At a General Audience in St Peter’s Square, on May 15th, 2013, Pope Francis issued these challenging words:
“Let us ask ourselves …what steps are we taking to ensure that faith governs the whole of our existence. We are not Christian “part-time,” only at certain moments, in certain circumstances, in certain decisions; no one can be Christian in this way. We are Christian all the time! Totally! May Christ’s truth, which the Holy Spirit teaches us and gives to us, always and totally affect our daily life. Let us call on him more often so that he may guide us on the path of disciples of Christ. Let us call on him every day.”
So what are we doing at St Philip’s and St Clare’s to ensure that faith governs the whole of our existence? Last week I spoke about the first part of the faith-growth program we are implementing in the next couple of months: the 33 Days to Morning Glory from the Hearts Afire program, which Deacon Mark spoke about in his homily two Sundays ago. Now I want to sketch out the remaining parts of this coming year’s faith-growth program.
Straight after the 33 Days personal and communal retreat, which finishes with our Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on November 21st, those people who, by then, have offered to open their homes for small group discussion of the Matthew Kelly book, Rediscovering Catholicism, will be meeting for three months training in how to run a home “cell group.” This will take us up to March of next year. At this time, we will implement part 2 of the Hearts Afire program, Consoling the Heart of Jesus. When this is done, probably by early spring, we will launch house groups throughout the two parishes to discuss the Rediscovering Catholicism book (which was given out to everyone at Pentecost this year). The purpose of these small groups is to facilitate discussion in the groups of issues related to our Catholic faith. If you know someone in your neighbourhood, or in your family, or among your friends, who has lapsed from their faith, or has expressed an interest in learning more about the Catholic faith, it would be an ideal environment to bring them into, so they can explore these issues in a comfortable, safe, confidential environment.
If you truly do not want to be a “part-time Christian Catholic,” I invite your participation in our faith-growth parish program in the year ahead!!