This week's chapter from the Lawn Chair Catechism Study is called "The Fruit of Discipleship". The chapter discusses in detail about two parishes that have flourishing vocations, abundant financial support, and active parishioners. I seriously looked to see if either of them were nearby so I could move there! That is where I would want to be, wouldn't you? Well, I am hoping maybe I can get my parish looking more like those after I finish this study. I am hoping God will equip me so that I can get others as fired up as I am!
Can you recall a “before” and “after” time in your life, when you became a true disciple of Jesus Christ? There is definitely a "before" and "after" but I'm not exactly sure when it was. There was so much growing that I've done over the period of time since I've become a Catholic that I am not sure when the "after" showed up. I do know that I was on fire before I was even baptized. I remember drooling in anticipation for the day that I could receive the Lord in the Eucharist.
What success stories can you share in your parish? We haven't had one in quite some time but we used to have a woman's retreat every once in a while and it seemed to draw a lot of women of the parish together. Also, when we had a Women's Group, there was some movement towards growth. Right now the Knights of Columbus are the most successful at finding and living out discipleship in our parish.
In what areas is Christian discipleship not yet the standard for ministry? Sometimes it seems that our parish wants to stay locked into itself. Pope Francis says "The Church needs to come out of itself and start moving toward the peripheries of society. Obviously, when you go out, there will be accidents: “But I prefer a thousand times more a Church that is damaged than a Church that is sick from closing in on itself. Go out, go out!” Our parish needs to go out!