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Why Catholic? A journey through the catechism


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Shortly after Cardinal Seán arrived in Boston he asked the staff of the then-Office of Spiritual Development (now, the Office of Worship and Spiritual Life) to meet with him. In that meeting he spoke of RENEW International and his experience of working with them in other dioceses. He had hopes of using the expertise of the RENEW process to help the Church in Boston begin to move from isolation to communion by forming small faith sharing communities. The meeting that day was only the beginning...there would be a number of years of consultation.

From that consultation, a new program was written for Boston. The program was called ARISE: Together in Christ. In the following three years over 180 parishes participated and more than 30,000 people took part in small faith sharing communities. The ARISE: Together in Christ program not only flourished in parishes, but moved beyond parishes to local prisons, assisted living communities, school faculties, etc. The prayer of participants was linked to action as people acted on what had been shared in the gatherings. In homes, neighborhoods and workplaces the Word became flesh, shared faith resulted in actions that reached around the world. As we came to the end of the three year process the question was clear: How do we continue to nurture the communion that has begun in these small faith sharing communities and what is the best way of doing that?

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