Thursday, April 30, 2009

From Sister Honora

Dear Pastors and ARISE Parish Teams,

We just completed a productive week's work in Boston at the Boston Catholic Men's and Women's Conferences, Preparing A Place Workshops at five sites and Theology on Tap at Hennesey's. If you attended Preparing A Place, please take a minute to evaluate it online by clicking here, thank you.

As you know, Season Three: In The Footsteps of Christ, begins with the small community leader workshop in September. All small community leaders should attend. Actual faith sharing begins in the parish the week of October 4th. In Season Three, the focus is the Social Teaching of the Church, a perfect topic into which to invite Young Adults to be involved. There are many attractive and creative tools on the website in the library under "Y" , to help you connect with and invite Young Adults into ARISE and parish life. In October there will be a collaborative Diocesan-wide Social Justice Event as well.

On June 29th, at St Mary's in Lynn, at 6 PM there will be a workshop for parishes recently starting ARISE. This will be a combination of Launcing ARISE (getting organized and started) and Evangelization (How to invite and welcome people into the process). If any parish has any new members on their teams, or any members who were unable to attend these workshops last year, this would be a good way to get them up to speed and/or to refresh anyone who may need some input. All are welcome, returnees as well! How to facilitate faith sharing and how to deal with specific issues in the small groups will be addressed. This is the last opportunity for these workshops before Season Three begins.

If you have anyone coming to this workshop please call Ann Cussen at (617) 779 - 3641, so we have sufficient materials for you.

If there is anything I can assist with please do not hesitate to call or Email me,


S Honora Nolty, O.P.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Fourth and Final Step

The last step in faith sharing is the "action."

After the intro, our story, and God's story, one should feel moved to act or commit oneself to perform some grace filled deed. Maybe a commitment to help someone, or join a parish ministry. Perhaps one could have a personal apostolate.

Pleasing God is the motive. It's like wanting to please the one you love, because that's what you're doing.

Then don't forget the end the session in prayer.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Introverts Here is an excellent article suggesting why some people won't participate in the Arise Groups. It explains what makes Introverts tick.
I've often wondered why certain people weren't participating. Some are on the Spiritual Development Committee. Shouldn't they be involved in the parish's faith sharing groups? Or why members of the parish councils aren't involved in parish activities? The perception is that they don't support the groups or events.

This article will offer some understanding of personality types.

Step Three in Sharing

Step Three is the section where you should spend the most time--at least half an hour.

You read the scripture assigned. Reflect on what it means to you at the present time. How does it relate to your life?

Some people might feel like sharing. No commenting is necessary. There's no correction, certainly no judgment. The leader doesn't say anything. This is just sharing the fruits of contemplation.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Step Two of a Faith Sharing Session

After the opening prayer and social interactions, we get down to business. There's a sectioin in the book, "Breaking Open Our Story". We read it aloud.

We reflect a bit.

We share, if we feel like it.

I've always expected that no one will ever have anything to say. That has never happened. But just in case I'll have something prepared to share. Most of the time I don't because I won't the others to speak.

This should not be long--15 minutes at the most! We haven't gotten to the scripture part, yet.

It's not about us; it's about Him.

Monday, April 20, 2009

First Step in a Faith Sharing Session

There are four steps to a Faith Sharing Session. The first is a gathering/ice breaking/welcoming time. If its a first session, then introductions are in order. Other times, only new people have to be introduced.

Of course, we should always begin with prayer. Some people set the scene by lighting a candle, or having an open Bible on a table, or whatever the leader feels the group will be comfortable with.

Some small talk will relax the group and set the tone. If its the first session the conversation might be on some happenings in the parish, or the diocese. Maybe even commenting on politics. If its not the first session, then asking about whatever you talked about last week, is in order. "How your cold?" "Did you son come home from Iraq?" "How's your sister's chemo going?" "How's the situation at work?"

This step should take up about 15 minutes of time.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Importance of Community

The Arise Together in Christ Group is more than a group of people socializing in a church setting. It is a community whose ongoing growth in prayer, faith sharing, and accomplished actions are integral to its formation. Scripture is a key resource for this formation; therefore it is important that quality time be given at each gathering of the group, to listening and sharing what the Scriptures are saying to them.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Five Elemlents of a Dynamic Small Community

Pope Benedict XVI has said that small communities are the way to evangelization. So if you're participating in Arise you are seeing what our Pope is talking about.

There are five elements to our groups:

Prayer: We emphasice the centrality of God's presence and power in the life
of each one of us.

Mutual Support: Fedelity to the Gospel is encouraged and members are challenged to support one another in their everyday lives.

Sharing: Members talk freely about God and about their life experiences
and together we work out ways how to connect faith to life.

Mission: Members explore ways in which they can evangelize--show witness
to their faith in word and actions. They commit themselves, individually or as a group, to specific works of charity and acts of justice within their small community, in the family, parish, workplace, neighborhood, and wider society.

Learning: Members gain an even fuller knowledge and understanding of the gospel, the Church and its teaching on faith and morals, and the relationship of that teaching to the circumstances of life.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Session III

Season Two has completed. Next Session: In the Footsteps of Christ, September 2009---November 2009. The six faith sharing sessions of Season Three begin the first week of October (Sunday, October 4, 2009).

Thank you all.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Looking for a Few

I can't very well put "Looking for a Few Good Men" and be politically correct. And I think "Looking for a Few Good Men and Women," too trite, or "Looking for a Few Good People," silly. Nothing seems right. Hence, "Looking for a Few."

What am I looking for? I am looking for someone who is interested in helping to form the young adults in the parish (ages 20-40) in some sort of Arise group. It doesn't have to be "Arise," per se, but some sort of faith based initiative. A "theology" on tap idea is fine. How about a social service outreach? Any ideas at all? Anybody?

Sunday, April 5, 2009


The Arise Together in Christ Session II has finished this Holy Week. Christ has risen and Arise has made us appreciate that fact all the more.

If people who participated in the Arise small communities wish for more, a great resource is PRAYERTIME, published by Renew International. PRAYERTIME provides reflections on the Sunday Gospels throughout the year. It brings the familiar format we use in the Arise sessions. PRAYERTIME can be found on the website: or ordered by phone: 888-433-3221.