By Robyn Kurth
St. Rose of Lima Parish completed year one of Why Catholic? in Spanish and now the English community there has decided to participate in the adult faith formation and evangelization process offered by Renew International, proving it is never too late for individuals to become a part of this diocesan initiative.
“I think Why Catholic? is going to be so much better to learn why we are Catholic,” said Sheila Anderson, assistant coordinator of Why Catholic? at St. Rose of Lima,
Now 70 years old, Anderson noted, “My generation didn’t grow up with the Bible. By having Why Catholic? and reading the Scripture readings for the week I think it helps us understand our Bible so much better.”
Close to 50 parishes in the Diocese of Orlando have completed year one of Why Catholic? themed “Christian Prayer” in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Portuguese and Haitian Creole throughout the Diocese of Orlando.
Richard Hernandez is the coordinator of Why Catholic? at St. Rose of Lima, and he participated in an earlier Renew International program 20 years ago at his parish in New Jersey.
“I realize the beauty of the Catholic faith. Based on my experiences if we have more parishioners that are more solid on the fundamentals of the Catholic faith, we would see more of a community,” said Hernandez. “I think Why Catholic? will create a greater sense of purpose of why we go to Mass on Sunday.”
Year Two of Why Catholic? will explore The Profession of Faith: What We Believe and will be scheduled between the Feast of St. Francis (October 4) and the First Sunday of Advent (November 27) at participating parishes. Training for the small community leaders will take place at various locations in English and Spanish during the month of August.
Dan Hardester, Secretary of Evangelization and Diocesan Coordinator for Why Catholic? said that any individual who is interested in Why Catholic? can sign up for Year Two, whether they have participated in Year One or not, and parishes that are starting with Year Two can go back to the first year of the program after the completion of the fourth and final year for the diocese.
“It is not too late to join this process… as the coordinator I am empowered to put whatever resources in place to help parishes with the initial workshop,” said Hardester, who noted that the translation changes to the Nicene Creed that will be introduced during Advent make the Profession of Faith sessions even more pertinent to Why Catholic? participants.
“Perhaps there will be some momentum because of the recent English translation of the Nicene Creed,” said Hardester. “Why Catholic? provides the perfect opportunity to explore that in small faith-sharing communities.”
If a parish is interested in introducing Why Catholic? to their community, Hardester will conduct workshops with the designated parish team so they can learn about the process and how to implement it.