By Tony DeGol
Two major events will serve as precursors to the upcoming third season of the diocesan renewal initiative ARISE Together in Christ.
A Mass of Commissioning is planned for everyone affiliated with the effort including parish coordinators, small group leaders, and participants.
The outdoor Liturgy is scheduled for August 18 at 7:00 p.m. at the Our Lady of the Alleghenies Shrine in Loretto. Bishop Mark L. Bartchak will be the celebrant and homilist.
“We know we were commissioned for season one and two, but it’s a renewal again – be commissioned again to engage in this third season and fourth season,” urged Sister Linda LaManga, ARISE Diocesan Coordinator.
The title of season three, scheduled to launch this fall, is “In the Footsteps of Christ.” The sessions will invite the faithful to reflect on their mission as disciples of Jesus and to act on the call through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching.
Every small faith sharing group ends with a call to action, such as kindness to the homebound, or recognizing those who were just the Sacraments of First Holy Communion or Confirmation.
“In season three, we are going to be called to Beatitude living, and that will be the action statement of every group,” Sister Linda explained.
To prepare for this focus on Catholic Social Teaching, a morning-long convocation is planned on September 21 at Bishop Carroll Catholic High School in Ebensburg.
Doctor Donald Asci will present “Following Jesus and Transforming the World: The Social Dimension of Christian Discipleship.”
Doctor Asci is a Professor of Theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he has been a member of the Theology Department since 1998. He also currently serves as the Vice President of the Faculty Council of Franciscan University.
“You do not have to be part of an ARISE group to engage in the convocation,” stressed Sister Linda. “We just want people to come to hear the Catholic Social Teachings of the Church and see what we can do as individuals and as a Church to be living the Beatitudes – that social dimension of the Church.”
Season one of ARISE happened last fall; season two occurred during Lent. Most parishes have embraced the opportunity.
“Most of our people have really said it has deepened their faith and has allowed them to relate more to how Jesus is working in their life, to realize that He is right there with them,” stated Barb Dryzal, ARISE Coordinator at Resurrection Parish in Johnstown.
“Personally, I hope ARISE inspires us all to be more interested in learning more about our faith everyday – not just for the five seasons,” offered Kim Kline, ARISE Coordinator at Saint Augustine Parish in Dysart and Saint Monica Parish in Chest Springs. “I think a lot of our people will maintain their small groups or gather other groups together and do more faith sharing outside of ARISE. I see that happening.”