Noticias de la Diócesis de Allentown

Conference will prepare parish leaders to evangelize

Over 70 people gathered at St. Mary, Hamburg for a recent ChristLife program. (Photo by Rick Dooley)

People from all parishes are invited to participate in a training experience that will equip them to share the Gospel message in their parish community.

The ChristLife Training Conference, being held March 27-28 at St. Mary, Hamburg, will prepare leaders to take part in the work of evangelization with the goal that all people might encounter Christ and be transformed into His missionary disciples.

Over 1,000 parishes nationwide have used ChristLife to revitalize Catholics in the pews, reach those who have fallen away from the faith and more effectively evangelize those in their midst. Participants in the conference will be trained in ChristLife’s three-part evangelization process: Discovering Christ, Following Christ and Sharing Christ.

“As a pastor, I sense that people are searching for deeper meaning in their faith, especially in light of the current challenges in the Church,” said Father Don Cieniewicz, pastor at St. Mary, Hamburg. “Parishes and pastors are being called ever more so to spread the richness of the faith that the Lord gave to his Church.

“The ChristLife program offers yet another means to experience deeper faith and healing, in addition to the traditional means of what Christ already offers through his Church in the sacraments, Scripture, prayer and reconciliation.”

The ChristLife program is already alive and well at St. Mary in Hamburg. “The series helped me to be more committed to my prayer life,” said one parishioner who participated in the program.

The ChristLife program partners with parishes, priests, religious and lay leaders interested in responding to the Church’s call to a new evangelization and outreach. It does this by providing a relational context in which missionary disciples can be formed at the parish level.

ChristLife is designed to become the “core curriculum” for parish evangelization. By helping individuals discover Jesus, begin to follow him, and finally learn to share him, the cycle repeats itself as disciples desire to invite more people into a transformative experience in Christ.

The program is broken into three seven-week experiences designed to guide participants through the stages of discipleship. Discovering Christ, the first segment, invites every person, baptized or unbaptized, to enter into or renew a personal relationship with Jesus.

The second part, Following Christ, inspires those who have completed Discovering Christ to deepen their relationship with Jesus, learning the basic disciplines and truths that constitute the Catholic faith.

In the third segment, Sharing Christ, participants are equipped with practical skills to proclaim the Gospel through friendship, drawing others into relationship with Jesus and challenging them to become his disciples.

Details and registration can be found at Parishes are encouraged to send two to five parishioners to be trained.

The training will be Friday, March 27 from 1:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday will conclude with a Vigil Mass celebrated by Bishop Alfred Schlert.

By Alexa Smith, Director of the Office of Youth, Young Adult and Family Ministry.