There are some new initiatives at the Parish I grew up in, which I am extremely excited about. This week in Mass our (new.. ish) Priest announced that we were going to become, as a Parish, more radical followers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Over the past year that he's been with us, he's encouraged his flock to develop a prayer life. He is not the most liturgically strict (orthodox?) Priest I know, but it is apparent that he has a real and intimate relationship with Christ, which is such a breath of fresh air at every single Mass.
Our Parish has 3000 families, which is down 1000 families in the last 15 years. This week he boldly proclaimed that we are, God-willing, going to become an evangelizing Parish. We are going to become a Parish which invites their neighbors to Mass, which constantly is improving their knowledge of the Faith and of God, a Parish who prays. PRAISE GOD!
He has done a great job of casting vision for our little corner of the Church. The result of this vision, at least for now, has meant shaking things up, especially for the children of our Parish. He is adding a Mass in the evenings on Sundays which will have contemporary music. While I'm not a fan of modern Christian music during the Mass, I am thrilled that there will be a Sunday evening Mass. I'm even more excited about a new weekly Parish dinner following the Mass, followed by high school religious education running simultaneously to our Parish's very first adult religious ed classes. I hope we take advantage of the many thought-provoking and engaging theologians and philosophers right down the road at the University of Dallas, and I am extremely interested in seeing the curriculum for this class.
I feel like we are finally beginning to see some of the fruits of JPII's New Evangelization at the Parish level. This is the future of the Church! Get your sunnies, because it's bright!
Saint JPII, pray for us!