I would like to update you on the progress of the ChristLife program which began six weeks ago. Our team (myself, Deacon Tom, Nancy Peterson and Al Brankiewicz) are very happy with how the program has taken root in our parish. Despite two weather-challenged evenings, attendance has been very steady, with the number of people exceeding everything we had hoped for. Last week's session had 94 members; our recent Saturday morning retreat, an important part of the ChristLife program, was attended by 75 people.
The coming Tuesday evening will be the final session for Discovering Christ. Then we take a break from ChristLife for several weeks so that our attention can focus on Holy Week and Easter. Then, on April 14th the second seven-week segment of the ChristLife program begins: Following Christ. I hope that all of our faithful attendees from Discovering Life will be able to continue their journey of spiritual renewal into this second phase. It is important to know that only those who have attended the first seven weeks will be prepared for the next seven sessions.
On Wednesday March 25 our parish hosts one of the vicariate reconciliation services at 7:00pm. You are specially invited, along with five other area parishes, to experience the healing forgiveness of Jesus. Visiting priests will come to help Fr. Jeremy and myself celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation.
From Pope Francis: The salvation which God offers us is the work of his mercy. No human efforts, however good they may be, can enable us to merit so great a gift. God, by his sheer grace, draws us to himself and makes us one with him. He sends his Spirit into our hearts to make us his children, transforming us and enabling us to respond to his love by our lives. The Church is sent by Jesus Christ as the sacrament of the salvation offered by God. Through her evangelizing activity, she cooperates as an instrument of that divine grace which works unceasingly and inscrutably. Benedict XVI put it nicely at the beginning of the Synod’s reflections: “It is important always to know that the first word, the true initiative, the true activity comes from God and only by inserting ourselves into the divine initiative, only begging for this divine initiative, shall we too be able to become – with him and in him – evangelizers”. This principle of the primacy of grace must be a beacon which constantly illuminates our reflections on evangelization. [par. 112]