Living the Eucharist Small Groups Open Doors to Vital Faith
by Rev. Kenneth Boyack, CSP
Based on feedback from parishes and parishioners, Living the Eucharist small groups (which are the heart of this Lenten faith renewal program) are opening new doors to an awakened and aware Catholic faith. We wanted to share with you the verbatim comments and assessments of adults from around the country who participated in Living the Eucharist small groups during Lent 2012.
“This program was a wonderful Lenten experience that will endure long after Lent has finished. I feel my participation in the Mass is forever changed.” – Parishioner, Hampstead, NH
Over 260 parishes in the United States participated in Living the Eucharist during in 2012. Many of these parishes invited parishioners to join a small group that met for six weeks during Lent. The weekly ninety-minute meetings involved input and discussion on topics such as “Why We Gather for Sunday Eucharist,” “What Happens at Sunday Mass,” and “The Dynamic Role of the Holy Spirit.” Each meeting closed with the group using lectio divina to pray with one of the readings for the upcoming Sunday Mass.
“This group and the readings, especially lectio divina have convinced me to want to follow Jesus more.” – Parishioner, Garden City, SC
Many small group leaders collected evaluations from the participants during the final meeting during Lent. Twenty-three parishes sent their evaluations to Paulist Evangelization Ministries and 131 small group participants gave their feedback through a survey on the Living the Eucharist website. Paulist Evangelization Ministries gathered a total of 1,286 responses from small group members. The feedback on Living the Eucharist small groups has been extremely positive, with a large majority (87.6%) of the respondents rating the program “Excellent,” or “Very Good.”
“Best program in our parish in decades.” – Parishioner, Grand Rapids, MI
“The entire experience was exceptional. Everyone shared with great honesty and conviction. It was such a wonderful experience. I did not want it to end.” – Parishioner, Forest Grove, OR
Even more important, the parishioners who shared their thoughts with us on their Living the Eucharist small group experience found—again in large majorities—that participating in the program had a profound and positive impact on their understanding of the Eucharist, their participation in the Mass, and their commitment to live as a disciple of Jesus each day.
“This is living Jesus! Let’s go out and share the Gospel!” – Parishioner, Menomonee Falls, WI
Here is what participating parishioners and parishes around the country had to say about their experience of Living the Eucharist small groups during Lent 2012.
How would you evaluate your overall experience as a small group participant?
As a result of participating in this small group, please indicate to what extent you either agree or disagree with the three statements below. (There were 992 responses.)
I have a greater understanding of the Eucharist.
I participate more fully in the Mass.
I am more committed to live as a disciple of Jesus each day.
Learn more about Living the Eucharist at www.LivingtheEucharist.org. Parishes can begin planning now to participate in Lent 2013. The Parish Starter Kit contains all the materials a parish needs to implement this ministry.
Rev. Kenneth Boyack, CSP is Vice President of Paulist Evangelization Ministries and the General Coordinator for Living the Eucharist. You can contact him at KBoyack@pemdc.org
The Living the Eucharist small group participants were invited to complete this sentence: “The most valuable part of the small group experience for me was…” Here is what they said:
|The small group participants were invited to make additional comments, and they made observations about a wide range of issues regarding our Catholic faith. Here is what they said:|