Written by Sherry
Thursday, 08 October 2009 06:27
A little note about a couple of those thousand points of light out there that we've encountered out there. First of all, one of our seminarian readers brought the story of one amazing parish to my attention:
25 home-grown priests. 20 men currently in seminary. 15 - 20 women in religious formation. All from one parish?
Yes. If that parish is Christ the King of Ann Arbor, Michigan.
I've heard about Christ the King for years but have yet to have the chance to visit. It is unique: a "personal parish" for the charismatic renewal. Their history is fascinating (from their website)
"In 1981, a group of Catholics in the "Charismatic Renewal" met weekly for Mass and reception of the sacraments with the blessing of the Bishop of Lansing. In 1986, Bishop Povish established us as a Lay Association of the Faithful and we were given the name Christ the King Catholic Association. In 1991, we began the process of becoming a personal parish of the Diocese of Lansing, a process that was completed in 1997."
A charismatic style of prayer is common at Christ the King, including during certain parts of the Mass. Their website describes that as "external markers". Their internal markers?
Internal markers include a radical surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all parts of life, a strong adherance to the Gospel and the teachings of the Catholic Church, and the pursuit of strong friendships centered on Christ. As Catholics, this obviously includes abiding in the heart of the Church in union with our beloved Bishop and Pope Benedict XVI
In other words, this is a parish that treasures and intentionally nurtures a culture of discipleship. Discipleship and formation for all. It sounds like their RCIA program is booming as well with seekers from both Christian and unchurched backgrounds. It probably helps that their dynamic pastor, Fr. Ed Friede, is a convert himself. And priestly and religious vocations are the direct fruit of discipleship.
And their mission statement? I've read hundreds of parish mission statements (which usually amount essentially to "we want to be nice, helpful people doing nice Catholic things in a nice way") and I've never seen anything like this. It begins:
- To be a people committed to surrendering our lives completely to the Lord Jesus, knowing that "Christian living consists in following Christ," we choose in all things to "say yes to Jesus Christ."
(Pope John Paul II, Catechesi Tradendae, #'s 5 & 20)
and then it goes on for another 12 paragraphs - all with magisterial references.
Ann Arbor (and southern Michigan in general) is a Catholic hotbed. I know from my brief time in the area that Christ the King isn't the only parish doing great things there. And alot of dynamic extra-parochial groups are headquartered there: the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, Renewal Ministries, Ave Maria Radio, and another women's community, The Servants of God's Love.
Not to mention Domino's Pizza (I've attended Mass in their quite sumptuous chapel).
And that many of the dynamic faculty at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit live in Ann Arbor.
I'm going to be in the area for 4 days at the end of October (I'm speaking at the Pontiac Vicariate Fall Assembly and then offering a Called & Gifted facilitator training)
Maybe I can finagle a visit to CTK!
More good news in a second post.