Parish Renewal Newsletter

Ideas for your Parish

Responding To Special Needs The May, 2016 edition of the PEP Newsletter contained descriptions of what three Catholic parishes were doing for those with special needs.  That newsletter prompted St. John Chrysostom Parish in Wallingford, PA to send us what is happening there.  It is worth passing it on to others for more ideas about what could be done in this...

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Addressing Violence in the City

A Case Study St. Ambrose has had the same pastor for the last 15 years.  When he first came he was creative and innovative.  “Change” was his middle name.  All but a few parishioners welcomed his initiatives and embraced the lively liturgies, the openness to all comers and the new groups that started to materialize.  Fifteen years...

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Students for Others

For Others The St. Francis Xavier Elementary School in Phoenix, AZ has as its mission and purpose, “Empowering students to become men and women for others through faith, service and justice.”  One concrete way of carrying out this mission is a creative project for the 7th and 8th grade students called, The Arrupe Project.  It was named after Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ, the General...

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A Church Journey

Calling It Quits The story of one person’s journey away from and toward the Church.  My 14 year old self would say I left the Church because in 1971 an usher told me I could not come in wearing blue jeans.  I told him that God didn’t care what I wore and marched out the door; indignant...

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Millennials

Finding A Spiritual Home I am part of the millennia generation (ages 18-39) which requires a sense of purpose in life; we strive for accomplishment in everything.  We want to feel we are significant as we look for a spiritual home.  This can be a challenge because we young adults can be very “picky.”  There...

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How is Your Parish Doing?

What Every Good Parish Needs A pastor recently asked what we thought were indicators of an alive and vibrant parish.  Successful Parishes came to mind, a book Tom wrote in 1983.  Here is a new checklist for the modern parish. For Liturgy Every door at every Mass on the weekend has a family or a few adults welcoming people into church, remaining...

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Working for the Love of It

The Joy of Missing Out An interview of Dewitt Jones, a well-known photographer and lecturer, appeared in the Summer 2015 edition of “The Occasional Papers,” a journal published by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.  The interview was conducted by Sr. Annmarie Sanders, IHM, director of communications for LCWR.  She began the interview by asking...

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Challenges Facing a Bi-cultural Parish

A New Co-Worker With A New Perspective My name is Maria Gabriela Garcia and I am the newest member of the PEP team.  I am not new to this work because I have been part of three Parish Assessment and Renewal (PAR) projects over the last few years.  I have moved to Milwaukee from the Denver area where I lived...

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A Personal Experience

A Pastoral Experience Pope Francis wrote in The Joy of the Gospel, “I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them..” [#3]  Knowing that this was not the experience for a large number of parishioners at St. Lucy’s parish in Campbell, California,...

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A Parish Response

Our Common Home Pope Francis in Laudato Si’ stated, “It is my hope that this Encyclical Letter . . . can help us to acknowledge the appeal, immensity and urgency of the challenge we face.” [15]  The urgency is not only on a global scale but relates to the local level as well.  As the pope mentioned, “Since the world...

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