Christ is our reason for hope, cause for celebration!

| September 25, 2014

NienstedtBlComing up on Oct. 4, there is a wonderful opportunity for all Catholics to come together to renew our faith and lift up our hearts with fellow Catholics.

There is an exciting slate of inspiring speakers and musicians at the 2014 Rediscover: Catholic Celebration. Dr. Scott Hahn will lift you up with his talk about being Saved By Hope: The Joy of the Gospel and the New Evangelization. Curtis Martin will talk about Becoming Apostles for Christ in the Work Place. Archbishop Coakley of Oklahoma City will speak on Prayer as the Expression of Hope. Grandparents will not want to miss Jeff Cavins and Judy Cozzens giving practical guidance for bringing grandchildren and even grown children back to the faith. For women, Kelly Wahlquist and Alyssa Bormes will make a presentation on The Martha and Mary Face-Off: Balancing Your Active and Contemplative Lives. Matthew James Christoff and Father William Baer will fire up men for the New Evangelization. For girls in grades 7-10, former “America’s Next Top Model” TV star Leah Darrow will share about her personal conversion and mission as a ROLE model. Also, Father Mike Schmitz will be inspiring teens through his message Life is for living . . . so why not start now? And these are just a few of the many exciting speakers that day!

And there’s more. The phenomenal young folk artist Marie Miller is writing a special song for the day. The Catholic band Sonar will lead praise and worship music. And there are many other surprises, songs and skits, plus more than 120 faith-based exhibitors! Come, be part of the New Evangelization that will build up our parishes and entire local Church. Lay involvement is more important now than ever — come be inspired to become even more engaged in our local Catholic community!

Friday, Oct. 3, is a special evening for young adults to gather and hear Catholic speakers reflect on how to live the faith and participate in the New Evangelization. You can see a full listing of speakers and musicians for Oct. 3 and 4 at Rediscover-faith.org.

The theme of this year’s celebration is “Horizon of Hope,” which is taken from our Holy Father’s first advent message in which Pope Francis simply states that we, as people of faith, are on a journey to a horizon of hope, “a hope that does not disappoint because it is founded on the Word of God. A hope that does not disappoint, simply because the Lord never disappoints! He is faithful!”

Each of us needs to understand that hope is on the horizon and that our journey won’t disappoint. Our local Catholic community has lived through a challenging year. Many people are expressing discouragement because of negative news about how Church leaders have addressed sexual abuse and other misconduct in the Church. People are struggling with issues that divide them from family members and friends, distancing them from the Church, and even causing them to question God’s role in their lives.

On the face of things, some might ask, “What do we have to celebrate?” But, of course, we do have something to celebrate! We celebrate Christ’s sacrifice in the holy Eucharist. We celebrate God’s gift of each day. We celebrate the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives. We celebrate the great gift that is our Catholic faith, the transcendent road map for our journey to the horizon of hope.

There are so many signs of hope throughout our local Church: from the good work of our Catholic schools and parish faith formation programs to NET Ministries and Saint Paul’s Outreach. From our 62 seminarians preparing for the priesthood to the hundreds of local Catholics who have explored and engaged in the faith through the Catechetical Institute. From dedicated staff and volunteers providing pastoral outreach in parishes throughout the archdiocese to the clergy serving honorably and tirelessly all across this local Church.

Please ask for God’s guidance upon me and my brother priests in serving this local Church so that we may follow the model of our Good Shepherd; please ask for healing for those hurt by the Church and mending of the divisions in our faith family.

Pope Francis reminds us that “Jesus, the hope, renews everything. So hope is a constant miracle. The miracle of what He’s doing in the Church. The miracle of making everything new: of what He does in my life, in your life, in our life. He builds and He rebuilds. And that is precisely the reason of our hope.”

I hope you can join me and our fellow Catholics on Oct. 4 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. I believe the 2014 Rediscover: Catholic Celebration will be a day that lightens our burdens, lifts our hearts and fills us with hope for the journey! As Pope Francis called us to do, “Let us rediscover the beauty of being together along the way.”

May God bless you!

 

Cristo es nuestra razón de esperanza; ¡motivo de celebración!

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Category: Only Jesus

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