“Going Forth in Joy”, the formation retreat in Putnam on June 22, 23, 24 was attended by 28 members of our parish cluster!
This marks a new and accelerated phase in the transformation of our parish cluster into missionary parishes.
It is time to change our orientation from being concerned principally about the maintenance of our small communities to becoming communities of missionary disciples.
We discover our faith with fresh vigor when we make it our mission to share Christ’s life-giving Gospel with the large number of people outside our walls.
Pope Francis’ great apostolic exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel, tells us that becoming missionary disciples is the calling of all Catholics today:
Mission is at once a passion for Jesus and a passion for his people…
When we stand before Jesus crucified, we see the
depth of his love which
exalts and sustains us, but at the same time, unless
we are blind, we begin
to realize that Jesus’ gaze, burning with love,
expands to embrace all his
people. We realize once more that he wants to make
use of us to draw
closer to his beloved people. He takes us from the
midst of his people
and he sends us to his people; without this sense of
cannot understand our deepest identity. (268)
To become communities of missionary disciples, we will learn to reach out, both communally and individually;
we will develop processes for sharing our way of life and Catholic doctrine with seekers who come through our doors;
we will help seekers discover their own relationship with Our Lord through prayer and the sacraments.
But the first step is for us to become communities of welcome.
Will people who walk into our churches feel like they are entering communities of welcome?
We all share a calling to be welcomers of one another and of new brothers and sisters who come to see what we are about.