St. Thomas More Center
27781 Leef Rd.|
Webster WI 54893-9801
Caringrah NSW 2229
Fr. Nicholas Punch O.P. |
Fr. Michael Champlin O.P.
Sr. Joan Bukrey O.S.F.
PARISH RENEWALS OFFERED BY
THE THOMAS MORE CENTER
"SPIRITUALITY FOR THE 1990'S AND BEYOND"
The Thomas More Center Team consists of Sister Joan Bukrey O.S.F., Fr Michael Champlin O.P. and Fr Nicholas Punch O.P. A typical Renewal will last six days. The Team will preach at all weekend Masses, both on the Sunday readings and to promote the Renewal. Then there are two sessions offered each day as well as celebrating and preaching at a daily Mass. During the Renewal there are two special sessions, a Family Reconciliation Service (Second Rite of Reconciliation) and a Mass with the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. There are nine different topics covered during the preached sessions.
After a parish has contracted the Team they will be sent an organization kit, which gives advice about how to organize and publicize the Renewal. This kit allows the parish Team to hand over the organization to lay committees. It offers possible letters that can be sent to parishioners, reproductions of advertising from other parishes, recommends the committees to be set up and even gives a program for various organizational details.
The basis for the Team's preaching is a contemporary interpretation of scripture which emphasizes a positive image of God and God's plan for his people. This is covered generally by the theme for the Renewal "Spirituality for the 1990's and beyond". The individual topics can vary from parish to parish so we don't provide an advertised program of lectures. However, all the topics help the people relate their faith to the day to day lives they lead. The preaching is primarily for adults, but young people of high school age and beyond can easily understand. It also helps both those who are discovering their faith for the first time and those returning to the faith. It is an invaluable aid for those older Catholics trying to understand the changes that have occurred in the contemporary church.
Each session lasts for two hours. We begin with prayer and a hymn, followed by one or two team members preaching for about 30 minutes. This is followed by a refreshment break and then people are invited to ask any questions relating to the talk or about their faith or the church. The break is a good time to socializing, and in fact this becomes an important part of the program. The question time allows people to ask questions about their faith, and is often considered the best part of the Renewal. The Team forms a panel to answer questions.
All Team members are available for counseling during the afternoons and are usually involved in answering private questions, etc. during the break and after every session. We try to build up a personal relationship with as many people as possible.
HOW WE CAN HELP YOUR PARISH
The Renewal can help the parish by giving a focus for the future. For those parishes which have not been used to adult education or lay organization, it can provide an incentive for future activities. Since it is based on the sacraments and the Eucharist it fits into the parish lifestyle, and lays the groundwork for what can be continued in the future. For example, while many parishes have the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick fairly regularly, the Renewal can promote it to a wider group, making it a more valuable ministry.
The fee for the Renewal is negotiable, based on the season of the year, but is within the reach of most parishes. Usually a well organized collection will cover expenses. We will even make the appeal for you, if you wish. We provide discounts if two or more parishes in the same area make bookings for consecutive weeks. The fee we charge usually includes our travel costs.
The Team has had considerable experience with both city and rural parishes, and both large and small communities. We can also adapt our renewal to high school and college groups, making it more of a retreat style.
If you wish we can supply names of parishes where we have worked as a reference. Individual responses are listed here.
Further inquiries and bookings can be made through the Center
or by calling the Center's executive secretary,
Mrs Joanie Byrnes, 416 Riverside Blvd, Amery, WI 54001. Phone (715) 268-7749.
[In Australia: Rev. Kerry Bayada - P.O. Box 506 Caringbah, NSW 2229 - (02) 524-7283]
- TOPICS FOR TALKS
- Faith as Power --Developing a Sixth Sense.
- Genesis - Creative Human Response - Sexuality.
- God's Will - A Loving Plan
- Are Catholics Saved? A Response to Born Again Christians.
- Exercising Real Power - The Priesthood of the Faithful.
- Family Reconciliation - The Prodigal Father.
- The "Our Father" - Are Prayers Answered?
- The Woman at the Well - Evangelization in the Contemporary Society.
- God Wants Us To Be Healthy - The Sacrament of the Sick.
- The Big Picture - God's Major Revelation.
- Taste and See - God's Attractive Call.
- Zacchaeus - The Story of Conversion.
- Choose Life - There's More Than the Ten Commandments!
- Death and Dying - The Experience Within our Belief in Bodily
- The Lifestyle and Values of Jesus - Jesus in Relationships.
- Passing on the Faith to our Children.
- The Death and Resurrection of Jesus.
- Eucharist - A Scriptural Overview.
- Signs of the Times.
- St Francis of Assisi - Living the Gospels Today.
- Hosea - God Keeps Promises.
- Mary - Woman of Faith.
- Martha of the Gospels.
- The Experience of the Poor.
- The Woman Who Meets Jesus - Simon's Dinner Party.
- The Experience of Doubt in the Spiritual Journey.
- Our New Church - An
- Ideal Parish Today.
- Celebrate a Jubilee.
Obviously there are more topics than be covered in nine sessions.
The Team reserves the right to choose which would be most appropriate after some initial discussions with the staff and experiences with the congregation. Often topics are determined day by day depending on the concerns and questions voiced during the discussion time. Many topics and issues are "covered" during the discussion time and it is a way the program meets the unique needs of any given parish.
RECENT RESPONSES FROM PARTICIPANTS
"It was a very powerful week for me; powerful in words and messages of your talks, in your sharing of personal experiences, in the sense of your knowledge and confidence and in your celebration of life. It was powerful, also, in the obvious deep respect and loving relationship you have in each other, in your answering questions in real, direct and caring ways, and in your sensitivity and warmth to all who were there. It was all an experience of Jesus that I will never forget, and I thank each of you - beyond what any words can explain."
Nancy Jackson, Concord, NH
"Since your visit, we have started a Peace and Social Justice Committee and hope to join up with an inner-city sister parish. Your mission was a catalyst for many of us here. Thank you, again, for your wonderful week." Jeff Fox, Highland, IN
"Last week was a time for being quiet and pondering not only what you preached about, but also about my experiences in clinical pastoral education. I'm so grateful this was the week you came. Thanks for touching my life."
Mary Fedders, Macomb, MI
"Last year I attended your mission at Guardian Angels Church in Chaska, MN. My mother and I bought a set of your tapes and have really enjoyed listening to them. My fiancÚ was going through RCIA last year and now that we are married I would like to expand our library. I have learned so much from these tapes that I am currently applying for a CCD coordinator position. Last year's mission and Eric's journey through the RCIA has really awakened me to my faith and I am eager to learn more, especially from the three of you. Please send any additional tapes you have recorded."
Eric and Colleen Crowell, Martinez, CA
"Your newsletter came several days ago. How much fun to be reminded of each one of you as I read your columns and remembered your unique gifts and the special con-tribution that each of you makes to your team...You model for me the possibilities of Church as a discipleship of equals, and you give me hope. Thanks."
Jane Pelletier, Manhattan, KS