In September 2016 Saint Anselm’s Parish commenced a new diocesan spiritual renewal program, ARISE Together in Christ. This program is part of Pope Francis’s call for new evangelization. The program focuses on spiritual renewal, adult faith formation, and evangelization. The program was developed by Renew International; their website provides additional information: www.renewintl.org/arise.
ARISE consists of small groups of parishioners meeting once a week for six weeks. Each week the groups study some Scripture readings and reflect on a weekly topic. Meetings last one hour. All group meetings of ARISE groups take place in either the Rosary Chapel or the Colbert Center. Group members receive a Guide Book at the start of each six week Season with all the readings for that Season. There is a fee of $8.00 for each Guide Book. No other materials are required.
The theme for Season I was Encountering Christ Today. ARISE group members read several New Testament passages where Christ encounters some person or group and ignites change. Included were the curing of the paralyzed man, the Sermon on the Mount, the Parables of the Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin, Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray, and the conversion of Paul. For each passage, ARISE group members attempted to discern how God entered a human situation and inspired change. They shared accounts from their own lives where they felt God’s presence inspiring change as in the Scripture readings.
Season II: Change Our Hearts occurred during Lent 2017. This season began with a reflection on the central call of Ash Wednesday to “conversion” both as “turning away from …” and “turning towards … .” That was followed by a session on the Transfiguration – a foretaste of God’s Kingdom. Then followed sessions on the great symbols of the Old Testament: water (participants reflected on Jesus’s meeting the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, and living water), light (participants read about Jesus’s encounter at night with Nicodemus, and new life), and new Covenant (not written on stone tablets but on the hearts of believers). Season II concluded with a reflection on Holy Week – not just a historical observance but an entrée into the “Paschal Mystery.”
Season III: In the Footsteps of Christ occurred during the Fall of 2017. Season III began with a session on the risen Christ now walking with us. Then there was a session on Christ’s mission on earth now passed to us: bring Good News by word and by action. The third session reflected on our mission as being one of service to the world, to bring joy and hope, to promote a culture of life. A later session focused on marriage and family. Finally the last session focused on Christ’s test of true discipleship: serving Christ in those in need.
Season IV: New Heart, New Spirit will begin during Lent 2018. If you missed earlier sessions, you can still join for Season IV. Morning, afternoon, and evening groups will be available. Please complete the signup sheet here. Signup Sunday dates are January 21 & 28 and Feb 4. Season IV will begin February 12.
Brother Robert Duffy, O.S.F. is coordinating the ARISE program at St. Anselm’s Parish. Questions should be directed to him at 718-745-0077 or email@example.com, subject line ARISE Program. Anyone interested in hosting a group should contact him.