Live Christ, Share Christ
First, we'll begin with looking up at the Logo of "Live Christ, Share Christ (LCSC)." It tells of the hope of renewal in this program.
- The Cross: Jesus’ gave us His supreme example of love is His Coming to this world to be its Savior. By the Holy Cross, His Sacrificial Plan for salvation and peace to the world was outpoured from His Sacred Heart. Jesus' Cross saves.
- The Dove: The Power of the Holy Spirit is needed for the Church to experience Jesus Christ in her members. The Eternal Spirit brings people to a faith alive experience (starting with His Pentecost Gift) and He keeps people in renewal and conversion onto a full maturity of His people into union with Christ the Eternal Son. The Spirit wants to keep the Church going, as the Acts of the Apostles (in the Bible's testimony of the First Church) shows us at the start of Catholic Christianity.
- The Host: We live on the Bread of Life. It is the Living Bread of Mercy and Peace and Unity Who nourishes us. Jesus said He would be this great source for us.
- The Star: The Church is blessed to have the help of Mary, as she can be a model to believers on how to live Christ and share Christ.
Now, the story of our parish's consideration of "Live Christ, Share Christ."
In late 2014 and throughout 2015, our parish council was been considering a Parish Renewal program. Some council members knew of a successful one, which was easy to do, and with trainers to come to our parish. This program is called "Live Christ Share Christ (LCSC)" The council members, of Filipino background, knew of its great success in the Philippines, and also of how LCSC was now being introduced into the U.S.A. They gave a presentation at a Nov. 2014 meeting, and the council liked it.
The council members and pastor have discussed how and when to try it here. We feel that the younger adults (under 60) in the parish need to be the core persons to be found to head it, with a cross section of the parish's membership involved in it. The reason is that many of our older and active parish adults have had an experience of renewal through various Catholic programs in the past (e.g. Renew, Family Retreat Programs, Cursillo, K of C, Charismatic Renewal). Yet there has not been one of recent times, either in the parish or of the Archdiocese. We agree that the younger adults and new adults and families of the parish need this renewal ahead for St. Edward's parish life, and that it could be a nice boost for current active parishioners, even of the older ages.
We postponed starting the Live Christ, Share Christ (LCSC) program for lack of a vital team to get it going, and for the need to have some parish momentum going in to a renewal and outreach program. In-between 2015 and now, we have had two parish missions to try to stir up faith and spirituality in the parish. Mr. Gary Zimak and Fr. Blaise Czaja came in and gave 3 night and 4 night missions in 2016 and 2017, respectively. It gave us a boost. We also had concerts, a new social, and additional speakers in the Year of Mercy to give us a spiritual lift. Now would be a good time to try the LCSC Renewal Program.Finding those new leaders and participants for Live Christ, Share Christ would be our immediate need now. Our parish council is looking for such persons. We would first need to have that group trained in how to give the Live Christ, Share Christ retreat. The plan is to do that all-day on Saturday, June 3rd at the parish. Then we organize and plan to launch a promo campaign for parishioners and many neighbors to come to an open retreat in church (TBA--Autumn or Fall/early Witner). The goal of all of this is to have parish renewal and some new, successful evangelization efforts to welcome more people to St. Edwards and to a relationship to Jesus Christ and His Church.
What again is this LCSC program?
It is a retreat program of presenting vital seminars on the Catholic faith to the parish. It would be given here in the church. The talks and testimonies of LCSC are given by parish members. There are five basic seminars, given over a day, accompanied by discussion and sharing exercises, along with some fellowship, and some praying and singing.
It is a packaged group of prepared, dynamic seminars which have begun to energize Catholic parishes elsewhere, and it has papal blessing. It is worth a try here. Our membership has dropped due to moves and aging, and we have a field white for the harvest around us, if we'd but have the drive in Jesus' Heart to reach out. We also need to give our newer members a way to experience the Church better.
What we need for June 3rd. We will need to have parish team to volunteer to take the retreat privately, to understand how it works, and then make plans to give the seminar talks in a few months from now at some ideal time for maximum interest in the community. Besides the talks given, people will support it with offering music, hospitality, publicity and invitation ministry. It also involves getting table discussion leaders.
The Parish Council would oversee the whole LCSC program, under the parish staff, and be directed by the parish pastor and clergy. and more for the “Live Christ, Share Christ” experience.
The parish council and the staff-clergy have discerned that it cannot be themselves to be the ones to do all of this work, but rather be the overseer and main support vehicle behind this Parish Renewal.
When the Parish Team is ready to give the Renewal Program (seminars and such) to the parish, then who goes to it?
LCSC is also called Life In Christ in some parishes, as its an easier name. It is for any presently practicing adult Catholic who want some excitement and growth in their faith, and to take the Catholic life to another notch, in strengthening the vital areas of their faith, and helping the parish life to be more vibrant. This program also is chiefly meant to be of benefit of inviting any inactive Catholics or lapsed Catholics to get back to a living faith on Catholic fundamentals.
This program would also be inviting to other Christians who have wanted to experience more of what Catholic Christianity offers. It could be a follow-up to the RCIA-Becoming Catholic Saturday classes of the parish (currently meeting), or it could be a lead-in for their taking the RCIA-Becoming Catholic classes next time around.
Life Christ, Share Christ OR Life in Christ is evangelistic in style—doing the very thing that Pope Francis has asked us to try in our parishes. Pope Francis has liked how the LCSC program—under it founder Frank Padilla--has brought more life to the Catholic Church in the Philippines. The bishops there in that country love it. It has come to the USA.
