RENEW International Spreads the Word of God
Synod of Bishops 2008 Affirms Role of Small Groups

RENEW International, the Catholic ministry organization known for its promotion and support of small faith-sharing groups, points out that the recent Synod of Bishops convened by Pope Benedict XVI confirms the positive role of these small communities of believers in spreading the Word of God.

Pope Benedict designated this past year as the “Year of St. Paul” and brought together bishops and Scripture scholars from around the world to meet in Rome to discuss the Word of God in the mission and life of the Church. At the end of this Synod, the bishops offered a document which includes references to the laudatory benefits of small groups breaking open Scripture together. In fact, the working document for the Synod credits such pastoral programs for assisting in “rediscovering the Word of God and giving it a privileged place.”

“In this Pauline year, the recent Synod on the Word of God offers a powerful witness to the great hope that is offered to people once they have the opportunity to hear and understand the Gospel, and discern its meaning in their lives. For over thirty years, RENEW International’s pastoral services and publications have encouraged direct, personal use of Sacred Scripture,” remarked Sr. Terry Rickard, OP, Executive Director of RENEW International.

The Synod’s Propositions, which are the proposals the bishops make to the Pope, include the recommendation for forming small ecclesial communities where the Word of God is heard, studied, and prayed over. It further asserts that the “service of the laity who guide these communities must be esteemed and promoted, because they render a missionary service to which all the baptized are called.”

In just the past four years, over a quarter-million adults have read, reflected on, prayed with, and shared their faith with Scripture as an integral part of a RENEW small Christian community experience. RENEW International’s offerings, Why Catholic? Journey through the Catechism and ¿Por qué ser católico? currently involve over 1500 parishes in over thirty-five dioceses. Additionally, almost thirty thousand Catholics are now involved with ARISE Together in Christ, a new spiritual renewal and evangelization process initiated by the Archdiocese of Boston for its bicentennial.

RENEW International offers many unique ways to put Scripture within the people’s reach. These resources include Lectionary-based materials specifically written for college students and young adults; large-print/Braille materials; audio versions of Scripture-based reflections; prison outreach; family faith-sharing pages; publications offered in Spanish, Portuguese, Vietnamese, among other languages.

More information can be found at www.renewintl.org. Scripture-based resources and publication are available at www.renewintl.org/store.

About RENEW International
RENEW International is a canonically-recognized Catholic organization based in Plainfield, NJ, in the Archdiocese of Newark. RENEW International fosters spiritual renewal in the Catholic tradition by empowering individuals and communities to encounter God in everyday life, deepen and share faith, and connect faith with action.

For three decades, RENEW International has revitalized parish life in over 150 dioceses in the United States, touching the lives of 25 million people through its renewal processes. RENEW International also reaches many thousands outside the United States, having served people in 23 countries, across six continents, and in 44 languages.