Spiritual progress in Plymouth

March 23, 2011

The Lenten “Life in the Spirit” program which our Community is helping to present at All Saints Parish in Plymouth is in its second week.  All participants seem to be enthusiastic about their experience thus far.  We are grateful for our faithful intercessors who gather at the Holy Family Center chapel each Tuesday evening to pray for all aspects of the program.

Rapt in attention

Sonny Cesarini teaches on "Salvation"

Post-session conviviality


New life in Plymouth

March 6, 2011

The past two days (Friday evening and all day Saturday) were spent presenting a condensed Life in the Spirit Seminar to the Parish Core Team at All Saints Parish in Plymouth.  This was done to prepare them to better facilitate the Lenten weekly Life in the Spirit sessions that will be sponsored by the parish in the upcoming weeks.

Father Bob Kelleher, Deacon Joe DiVizia, and the Parish Core Team were welcoming and very hospitable.  The program was conducted in the Chapel below the church.  They heard teaching on life in the Spirit mixed with personal testimony of conversion and living out the life in the Spirit.  All seemed to enjoy the variety of songs that accompanied the program.

Jim teaches on "God's Love"

On Saturday afternoon, with the music ministry playing in the background, Fr Bob, Deacon Joe and his wife, Maria, and the members of the Parish Core Team (Elaine, George, Joe, Lucille, Rosemary, Cindy, Tina, Shirley, and Claudia) were each prayed with to be baptized in the Holy Spirit.

Jim leads us in song as Bob prepares to speak

Bob teaches on being baptized in the Holy Spirit

Please continue to pray for them and their parish as they strive to grow deeper in their relationship with God, live the life in the Spirit, and share their faith with others.


Lenten “Life in the Spirit” in Plymouth

February 26, 2011

Jim Gialanella with Fr Robert Kelleher

Above is a pic of Jim Gialanella discussing with Fr Bob Kelleher the plans for the upcoming Life in the Spirit Seminar to be held at All Saints parish.  Fr Kelleher is the Pastor of All Saints parish.

Our Community will be collaborating with a team from All Saints Parish, with the Service Team of the CCR in our diocese, and with the Light of Christ Prayer Group from the Back Mountain area, to present this program.  Here are the some details:

All are invited to the “Life in the Spirit” program that will be presented each Tuesday evening during Lent at All Saints Parish in Plymouth.  This program leads the participants to a deeper personal encounter with Jesus Christ, and an openness to the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives through an awakening of the Sacramental power of their Baptism and Confirmation.

The program begins on March 15th.  Each session will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the parish education center at 135 Willow St (near Willow & Eno Sts), Plymouth.  The sessions will include music, prayer, personal testimony, teaching, and group discussion.

There is no charge to participate in this program.  Members of other parishes are welcome to attend.  Advance registrations are encouraged.  To register, contact Mollie or Jeanette at the parish office at 779-5323.

Please pass this information about the program on to others who would benefit from taking this step to draw closer to the Lord.

Multi-Team planning session on 2/23/2011


B16 on evangelization

February 21, 2011

From this past Saturday:

Your great task in evangelization is therefore to propose a personal relationship with Christ as key to complete fulfillment…..At the same time, it must be recognized that new initiatives in evangelization will only be fruitful if, by the grace of God, those proposing them are people who truly believe and live the message of the Gospel themselves…..This is surely one of the reasons why basic ecclesial communities have had such a positive impact throughout the country. When formed and guided by people whose motivating force is the love of Christ, these communities have proven themselves to be worthy tools of evangelization as they work in conjunction with local parishes.


Pope says: Include parents in Sacramental prep!

August 23, 2008

Earlier this month, Pope Benedict XVI spent some time ‘vacationing’ in Bressanone.  While there, he had a special meeting with the priests from that general area (he does this every year wherever he is ‘vacationing’).  In these meetings, he entertains questions from a few of the priests.  As I was reading his answer to the very last question, these words jumped off the screen into my eyes like lasers during Lasik surgery:

…we naturally must do our best in the context of preparation for the sacraments to reach the parents as well…

 

I did a double-take.  Maybe a triple-take.  It seems to me to be an unmistakably direct confirmation from our Holy Father concerning our efforts to include parents/sponsors in our youth group’s Confirmation retreats.  Perhaps that will help us to convince some of the DRE’s who are on-the-fence about adult participation.

 

Here are the last two paragraphs of the Pope’s answer to that question, with my emphasis added in bold:

Therefore I would say substantially that the sacraments are naturally sacraments of faith: when there is no element of faith, when First Communion is no more than a great lunch with beautiful clothes and beautiful gifts, it can no longer be a sacrament of faith. Yet, on the other hand, if we can still see a little flame of desire for communion in the faith, a desire even in these children who want to enter into communion with Jesus, it seems to me that it is right to be rather broad-minded. Naturally, of course, one purpose of our catechesis must be to make children understand that Communion, First Communion is not a “fixed” event, but requires a continuity of friendship with Jesus, a journey with Jesus. I know that children often have the intention and desire to go to Sunday Mass but their parents do not make this desire possible. If we see that children want it, that they have the desire to go, this seems to me almost a sacrament of desire, the “will” to participate in Sunday Mass. In this sense, we naturally must do our best in the context of preparation for the sacraments to reach the parents as well, and thus to – let us say – awaken in them too a sensitivity to the process in which their child is involved. They should help their children to follow their own desire to enter into friendship with Jesus, which is a form of life, of the future. If parents want their children to be able to make their First Communion, this somewhat social desire must be extended into a religious one, to make a journey with Jesus possible.  

I would say, therefore, that in the context of the catechesis of children, that work with parents is very important. And this is precisely one of the opportunities to meet with parents, making the life of faith also present to the adults, because, it seems to me, they themselves can relearn the faith from the children and understand that this great solemnity is only meaningful, true and authentic if it is celebrated in the context of a journey with Jesus, in the context of a life of faith. Thus, one should endeavour to convince parents, through their children, of the need for a preparatory journey that is expressed in participation in the mysteries and that begins to make these mysteries loved. I would say that this is definitely an inadequate answer, but the pedagogy of faith is always a journey and we must accept today’s situations. Yet, we must also open them more to each person, so that the result is not only an external memory of things that endures but that their hearts that have truly been touched. The moment when we are convinced the heart is touched – it has felt a little of Jesus’ love, it has felt a little the desire to move along these lines and in this direction. That is the moment when, it seems to me, we can say that we have made a true catechesis. The proper meaning of catechesis, in fact, must be this: to bring the flame of Jesus’ love, even if it is a small one, to the hearts of children, and through the children to their parents, thus reopening the places of faith of our time.


Pope’s Mission Message for this year

August 22, 2008

Please take a few minutes to read Pope Benedict’s message for World Mission Sunday 2008, which will be celebrated on October 19.

 

In it, he invites us to join him in reflecting on “the continuing urgency to proclaim the Gospel also in our times.”  He encourages us, in this special year dedicated to St Paul, to see St Paul as “a model of this apostolic commitment.”

 

After explaining “that missionary activity is a response to the love with which God loves us,” he echoes Pope John Paul II:

Dear Brothers and Sisters, “duc in altum“!  Let us set sail in the vast sea of the world and, following Jesus’ invitation, let us cast our nets without fear, confident in his constant aid. 

 

Finally, our Holy Father reminds us that an important part of evangelization is the prayer that supports it:

…may prayer be intensified ever more in the Christian people, the essential spiritual means for spreading among all peoples the light of Christ…