As our parish neighborhood has changed mostly to unchurched people, and most of the school children in our neighborhoods lack a Christian faith practice, it is an obvious call to us to not only do a parish renewal program just for ourselves, but as an outreach to the community, and as a gift to the future life of this parish. It will need members. This is where it can come from! From renewed members giving witness and from new members brought to Jesus.
The call of The Lord to joyfully share the Good News is on! Pope Francis has been loud and clear on this. (Have you read "Joy of the Gospel" yet?! And, if so, how are you responding to it?)
What happens after an LCSC Renewal in our parish?
There is follow-through. LCSC then has a monthly follow-through meeting to keep people in fellowship, and encourage faith relationships to form in smaller circles. Small groups in the Church is a way for the Church to work into the future.
LCSC is a lay response to the New Evangelization. It was put together by Catholic lay people who were succeeding in doing it themselves. Getting people to the Church is just not a clergy or religious responsibility (since they only comprise a small number---compared to the laity). It has influences from the USA and the Philippines.
The definition of an alive Church is for its participants to being meet Christ anew, and to be meeting one another anew in living one in Christ Jesus, and to be knowing the Lord better Who is present to all of His parish. An alive Church is to be listening to the Lord and then doing His will. What does Jesus want? The people who are serving that purpose are an alive Church.
Our parish is not hurting for faith in Jesus. We have it. We have great members. We have good liturgies in the House of The Lord, and we have outreach of love to people out in the world.
So a renewal program is not being proposed here because we are weak in faith but because we have faith already going on here in which to build up our parish to a healthier state.
Thirdly, why again should we become excited on having a parish renewal program? Mainly because JESUS LIVES. He is Life and Salvation and Meaning for people on earth, and we can be His ambassadors to helping others to know Him as such.
The Bible says that
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. But how can they call on Him of Whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in Him of Whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? And how can people preach unless they are sent? As it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!
That's a good foundation Scripture for parish renewal.
Here is another word of encouragement...
I appeal to you to be the beautiful ones to bring the Good News alive to yourself and in your churches and shared among your community and neighbors.
The pope does want us to confess Jesus Christ.
Read the inaugural homily of Pope Francis when he said:
If we don't confess Christ we become just a compassionate NGO (non-governmental organization for charity).
The background of this address was of the readings of the daily Mass that particular time, which was about Abraham's covenant walk with God, an apostle's image of the Church as living stones forming God's House on the Cornerstone of Jesus, and Peter's confession of Jesus being "The Christ, the Son of the Living God."
I would like for you, parish member, or the one reading this Parish Renewal description, to now give some attention to Pope Francis' homily words, which I will include below. I think it answers the question: Why do we need a renewal in the Church and parish?
Here is what the Holy Father remarked in that homily to his Cardinal-bishops. It stirred our own Cardinal Wuerl a great deal. Henceforth, his Emmince asked his pastors under him in this Archdiocese to try considering parish renewal programs.
Homily by Pope Francis:
"In these three readings I see that there is something in common: it is movement. In the first reading, movement is the journey [itself]; in the second reading, movement is in the up-building of the Church. In the third, in the Gospel, the movement is in [the act of] profession: walking, building, and professing.
Walking: the House of Jacob. "O house of Jacob, Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord." This is the first thing God said to Abraham: "Walk in my presence and be blameless." Walking: our life is a journey and when we stop, there is something wrong. Walking always, in the presence of the Lord, in the light of the Lord, seeking to live with that blamelessness, which God asks of Abraham, in his promise.
Building: to build the Church. There is talk of stones: stones have consistency, but [the stones spoken of are] living stones, stones anointed by the Holy Spirit. Build up the Church, the Bride of Christ, the cornerstone of which is the same Lord. With [every] movement in our lives, let us build!
Third, professing: we can walk as much we want, we can build many things, but if we do not confess Jesus Christ, nothing will avail. We will become a compassionate NGO, but not the Church, the Bride of Christ. When one does not walk, one stalls. When one does not built on solid rocks, what happens? What happens is what happens to children on the beach when they make sandcastles: everything collapses, it is without consistency. When one does not profess Jesus Christ - I recall the phrase of Leon Bloy – “Whoever does not pray to God, prays to the devil.” When one does not profess Jesus Christ, one professes the worldliness of the devil.
Walking, building-constructing, professing: the thing, however, is that it is not so easy, because in walking, in building, and in professing, there are sometimes shake-ups - there are movements that are not part of the path: there are movements that pull us back.
This Gospel continues with a special situation. The same Peter who confessed Jesus Christ, says, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. I will follow you, but let us not speak of the Cross. This has nothing to do with it.” He says, “I’ll follow you on other ways that do not include the Cross.” (Peter is corrected. He will be asked to be Cross-centered.) When we walk without the Cross, when we build without the Cross, and when we profess Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord. We are worldly, we are bishops, priests, cardinals, popes, (and parishioners), but not disciples of the Lord.
I would like that all of us, after these days of grace, might have the courage - the courage - to walk in the presence of the Lord, with the Cross of the Lord: to build the Church on the Blood of the Lord, which is shed on the Cross, and to profess the one glory, Christ Crucified. In this way, the Church will go forward.
My hope for all of us is that the Holy Spirit, that the prayer of Our Lady, our Mother, might grant us this grace to walk, to build, to profess Jesus Christ Crucified. So be it."
End of Homily.
Take it all to heart, St. Edwards' parish!
*Note: Parts above in ( ) are added in.
Consider if you are called to this effort to help renew our parish.