Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As you may have seen in the bulletin or heard about at this weekend’s Masses, St. Charles is bringing a new ministry to the parish community. Known as ChristLife, it is an evangelization program that aims to give a jolt to the faith life of those that participate and beyond. I would highly encourage you to participate in this small-group based discussion.
Rather than go through the ins and outs of what the program is and how it all works, I’d like instead to speak a bit about some of the transformative power that is found within it. We ran this program when I was assigned to St. Benedict’s in Holmdel and it had a great impact in my time there.
We used to say about how many deacons were stationed at St. Ben’s that we had “Two and half.” This is because we had two deacons in full-time ministry and one deacon in his eighties who only helped at one weekend Mass a week. Deacon Ray, a kindly and faith-filled man, would come in, serve his Mass, and go on with the rest of his week. His time in active ministry was limited and there was a sense that he was gently stepping out of that phase of his life. And then he began to help and participate in ChristLife. As the program went on, Deacon Ray became something else.
Something deep within him awoke and the passion of his faith came to the fore. His energy and enthusiasm for both God and life made him seem twenty years younger. And it came about because of ChristLife.
There are other stories I could tell. Stories of conversion from no faith or very little faith to receiving missed Sacraments and having their children baptized. Stories of past hurts being let go and finding the loving God who was there to bring healing. Stories of God raising up men and women on fire with the faith. ChristLife is going to be a great addition to our parish. If you have the opportunity, you should take the time to experience it for yourself.
Peace and Goodness,