Catholics who have fallen away from the faith and want to
return to the Church or are stuck in a spiritual rut often don’t know
how to take the next step.
St. Joseph Parish in Manchester is
hosting “Next Step,” a special event April 8 to help people discover how
to progress in their faith journey.
“I know there are many good
people out there who desire to have a relationship with God, but because
of the false news, poor interactions with people in the past or a
general confusion about what the Church teaches, they need a place to
come and figure out what the next step in their faith life is,” said
Father Tom Pastorius, pastor of St. Joseph.
Welcome ministers will
greet participants at the parish center. Snacks and free child care
will be provided. Then, each person will meet individually with a
trained Stephen minister, who will listen to their faith stories. Each
minister will then recommend a spiritual expert to provide further help,
if needed. The Stephen Ministry provides spiritual care to members of a
congregation and community, with a special charism of helping people
dealing with difficult life situations.
Spiritual experts on hand
that day will include priests, spiritual directors and healing prayer
ministers. Representatives from specific ministries will available,
including Project Rachel and Project Joseph, the Church’s outreach to
women and men who have experienced abortion; Courage and Encourage, for
people with same-sex attraction and their families; divorced and
separated ministry; social justice and others.
noted that Stephen ministers will provide a confidential, non-judgmental
and caring environment for people to talk about their faith journeys.
Participants will be assisted on a first-come, first-served basis. The
average time a person will need will vary, but Father Pastorius said to
plan on spending at least an hour with a minister.
Pastorius said the special event is a direct answer to Pope Francis’
call to reach out to the lost sheep. Those who say they have someone
close to them who has fallen away from the Church are sometimes met with
an offer of prayers.
While prayer is important, “I wanted to give
them something concrete they can do,” Father Pastorius said. “And this
special event does that.”
>> Next Step
WHEN: Sunday, April 8, 1-3 p.m.
WHERE: St. Joseph Church, 567 St. Joseph Lane in Manchester (in the parish center)
MORE INFO: Call (636) 227-5247 or email [email protected].