Meeting The Challenge of Forming Disciples – A Pastor’s Perspective
Several weeks ago we rolled out a Vision for the Parish of St. Monica (See my blog, “PARISH VISION – Discovering and Living God’s Call For You” on www.frzlock.com from June 8, 2014). Of the number of items associated with the vision, I wanted to personally offer my reflection on how I personally intend to fulfill the suggestions proposed. Specifically I want to focus on the segment: “Forming Disciples.”
Under Forming Disciples, we are calling each member of the parish to commit to the following 5 items:
- Pray for 10 minutes every day (5 minutes for children 3rd grade and younger)
- Read 3 pages of some type of Catholic book every day.
- Say something about your faith, the Pope, your parish, the church, Jesus, etc.. to at least one person each week.
- Increase your offering by 1% over last year.
- Participate in one pastoral outreach/service activity during the year.
So what is your Pastor doing to meet this challenge ……
Pray for 10 minutes every day (Not too difficult. I do it anyway)
One of the “promises” that I made as a Deacon and later during Priesthood Ordination was to “Pray for the people of God in your care.” I have done a “Holy Hour” (often in front of the Blessed Sacrament) for the past 20 years of my priesthood. Most days I also try to fit in another 60 minutes usually broken up in 10 – 20 minutes mini segments. I use the prayers from the “Liturgy of the Hours,” a decade of the rosary or chaplet as well. Often I just sit quietly (quiet is a good thing – a VERY good thing!).
Read 3 pages of some type of Catholic book every day. (Also not too difficult. I enjoy this).
So what am I reading?
- Forming Intentional Disciples by Sherry Weddell
- Shirt of Flame, A Year with Therese of Lisieux by Heather King
- Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux .
- Eucharist by Fr. Robert Barron
- Tools For Rebuilding by Fr. Michael White and Thomas Corcoran
Say something about your faith, the Pope, your parish, the church, Jesus, etc.. to at least one person each week. (A layup – part of the job)
Increase your offering by 1% over last year.
I keep track of all of my personal income and expenses with a “Quicken” program on my PC. Every month I add up the income, subtract any reimbursements that are not true income, move the decimal over 1 digit (that’s 10%) and write a check. This year, I’ll offer 11% instead and see what kind of blessing the Lord provides.
Participate in one pastoral outreach/service activity during the year.
This is the difficult one because it doesn’t come easy to me. Participating in large projects like helping out after Katrina is invigorating especially the organizational aspects of preparing for the project. I like doing that. Going out, visiting people, talking with them, listening attentively, trying to address their spiritual concerns, etc… this takes energy for me. Nevertheless, with a renewed emphasis on doing this for the parish on several levels, I am sure I will find a place to plug in that fits my style, gifts and talents.
So that’s my “scorecard.” Hopefully this provides for each of you an idea on one approach to help fulfill the call that the Lord has given to the people of the Parish of St. Monica.
What does your scorecard look like?