On November 4, a few members of the FCJ staff and FCJ sisters joined the Diocese of Calgary’s Renewal Gathering.
Bishop McGrattan wrote in his pastoral letter, “This pastoral renewal, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, will enable us to respond better to the call for a deeper conversion and experience the renewal that is needed in our world today”.
Here are some of the reflections of the FCJ staff and the FCJ Sisters:
“The opening of the diocesan renewal program was a lovely morning. We began with Mass at Mary, Mother of the Redeemer Church in which eight of the twelve men who are to be ordained deacons on November 18 read some prayers and commitment statements. After the liturgy, we found places at round tables with parishioners from many places in the city. Fr. Tim Boyle helped us to use our imaginations to enter into the Gospel story of Zaccheus. Deep silence followed by respectful sharing was inspiring. Bishop McGrattan spoke about his experience of the Synod and of how his plan for renewal of the diocese was moved along by Pope Francis calling the Universal Church to the synodal process of listening to the Spirit in our hearts and in others. The morning ended with a delicious lunch. My hope is that we can each help our parishes to grow in synodal listening, to pray with Scripture and to truly listen to one another.” - Terry, f.c.J.
“If the synodal process in Rome was as effective as the process followed by the Bishop and his team the other day, we can expect great things as the Church gradually follows suit. I was impressed by what happens when a creative process evokes a heart response and deep sharing from participants.... a process built on delving into scripture in a personal way, and applying insights to our Church reality. I was touched to hear the Bishop sharing about his own father's influence on him and on those around him. The emphasis on listening to each other, and especially to the most vulnerable, is refreshing in a Church which is more used to being guided by laws/norms/traditions. Although these have their importance, more important is listening with the heart which is God's temple. May the Spirit always guide us into the future!” - Paula, f.c.J
“I find profound inspiration in the Gospel story of Zacchaeus, who deeply desire to know Jesus. His strong desire to have a connection with Him mirrors the yearning of many seekers who, like Zacchaeus, desire a meaningful relationship with Jesus. At our FCJ Center, we will strive to actively participate in the Diocese's pastoral renewal initiative. With the same goal of accompanying seekers or the lay faithful on their journey, we will strive to help them discover the spiritual nourishment and renewal they seek. We wholeheartedly embrace the collective call for spiritual renewal and are committed to playing a vital role in fostering this transformative process through our programming, spiritual direction and counselling services”. - Whitney Nagasan