Announcing: The Year of Discipleship
One of the ways that God’s Providence has worked in my life has been through yearly celebrations. I entered the seminary in 2009 which Pope Benedict declared the Year for Priests. On top of that I was ordained in 2016 which was declared the Year for Mercy by Pope Francis. It was an incredible blessing to have those two focuses during milestones in my life.
Regularly the Church declares a focus for the year. There has been the Year of the Eucharist, Marian Years, the Year of Faith, and many others. It is a great idea during a year to focus on a topic for that year. It gives focus to the Church’s catechesis and formation. In reflecting on this, if the Holy Father can declare a focus for the global Church, why can’t I do the same for our parishes?
With this in mind I am declaring that beginning on the Solemnity of the Assumption on August 15, 2019 we will have a Year of Discipleship. We will zero in on what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ in His Church. Our preaching, teaching, catechesis and formation events will be centered upon this theme of discipleship.
Here are a few highlights for the Year of Discipleship:
- We will kick off the year with a candlelit Marian Rosary Procession through the streets of Botkins after the 7:30pm Holy Day Mass at Immaculate Conception. We will try to imitate the processions that occur daily in Lourdes, France. Mary is the First Disciple and she shows us the way of discipleship.
- The weekend of August 24 and 25 we will be distributing the book “Into His Likeness: Be Transformed as a Disciple of Christ” by Dr. Edward Sri. This book is a beautiful elaboration about what it means to follow Jesus Christ every day of our life.
- Beginning in September we will launch groups to read and discuss “Into His Likeness.” The groups will be aimed at, but not limited to, Alpha alumni. Our goal is to launch different groups which focus on Men, Women, mothers, couples, parents, etc.
- The Icon of Christ and His Friend will be the official image of the year. In various ways this image highlights the friendship of Jesus Christ. We will purchase an image for each parish which will be displayed throughout the year.
- As always, we will promote Alpha attendance. Alpha is a great way to rekindle or begin our life as a disciple of Jesus Christ.
- Our preaching and catechesis will be focused on discipleship, emphasizing prayer as an essential aspect of a disciple’s life.
- Once a month after Mass, we will be offering prayer ministry. If mass attendees would like to have someone pray with them or for them, this will be a great opportunity. Maybe there is a big transition, stressful situation, disappointment, or great thanksgiving for which people will like prayer.
You probably can’t tell from my writing, but I am really excited for the Year of Discipleship. I am excited to have a focus for the year so that we can concentrate on a single aspect of our faith. Let us entrust these twelve months into the hands of God and trust that it will bear fruit in our parishes.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Sean Wilson