Summary Report for the Archdiocese of Boston Overall Objectives of the Process
Through ARISE Together in Christ in the Archdiocese of Boston we envisioned a movement that
would deepen spirituality, encourage multi-cultural participation, enhance collaboration within
the Archdiocesan offices, build up the morale of the clergy, promote healing and reconciliation,
reach out to inactive, alienated, and young adult Catholics through evangelization strategies, and
use the media to promote the Good News of the Spirit’s presence in the people and parishes in
the Archdiocese. As we look back on all five seasons, we see clearly each of these objectives
have been achieved to a greater or lesser degree.
Season One Theme: Encountering Christ Today Goal: To deepen our experience of Christ both personally and communally.
Season Two Theme: Change Our Hearts Goal: Personal conversion in light of our membership in the Catholic community.
Season Three Theme: In the Footsteps of Christ Goal: To explore what it means to be a disciple of Christ in today’s world and how this implies
active commitment to works of charity and acts of justice; becoming a young-adult friendly
Season Four Theme: New Heart, New Spirit Goal: To experience communal reconciliation and healing following the merging of parishes and
the sexual abuse scandal; emphasis on outreach to inactive and alienated Catholics.
Season Five Theme: We Are the Good News! Goal: To explore the meaning of evangelization in our lives; we are called to bring the Good
News of Christ into every human situation. Evangelization training helped prepare leaders to
welcome people back to parishes through “Catholics Come Home.
Outcomes By the Numbers
Parishes Participating Over 60% of the 292 parishes in the Archdiocese
participated in ARISE. In addition, people whose parishes did not participated in ARISE have formed
groups on their own.
3 new parishes started Season 5 in fall 2010
Workshops Conducted 200+ in four languages (English, Spanish,
Portuguese, Haitian Creole), plus several “make-up
sessions” via the web.
Adult Leaders Trained 3,000+
Small Group Participants 30,000+
Parishes Using Children’s Materials 44
Parishes with Youth Groups 26 representing 630 participants plus leaders
Nursing Homes/Assisted Living Three—Brooksby Village, Peabody; Sunrise
Assisted Living, Braintree; The Boston Home, Dorchester
Prison Ministry Norfolk Prison: Five groups in English, four in
Spanish, one in Vietnamese
Framingham Prison: 40+ participants
Supplemental Workshops Liturgy, Youth Ministry and Catechetical Leaders
Campuses Participating Three
Campus Leaders Trained 40-50
Theology on Tap Parishes Five
Faith-Sharing Material Languages Six options, including English, Spanish, Portuguese,
Haitian Creole, Vietnamese, and Lithuanian; largeprint editions available; e-text available on request
Arise, let us go: Jesus has uttered this command before, at the beginning of the preaching of the kingdom. Even though the disciples will scatter in failure and fear, Jesus has told them that after he has been raised he will go before them, as a shepherd leading his flock, into Galilee. Arise, let us go: no matter what our failures have been, no matter what the trials we fear to face, the crosses we fear to bear, we can trust that the Lord is with us, and leads us on where he has gone, into Galilee of the nations, into life with God.
Arise Together in Christ is a three-year, parish centered program of spiritual renewal, evangelization and adult faith formation. Those that have participated have developed a closer relationship with Christ, grown in community, and reached out in service to others.
These past three years, have done just that for me, personally. I have been humbled by the faith I have encountered in others. I'm sure others have felt the same, especially the Arise team. Together as a team we have accomplished God's work by allowing the Spirit to move. It certainly wasn't us. We had no idea what we were doing; we didn't understand; we didn't know anything; we didn't "get it."
Yet, we did it. We stepped out in faith.
I still don't know how we did what we did.
In looking back over the past three years, I'm awed. It has to be the work of the Holy Spirit. In meditation, I definitely see that the Arise program has brought me into a Trinitarian relationship with God. Read John 14:11, John 14:20, and John 14:23. IOW, our faith tells us that God is three distinct persons, each relating to the other two in a unique way, much like St. Mary's Arise team, and very much like my Sunday night Arise group, and I'm sure all the Arise groups. Each person in God is equally and completely one and the same God. We, who have been made in God's own image and likeness, grow in perfection by becoming ever more united to each other and thus to God, in our groups. We grew together and still respected the diversity of each of us as being a unique individual. Wowza. Think of it.
I thank God for this experience.
In the most wonderful way, the Arise team, and the Arise groups, have taught me to respect each person as someone unique, and someone very special to God. We have enriched each other. Our variety has helped me to understand something of the mystery of the Blessed Trinity, imperfectly reflected in the unity in diversity in the Arise team, in my group, in my parish, my community, and the Archdiocese. So it must be in the world. And when you think of it, all of history.
I'm sorry. Words aren't sufficient. My vocabulary fails me. Wowza.
St. Thomas Aquinas teaches us that everything aims toward God. Everyone wants the best. Of course the best is God. All human beings want union with God, and working together toward the good is the best humans can be.*
Arise with St. Mary's Parish has done this. The three years are finished. We are in the last session. Finis.
I hope you will continue to read your Bible, reflecting upon what you have read. My heartfelt thanks to all who have participated in the groups, and those that have found their way to this blog.
OK then, before I go, besides thanking everyone overall, I need to thank some in particular:
as always, to my husband, my Martha, for loving me
to my children, for tolerating me
to Father Dave, for giving me the ball and letting me run with it
to Father Brian and Father Frank for their prayers and support
To Deacon Dick for his leadership and prayers
to Joe, for his marketing skills, his spreadsheet expertise, and running interference for me
to Nancy, for her teacher skills and procurement abilities
to Ray for reaching out to our elderly and infirm and Christine for her support and prayers (and I promise to never tell Ray to "shut up" again).
to Robbie and Paul for stepping in and doing whatever was asked.
to Brenda and David for the best banner in the diocese and other promotional works
to Katie for her educational expertise, involvement with the youth, and dedication to the parish
to John for back-up and ideas
to Betsy for back-up and help
to Mike for his support and sales pitches
to Neil for lending his presence and support and giving us the perception of "legitimacy"
for everyone's dedication and faith
To everyone who participated, thank you for your prayers.
Faith is a Lay Dominican with a dual apostolate of cyberministry and prison ministry. She blogs here about her "cloistered brothers," her thoughts, spirituality, prayer, and an occasional poem or two.
She also blogs at http://www.21stcenturydominican.com/ She also updates her chapter's blog, Our Lady of Mercy Chapter,http://sites.google.com/site/ourladyofmercychapter/
Lastly, but in no way, of lesser importance, Faith is the general editor of ELUMEN, the internet newsletter for Lay Dominicans in the Eastern Province of St. Joseph. http://www.3op.org/
To subscribe to ELUMEN, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
May all I do be for the greater glory of God.