Friday, September 14, 2012

MCF New Evangelization The Holy Spirit

MCF New Evangelization 
Renewing our personal and communal 
devotion to the Holy Spirit    

Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you receive it, and you will." Mark 11: 24
"...Collaboration with the mission of Christ and the Holy Spirit, which is now the mission of the Church, is the object of the prayer of the apostolic community.... By prayer every baptized
person works for the coming of the Kingdom." The Catechism of the Catholic Church #2642
"Evangelization will never be possible without the action of the Holy Spirit... It is in the consolation of the Holy Spirit that the Church increases." EN #75

"It must be said that the Holy Spirit is the principal agent of evangelization; it is He Who impels each individual to proclaim the Gospel and it is He Who in the depths of conscience causes the word of salvation to be accepted and understood.... The faithful [ought] to pray without ceasing to the Holy Spirit... and let themselves be prudently guided by Him as the decisive inspirer of their plans, their initiatives, and their evangelizing activity." EN # 75

"Our prayer should not be narrow, personal prayer; it should reach to the throne of God only after having touched the farthest bounds of God's creation and mourned in every human misery, and rejoiced in God's goodness to men. We should pray for the Church, the Holy Father... We should pray ... that the reign of the Holy Spirit will come in the hearts of men ..." -
Missionary Cenacle Meditations: Wednesday Fifth Week of Easter
In 1976, Paul VI wrote EN following up on the bishops' synod on evangelization. As the Church
prepares for another bishops' synod to be held in October, 2012 dealing with the New Evangelization, we can use EV as a sure guide as we study, pray, and plan so that each of us in the MCF can take an active part in this new evangelization.
What makes this the NEW evangelization? Following up on the thoughts of Paul VI, John Paul II and our present pope, Benedict XVI, point out circumstances in our modem world which call for
different approaches. Not only does the Church in this age continue her mission ad gentes - to those who have never known of Jesus Christ, but she is especially concerned with
- people of age-old Christian countries like those in Europe and North America where radical secularism, consumerism, etc. are eating at the soul of cultures, and where knowledge and
practice of the faith is way down;- and people of traditionally Catholic countries like those in Central and South America where non-catholic groups are growing exponentially, as many baptized Catholics who have had little opportunity for learning more about the faith and often infrequent chances to attend Mass and receive the sacraments, find a welcome among these other communities.

Evangelization is both a supernatural and human undertaking. And while not underestimating the human means needed - religious and cultural studies, catechesis, preaching, lives of Catholic witness, etc. - the primary means employed will be the supernatural means, especially prayer and acts of self sacrifice (mortification) which some authors refer to as " prayer of the body". Perhaps the importance of these means is shown by the Church's naming St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower to whom Fr. Judge has great devotion, a young woman who lived a short and cloistered life, as the patron of her mission! along with St. Francis Xavier who went to the farthest ends of the earth to spread the Good News.

As we ponder the quotes cited at the beginning of this note, we can ask ourselves
1. How and when do I pray for the coming of the Kingdom? Certainly each time I say the Our Father, but is this an intention that I include when I celebrate or assist at the Mass?
2. Do I ask the Holy Spirit for His aid as I attempt to be an apostle, an evangelizer in the providence of my every day life as a member of the MCF, whatever branch I am part of and whatever my position in life?

3. Do I make use of the Cenacle's customary prayers to the Holy Spirit - the novena and the litany to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity - in asking for His gifts especially wisdom and fortitude?

4. If I am not now using these prayers, can I incorporate one or the other or both of them into my day, and if I do recite them daily, can I take them to my personal prayer so as to
deepen my "devotional knowledge" and love for the Holy Spirit?
5. Can I concretize my efforts to take part in this New Evangelization by asking the Holy Spirit to help me formulate a specific plan for each day - be it prayer, self-sacrifice,
speaking to a friend, reading or preaching from one of the sources suggested to the MCF during this time before the Synod of Bishops, teaching catechism, etc. depending upon my
personal circumstances?

Let us ask Mary, the Queen of the Missionary Cenacle, to help us with the efforts we will make for the preservation of the faith and to think with the Church as the Church concentrates on the
New Evangelization in 2012.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Missionary Methods

MSBT Emblem
A Power for Good
This past year we published a small booklet of our Missionary Methods.
These have been the ways and means of carrying out our ministries since our beginnings.

By our lives as Missionary Servants we seek first to glorify the Triune God.
We follow in the footsteps of the Apostles who, filled with the Holy Spirit, went forth from the Cenacle to spread everywhere the knowledge and love of Jesus.
We live and work that God’s name may be hallowed, that his kingdom come,
that his holy will be done.     Rule of Life, article 3

Practice of Taking Council
We invite people to share in the mission of the Church by taking counsel with them about ways and means to bring God into the lives of the people.
We determine the needs of an area and a population by listening to the people, the ministers, the leaders of the community and seeking their counsel before creating any plan of action. After prayer and council, we attempt to respond to the needs brought to light by using any means appropriate.

