Renew My Church Scenarios

renewmychurch chiRenew My Church: What is it? Why are we doing it?
Our parish once again enters the Renew My Church Discernment Process. Like all parishes of the Archdiocese of Chicago, we will be participating in an effort of renewal. Some may ask, “why now?” since we are slowly finding our new pace, there is still a great deal of concern for people’s well-being. The most honest answer I can offer is that the opportunity for renewal is ever-present and is perhaps more important now than ever.

When we look at the signs of the time, what do we see? A culture more ambivalent toward religion; declining faith participation of younger generations; Mass attendance in our archdiocese that has decreased by 27% over the past 20 years; across the U.S., 2 in 5 children baptized are not confirmed; and, 85% of children that are confirmed stop practicing their faith by age 21. In many quarters of our society, Christian morality, once the norm, is pushed aside. The consequences are all around us: breakdown of families, disregard for innocent life and human dignity, violence in our communities, addictions, depression, loneliness and despair. For many of us, we see this in our own families and neighborhoods, brokenness and separation from the life of Jesus Christ.

Now, consider the actual words, “renew my church.”

What a wonderful gift we have as Jesus invites us to renew His Church. The Lord of the universe speaks these words to us just as he spoke them to the saints before us. Finally, we have the word Church. It seems like a tall order to renew the Church. Isn’t that someone else’s job? Our own little parish, maybe. But the whole Church? Yes. And we will, because renewal always, always, always begins within our own hearts.

To be clear, Renew My Church is much bigger than anything we’ve ever done in the Archdiocese of Chicago. It is a faithful response to Christ’s call to renew His Church, a journey that is both spiritual (to re-encounter Jesus Christ as disciples and parish communities) and structural (to ensure our parishes have adequate resources for vitality).

Through Renew My Church initiatives, the Archdiocese will re-commit our local Church to our gospel commission to make disciples, build vital communities of faith and inspire witness to bring the light and hope of Christ to a world in need. These mission imperatives guide all that we do in and through the spiritual and structural efforts of renewal.

One initiative of Renew My Church is focused on increasing the vitality of our local communities. Cardinal Cupich has asked our parish to come together with the other parishes in our grouping to start a process of reflection, discernment, and planning to consider how we can collaborate and combine resources so that we are better equipped to bring Jesus Christ to the world today.

Let’s acknowledge up front that change is not always easy, and renewal can be stressful. For a lot of parishes, this renewal means some form of structural change, such as uniting with another parish. For others, it will be painful with the closure of a church or school.

But something new is needed. Despite the valiant and beautiful efforts of so many pastors, lay leaders and ministry leaders, fewer and fewer people are encountering Jesus and experiencing him in parish community. Change we must, and it will involve frank discussions and some hard decisions to help all of our parishes invest in new ways of spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Over the course of the year, our parish is going to work with St. Leonard, Our Lady of Charity and Our Lady of Czestochowa as part of a group to discuss, share, pray, and discern what the best structures and forms of collaboration are to create a sustainable, vibrant and vital Catholic presence in our area.

Renewal always begins within our own hearts. As we open our hearts to the renewal process, we will pray the special Prayer for Renewal throughout the upcoming months. I invite you to reflect upon each line of this prayer slowly and deliberately. Thousands of people across our Archdiocese and beyond are praying these words on behalf of our local Church. Allow this to become your prayer, as well.

Please reach out with any questions and feel free to visit RenewMyChurch.org to learn more about the vision for renewal in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Yours in Christ,
Fr. Ric Castillo

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Our Grouping
The Renew My Church initiative for our grouping has begun. Our RMC (Renew My Church) Church Grouping includes St. Mary of Czestochowa, Cicero; Our Lady of Charity, Cicero; St. Leonard, Berwyn; and St. Pius X, Stickney. Our grouping will be referred to as the CBS Grouping.

We thank the following individuals for volunteering to be members of the St. Pius X GFDT (Grouping Feedback Team). The members are:

Father Ric, Mrs. Roberta Birmingham, Mrs. Dawn Kapolnek, Mr. Patrick Koren, Mrs. Maria Mendez and Mrs. Patti Trotsky.

On Tuesday, June 29th our Grouping parishes attended a RMC Orientation meeting hosted by the St. Leonard parish. Our meeting schedule will continue to go through October, 2021. During the month of July, parish teams will begin to schedule site visits and visit each grouping parish.

Please pray for the parish teams, and our grouping parishes, that we will be open to the Holy Spirit and able to plan together for the future of the Church and the spread of the Kingdom of God.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the parish office: (708) 484-7951.

Renew My Church is first and foremost a journey of spiritual renewal. Jesus is asking all of us—in light of our Baptism and Confirmation—to work with the Holy Spirit in new and creative ways to make disciples, build communities, and inspire witness.

Archdiocese of Chicago
https://www.renewmychurch.org/mission/what-is-renew-my-church

A PRAYER FOR “RENEW MY CHURCH
Lord Jesus, you speak to us today,
as you spoke to holy men and women who have gone before us.
In every age and in our own time,
you call to us and say: Renew My Church.

Pour out the gift of your Holy Spirit upon us, and so enable us

  • to hear you clearly
  • to listen to each other attentively
  • to imagine our future boldly
  • to discern your direction wisely
  • to persevere in your holy will courageously
  • to stay together in charity
  • to surrender our own plans readily
  • to embrace the greater good
  • to hand on your gifts to future generations.

May we remain in the holy company of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the apostles and all the saints.
May their example and presence inspire us with patient confidence
in the work of your grace.
We ask this of you who live and reign
with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
Amen

CONTACT US: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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