In Lent, we ponder in our hearts the ways in which we are falling short of God’s glory – the desires He has for our good and for His creation.
Our hope turns toward the theme of renewal – renewal of lay ecclesial ministry in our parishes, renewal of our global church, and renewal of our own desires to live fully our baptismal call.
We render our hearts to a God who offers us the fullness of reconciliation as the cornerstone of His gifts to us.
The St. John-St. Paul Collaborative has a rich, full schedule of liturgies, programs and events planned for Lent. Please join us on this Lenten journey!
RENEWAL IN OUR SPIRITUAL LIVES
Exploration of Ignatian Spiritual Practices
Thursdays: March 7, March 14, March 21, March 28
7:00pm at St. Paul in the Parish Hall
with Fr. Issac El-Fernandes, SJ
During the 1530s, St. Ignatius Loyola began writing about the emotions that took hold of him – gratitude and anguish, consolation and desolation – while encountering the scriptures. Those meditations eventually became the foundation of the Spiritual Exercises, which were ﬁrst published in 1548 and are a compilation of meditations, prayers and other contemplative practices which became fundamental in the formation of the Society of Jesus.
Father Issac El-Fernandes, a Jesuit priest and student in the Master of Systematic Theology department at Boston College will lead a small group in four sessions based on Jesuit spirituality.
Spaces are limited. Please RSVP to: firstname.lastname@example.org
RENEWAL IN OUR GLOBAL CHURCH
Women Deacons: Past, Present and Future
NEW DATES! Mondays: March 18, March 25, April 8, April 15
7:00pm at St. John in Powers Hall
All parishioners in the collaborative are invited to study the work of Dr. Phyllis Zagano, PhD. In her recent book, Women Deacons: Past, Present and Future, Dr. Zagano explores the tremendous growth of the permanent diaconate, and the lingering questions about women deacons. She highlights the evident need for more women in ministry and its subsequent need for careful evaluation of historical roots, contemporary ecclesiastical realities and creative future possibilities for women in the diaconate. In August 2012, Phyllis was appointed by Pope Francis to the Papal Commission for the Study of Women in the Diaconate, which convened in Rome in 2016.
The 4-session study guide for this exploration was written by Sister Donna L. Ciangio, a Dominican Sister of Caldwell and the Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Newark.
RENEWAL IN OUR PARISHES
Ministry to the Homebound – A Two-Hour Mini Retreat
Saturday, March 30 at 8:00am in St. John Chapel
with Sister Evelyn Ronan
In Luke’s Gospel Jesus sends seventy-two out in pairs to do the work of His mission. Jesus sent these lay ministers out with His authority, with a mission to care for His people, especially the sick. Nothing has changed since that time. Jesus is still very much with us, and seeks to send us out with a commission to spread His love to those who need it. Ministry to the sick and homebound is a unique, intimate and beautiful one.
Sister Evelyn Ronan will join us for a spiritual journey through this ministry, followed by an informal discussion over breakfast. If you feel called to visitation of the sick and homebound please join
us for an enriching morning.
Ministry of Holy Communion – A Two-Hour Mini Retreat
Thursday, April 4 at 7:00pm in St. John Church
with Fr. Robert Blaney
Being entrusted to share the body and blood of Christ is a ministry beyond our human ability to comprehend. The moment the minister and communicant share during the distribution is truly a holy one. God is truly present. In Eucharistic Ministry we have communion with our living, loving and nourishing God. If you are an existing Eucharistic Minister in the collaborative, or are interested in learning more about serving in this invaluable ministry, please join us for a time of worship, training and fellowship as the Body of Christ.
We will meet in St. John’s Sanctuary and then gather for Wine and Cheese in Powers Hall.
Ministry of Lectors – A Two-Hour Mini Retreat
Thursday, April 11 at 7:00pm in St. Paul Church
Holy Scripture is God-breathed and a fundamental pillar of our faith. Perhaps God’s word feels removed and ﬂat and you have a deep desire to claim it as part of your spiritual life. Or maybe you’ve always found it living and active and you want to share the truth of it with others.
If you are a lector in the collaborative, or someone who is considering this ministry, you are encouraged to join us for this wonderful opportunity for enrichment. We will meet in St. Paul Church and then join in fellowship afterwards for Wine and Cheese.
RENEWAL IN OUR HEARTS
Taizé Prayer Service
With Opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation
Wednesday, April 10 at 7:30pm in St. Paul Church
All are invited for an evening of beautiful Taizé-inspired music and prayer. Taizé is an ecumenical monastic order in Taizé, Saône-et-Loire, Burgundy, France, with a strong devotion to peace and reconciliation through prayer and meditation. Taizé is a quieting and mystical experience. The repetitive sung simple prayers draw you deeply into communion with the Holy Spirit and allows the clutter of your thoughts to subside. Holy Scripture and silence is interwoven in the experience in order for worshipers to be attentive to God’s voice. This evening will be punctuated with the opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation throughout.
There can be no better way to prepare for Holy Week than to approach it full of God’s abundant grace.
RENEWAL IN THE WORLD
Our Collaborative Lenten Gift
The St. John-St. Paul Conference of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul
Special Collection: April 6-7
Each year, through our Collaborative Lenten Gift, we reach out as a community to one particular place of suffering, amid so many in the world. Over the years, our reach has extended around the globe, as far as the Central African Republic and as close as the streets of Boston. This year, we will open our eyes and hearts to the plight of those who are suffering right here in our own community – and who are so often unseen in the midst of the abundance that surrounds us – and reach out to help through our newly formed Conference of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
Throughout Lent, in the bulletin and on the websites, we will share this story with you – the story of the need, and the story of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul – as we prepare for our collaborative-wide Special Collection on April 6-7. Our gift will allow each of us to share in easing the suffering and to answer Lent’s clarion call to love extravagantly.