Saint Boniface Looks Back at Season One
of ARISE Together in Christ
Parishes in the Archdiocese of Saint Boniface (Manitoba, Canada) recently completed the first season of ARISE small group faith-sharing sessions. The archdiocesan newspaper, New Vision, provided excellent coverage from pre-launch through the conclusion of the first 6 sessions. The articles below appeared in the November and December editions.
Enthusiasm is high as participants look forward to Season Two in Lent, 2013.
Awakening the Sacred
On September 30th, 2012 members of leadership teams from 49 parishes gathered at the Cathedral for a Liturgy of the Word celebration to launch ARISE Together in Christ. They answered the call of Christ to come together in small communities to receive the Word of God and share their faith experience with each other.
Archbishop LeGatt welcomed the participants gratefully for their response to Christ’s invitation to grow spiritually and strengthen their parish communities. He acknowledged all the prayer, hard work and preparation that brought all to this joyful celebration.
|Liturgical dancers and drummers from the African parish St. Kizito, processed the Book of the Gospels. In his bilingual homily, Archbishop LeGatt stressed the power of words. He emphasized that powerful words bear human truths, bringing meaning to life. He went on to explain that “we use our human words and actions to share Christ with others in our daily lives; the richness of our experience of Jesus depends on our response to Him! As we become more intimate with Jesus Christ, our words and actions invite others to have strength and courage to walk in His light.”|
The celebration ended when parish representatives each carried a candle in procession. This candle was lit from the Paschal Candle and will in turn be used for the first lighting of the candles in each small group in all of the parishes when ARISE begins in mid-October.
In closing, Archbishop LeGatt thanked all of those involved in the leadership of ARISE who courageously stood up to spread the truth, hope and peace throughout the diocese.
A barbecue followed on the Cathedral grounds.
Lynda Pisa, St. Alphonsus
Archbishop LeGatt’s Message
From the 7th to the 28th of October 2012, the Synod on New Evangelization was held in Rome. Every Bishops’ conference from around the world sends representatives to this gathering convoked by Pope Benedict XVI as an act of collegiality. Together these bishops, with the Holy Father present, will discuss the permanent mission of the Church to proclaim the Gospel, to announce that in Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection, God offers true salvation to all humanity. However, they will also discuss the practical pastoral ways to do so in our world today often marked by indifference to all things religious and by an individualized and relativized sense of truth and value.
Doing so, they take up once again the great thrust that brought forth the Second Vatican Council. Pope John XXIII’s dream was to bring re-form to the Church so as to enable it to proclaim the abiding truths of our Catholic faith in a spirit of openness to a changing modern world marked by both lights and shadows.
Appropriately within the first week of the Synod, Pope Benedict formally inaugurated the Year of the Faith on October 11, 2012. This date marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the first session of Vatican II and the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catholic Catechism of the Catholic Church (issued as a synthesis or summary of the Catholic faith). It is to be a year whereby, growing in our knowledge of the Catholic faith, we come to all grow in what is the core of our faith: our personal encounter with Jesus Christ, our Lord and our Saviour.
And on the home front? Here in our archdiocese we have launched the RENEW experience of ARISE Together in Christ as one way, among others, of responding to the thirst of people to grow in understanding what the Catholic faith teaches and what we are invited to live as Catholic Christians, followers of Jesus Christ in our world at this time.
I believe it is though the experience, made easier in a small-group setting, of being attentive to the scriptures and of sharing with others our personal life experience and questions and insights that we grow in relationship to Christ in a meaningful way.
Please pray for the spiritual and pastoral success of the Synod on New Evangelization, of the Year of the Faith, of the celebration of the anniversaries of Vatican II and the Catechism, and of the many efforts, including RENEW, to come to know the love and ways of God in Jesus in a personal way.
ARISE is ALIVE!
The first season of ARISE has drawn to a close.
Here are some testimonies from parishes across our diocese.
…It has been powerful to pray the Scriptures in our Small Christian Community Groups and to bring silence and still-ness in our life to better “encounter Christ”. ARISE helped us learn and share our faith among our Christian brothers and sisters and strengthen the bonds of trust and friend-ship within our group… St. Emile, Winnipeg
…It is so beautiful to be able to talk about God to each other. When I hear our male and female voices raised strongly in prayer or singing the songs, my soul rejoices that it’s happening here… Saint Alphonse
…Participants have reported a change in how they view others, realizing that even though not outwardly apparent, we all have struggles. Friendships have been made. The insights of others have helped individuals grow in their faith… Christ Our Saviour, Steinbach
…Through the sharing with the members of our group, I have evolved from knowing about Christ to knowing Christ which is something I felt was missing up until now. I now recognize that my life experiences and my Christ experiences are not separate but are intertwined…
St. Timothy, Winnipeg
…We felt comfortable with each other and started to feel a sense of community. This helped us share life experiences and our faith journey with each other…
St. Alphonsus, Winnipeg
Previously published in NEW VISION, with permission from the Archdiocese of Saint Boniface.