June 19, 2011
During the month of May, seventy of our parishioners attended the Christ Renews His Parish weekends here at Saint Brigid. One weekend was for our women and the other for our men. I had the privilege of attending portions of both weekends and Monsignor David asked me to give you my thoughts concerning what I saw and experienced. I can begin by sharing with you that I came away from the weekends personally refreshed and renewed. The following themes were developed during the weekends: Renewal, New Life in Christ, Spirituality, Christian Community, Christian Awareness, Scripture, The Father’s Loving Care, and Discipleship. During the two days, new friendships emerged and for many a renewed relationship with Christ and a love for our parish evolved.
The weekends began on Saturday morning and concluded on Sunday afternoon. I attended the Saturday morning breakfast for both weekends and encountered seventy parishioners in various states of mind. Some were very happy to be there; some were a little apprehensive; and some were even wondering why they were there. I also attended the closing sessions on Sunday and witnessed a transformation. The sight was truly amazing and could have only happened because of the power of the Holy Spirit. These same seventy men and women were joy filled; bound together in new friendships, and filled with Christ’s love. I witnessed many coming to receive the Eucharist with tears in their eyes (and yes, some of them were men) and truly excited and renewed in their faith. I sensed renewed commitments to keep the fire burning in their hearts after the weekend concluded. Christ truly did renew His parish of Saint Brigid during these weekends!
The renewal was not the same for everyone. Some who are currently active in various parish ministries may now feel a deeper commitment and love for their service; some may have realized that Christ really does need their time and talent and that there is a place for them in our parish to serve Him; some will now attend adoration for the first time and for weeks and months to come; some may begin to read scripture and pray more deeply on a daily basis; some may commit to attend daily mass; and some may…………..??? The graces given and received from the weekends are endless and very personal for those who attended.
Before Jesus left his followers and ascended to His Father, He promised that he would send them an advocate, the spirit of truth who would be with them always. I truly felt the presence of the spirit of truth on both weekends and wished that all of our parishioners could have been there to receive His gifts. I encourage all of you to consider attending a Christ Renews His Parish weekend at Saint Brigid. Our next weekends will be held on October 15and 16, and October 22 and 23, 2011. Information on the weekends will be publicized in the weeks and months ahead.
God Bless You All