(See Taking Council available from the Missionary Cenacle Press.
See also Building a Life-giving Parish: The Gift of Counsel in the Modern World by Sister Brenda Hermann, MSBT and Msgr. James Gaston, MA, STL.)

Every Catholic a Missionary 
We work with the Cenacle Family to bring about in all Catholics a missionary spirit. We encourage Catholics, especially young people, to be involved with local parish programs such as Renew, RCIA, and evangelization projects.
We take every opportunity to encourage and collaborate with the laity, encouraging co-workers and volunteers to participate in our ministries. We engage the participation of parishioners in various aspects of serving people in
We encourage all to become involved in strengthening the faith of Catholics who are in danger of losing their faith; of demonstrating by their personal witness the care of the Church for those in need;
MSBT Constitution article 5.1

Sentire Cum Ecclesia
We strive to make the Church a welcoming place for adults as well as youth and children.
We make it a practice to be aware of Church teachings and to remain current about local issues affecting the Church.
We read the local diocesan newspaper to keep current.
We stay aware of Church documents as they become available from Diocesan offices and from local Catholic book stores (if one is available)
We are aware of Catholic Social Teaching by reading documents as they come out, ex: A Place at the Table, Faithful Citizenship, etc.
We actively participate in Ecumenical efforts to serve the needy and to take part in prayerful opportunities to work for peace, justice and Christian unity.

Missionary Visiting
Home visiting is a long standing custom, no matter the particular work. Prayer to the Holy Spirit precedes any home visit.
We are used to making ourselves available to people according to their schedules, including evenings and on week-ends.
We work to create a non-judgmental attitude, taking people as they are.
By means of home visitation we seek to discover the needs of individuals and families and then locate appropriate programs to respond to these needs.
We “work out of the trunk of our cars” and thus take our programs to the people rather than waiting for people to come to us.
We make no promises to people at the time of a home visit, except perhaps the promise to return if needs be.

The Providence of everyday life.
In order to learn about the “providence of the everyday lives” of the people we serve, we take care to learn about the culture, customs and history of the area. We consult the local newspapers for items of interest regarding the
people and the locale.
We do this before making missionary plans. This is in conjunction with the idea of
taking council with people.
We share our Gospel spirit. Our approach always includes devotion to the Holy Spirit.
We encourage the people we serve to create opportunities to be a Gospel presence within the providence of their everyday lives.
We take opportunities to reflect on the Gospel with people as a means of “following in the footsteps of Jesus.”
We communicate to people that where they are, their families, their neighborhoods, their local communities, their work environment, IS the providence of their everyday lives and that is where they are called to be

Save the Child / Concern for Families
The family is the “domestic Church.” We set up programs to guide families in Christian values. We strive to create
an atmosphere for people to see the Church as the center for their activities.
We strive to bring families, youth and children to a knowledge of the Holy Trinity and the love that God has for them.
We participate with other groups and agencies serving the same people in an area so that our collaboration and creative effort may better serve the people and that they may discover the fullness of Christian living.
We make connections between families with needs and people with the skills or means to respond to these needs.
We develop thrift shops, food pantries, etc., following on the principle that we do whatever is required to respond to the needs of people.
We strive to be open to youth and children, listening to them, becoming friends with them, and respecting them, not as the “Church of the future” but as the Young Church today.

Devotions and Virtues the bedrock of our methodology
There is an individual piety... and there is a... community spirit... A community spirit is very distinctive...
Our spirit is taken from the practice of our devotions. There is nothing comparable to these devotions. What is comparable to the Mystery of the Holy Trinity? What is
comparable to the Mystery of the Incarnation, to the abiding of the Holy Spirit in the Church and in the souls of the faithful? What is comparable to the Mental Sorrows of Jesus?

We are to have a particular devotion to the angels, the Apostles. We are to be noted for a particular loyalty to the Holy Father. The Church has not anything more
wonderful than the Mystery of the Holy Trinity.
Everything in our holy faith is taprooted in that Mystery, all the Christ mysteries, all the Mary mysteries are in it. If you take over these devotions you will have a certain spirit... You will have the Cenacle spirit.

You are to practice virtues, the virtues of simplicity, prudence, humility, charity, sacrifice, patience and the virtue of self-denial. You cannot practice these virtues,
you cannot give yourself over to these devotions without producing a distinct type in the Church of God...
Pray that you may persevere in these qualities and that you may possess all that will make you more useful to the honor and glory of God and the good of the Church.
(Missionary Cenacle Meditations, p. 314)