As Catholics, we are blessed to belong to a Church, where we find Jesus amidst a loving faith community.
The call for parish renewal came from Saint Pope John Paull II when he challenged us to find new ways to proclaim Christ to all people.
This call is a challenge for each person as we are called to an encounter and ongoing conversation of Jesus Christ. Parish renewal encourages parishes to find ways to actively support the faith of all people and invite others on this journey of faith. These vibrant communities help us to spread the Good News in our cities, towns and communities.
It is from an encounter with the Lord that all genuine renewal in the Church becomes possible. We grow in relationship and likeness and holiness through communion with Jesus Christ in prayer. As we continually encounter Jesus Christ, learn more about him, fall in love with him, become more and more like him, and listen to him, he shines through us and works in us more and more.
In prayer ask the Lord how you can encounter Christ anew. Give the Lord permission to use you in any way that he wants. It is people growing in holiness that will ensure that parish renewal bears fruit. Our parishes are a place that can help people grow in holiness.
Parish renewal needs an intentional plan of action around these key areas:
Creating a vibrant faith community is not just about going to Church. A community is one that supports each other and offers opportunities to everyone in the community - young and old, faith-filled and those still searching.
What can you do to be part of a thriving parish community?
Prayer doesn’t turn us inward, but it always turns us outward to God and our brothers and sisters. It is people growing in holiness that will ensure that parish renewal bears fruit. Our parishes are a place that can help people grow in holiness.
How can you help your parish to grow others holiness?
It is from an encounter with the Lord that all genuine renewal in the Church becomes possible. We grow in relationship and likeness and holiness through communion with Jesus Christ in the celebration of the liturgy, the sacraments and prayer. As we continually encounter Jesus Christ, learn more about him, fall in love with him, become more and more like him, and listen to him, he shines through us and in our works.
Can you help others in your parish encounter Jesus?
Generosity of spirit characterises us as Catholics. It is on us to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked and welcome the stranger (Mt: 25:34-43). Through our faith and through our works we reach out to those most needy, not just those in practical need but those who are lacking in character and in the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
Ask the Lord how you can help your parish serve those in need.
A vibrant parish will help on our Mission - to invite and welcome people to encounter Christ. Mission can take many forms of ministry - such as supporting our young people and our schools, spiritual guidance and care of the poor and creation.
The Alpha Programme is widely used to encourage people on their own faith journey and help grow volunteers and leaders. Contact your local parish - many Parishes run Alpha Programmes throughout the year.
Can you help your parish be a missionary parish?
If you are passionate about Parish Renewal there are many strategic tools, programmes and parish models available to help parishes support people on the journey from their first encounter with Christ to becoming a missionary disciple.