RENEW MY CHURCH:
OUR OWN DISCIPLESHIP
BY PASTOR, FR. BERNIE PIETRZAK
Dear People of Saint Anne,
We have a mission: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations… Teach them to carry out everything I have commanded you and know that I am with you always, until the end of the world” (Mt 28:19-20).This is the Great Commission that Christ gave His apostles. And He gives us this mission today assomething to accomplish together. An important element to achieving our mission is understanding whatwe’re facing today.
In an earlier letter, I noted some reasons why renewal is needed, not the least of which is a steady decline in faith practices that stretches back decades. There are many issues that people cite as a catalyst for leaving the Church or lapsing in their faith. The pain and suffering from the abuse crisis and failure in leadership have been reason enough for some to walkaway or refrain from (re)entering. There are also the age-old allurements that cause people to drift away from the faith of their youth. And there are issues and challenges of a personal nature that only God can see within people’s hearts. But there are also people that leave the Church not because they reject teachings, doctrines or even because of the scandals- they leave because they want more than what they’re experiencing. For those of us who know and love and serve our Lord present in the sacraments, this may be difficult to get our minds or hearts around. But it’s a reality for some. With that in mind, I ask you to consider the following questions: Are you a disciple of Jesus Christ? What does it mean to be His disciple? Is there anything holding you back from following Him more closely, or from introducing others to Him? What is your relationship with Saint Anne Catholic Community? How do you personally strengthen the spirit of our parish community?
In order to strengthen our Parish community, there are three mission imperatives that guide the efforts of Renew My Church:
We must reflect on how each of us invites others into a personal encounter and lifelong relationship with Jesus Christ as disciples in His Church.
In these post COVID times we must resonate the spirit of our parish community while having enough resources to carryout our mission. But we also recognize resourcing alone does not address all of our challenges. Parish and school communities that are well-resourced and vibrant today still face significant challenges because of the changes in society. That is why we need a spiritual renewal at the foundation of all we do.
In keeping with the urging of the Second Vatican Council, Pope Francis calls the Church to go out into the world as a field hospital to bring healing to a world torn by division, violence, racism, poverty and to promote respect for human dignity and life.
What does this have to do with your personal role in Renew My Church? Take that question to prayer and as Jesus reminds us that “the mustard seed is the smallest of all plants yet the largest bush when full grown” so, too, will Christ give you a clear role in the renewal of His Church.
In the Easter Peace of the Risen Christ,
Fr. Bernie Pietrzak