Marian Helper Spring_2013 - page 7

We asked some of our Marian Helpers to share
how they are marking the Year of Faith,
especially in their parishes.
‘I resolve to grow and help others learn’
I am doing a number
of things as I resolve to
grow and help others learn
more about their faith.
Every morning, I start my
day with a daily reading from
Catechism of the Catholic
. There are several websites that I
encourage everyone to visit that will help them
get involved with their faith.
I am also a member of a Divine Mercy
Cenacle, and we consecrated ourselves to
Mary on the solemnity of the Immaculate
Conception. That was very powerful because as
we were reading Fr. Michael Gaitley’s book,
Days to Morning Glory
, we were reflecting on a
passage from the
Diary of St. Faustina
how she was also preparing for the solemnity of
the Immaculate Conception. Those combined
with all the teachings of the saints in Fr. Mike’s
book made my consecration very special.
In January, we started new classes related to
the Year of Faith here at St. Anthony of Padua
Catholic Church. The first is a small class for a
Year of Faith Bible study by Fr. Mitch Pacwa,
SJ, which I am facilitating. The second is for a
group of 300 that is following the Great
Adventure Bible Study series, which is geared
to helping groups grow in faith together.
—TA, The Woodlands, Texas
‘Many opportunites to grow spiritually’
We at St. John Neumann
Church are being blessed
with many opportunities to
grow spiritually during the
Year of Faith.
We offered a Catholicism
series by Fr. Robert Barron.
We are running small and
large groups to learn about our Catholic faith
during 10- and 20-week sessions.
Dr. Steven Smith came to our parish for the
beginning of theYear of Faith. He did a week-
end couple’s retreat, teaching our couples more
about the theology of marriage and how living
and fulfilling God’s plan for marriage can bring
many blessings to their lives, the life of our
parish, and our society. As a follow-up, we are
doing the “Six Great Date Nights,” where cou-
ples come to our parish to share on a variety of
topics about opportunities for spiritual growth.
For Lent, every Friday evening, we are hav-
ing a different speaker come to our parish and
lead us in a teaching and discussion about the
social doctrines of the Church and how to put
our faith into action. At the Masses, we will be
preaching each weekend of Lent on a single
topic of our Catholic faith, to go a little deeper
into particular aspects of the faith.
We took several busloads of people to the
March for Life in Washington, D.C. We
believe that this was an awesome way to
express and exercise our faith by standing up
for the most vulnerable in our society during
this Year of Faith.
Many of our regular parish programs are fol-
lowing the theme of theYear of Faith. For
instance, our high school youth group is learn-
ing more this year about the social teachings of
our Catholic faith and is putting these teachings
into practice by serving the poor.
— Fr. DS, Sunbury, Ohio
Building faith through pilgrimages
My wife and I are work-
ing on developing a list of
pilgrimages members of our
parish can take to help
them build their faith. We
felt that if people could visit
shrines, churches, or attend
healing Masses during the Year of Faith, it
would help them learn and grow. We offer
them places they can travel to locally, within
the state, within the U.S., or even globally. We
say they can travel 20, 200, or 2,000 miles.
In addition, while out on these pilgrimages,
we hand out lots of Divine Mercy materials to
help educate those around us. We encourage
them to say a prayer for our country, so that
more people will rediscover their faith.
— CY, Marlin, Texas
I want to offer a special thanks to all of you
for sharing your plans for the Year of Faith.
Your examples may spur others to enter more
fully into this time of grace. I would remind
everyone that Pope Benedict XVI has said this
special year is a time for “reflection and redis
covery of the faith.”
— Fr. Joseph, MI
• S
2013 •
Father Joseph’s
Father Joseph would be happy to find a letter from you in his mailbox. Your letter may be edited for clarity and
space. Send it to: Father Joseph’s Mailbox, Editorial, Eden Hill, Stockbridge, MA 01263, or
Mai lbox
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