In his book, The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis writes “Our most important task as Christians is to invite believers to a renewed, personal encounter with Jesus Christ, and I ask you to do this unfailingly each day.” In support of this request, Bishop Mark Bartchak has initiated a new program within our Diocese from Renew International called Arise Together in Christ, a parish-centered process of spiritual renewal and evangelization that invites us:

  • To develop a closer relationship with Christ,
  • To deepen our faith,
  • To grow in community, and
  • To reach out in service to others.

This program provides a total renewal experience for the parish by spiritually transforming people through the proven model of small-group faith sharing.  It also offers parish enrichment opportunities and encourages works of charity and social justice. 

These small groups—with about eight people each—will gather for five six-week seasons, starting this October, followed by a Lenten season, another Fall season, another Lenten season, and a final Fall season.  Each of these seasons has a major gospel theme that is broken down into weekly themes. Renew International will provide time-proven booklets for each season, to lead the small groups in prayer, Scripture passages, faith-sharing discussions, and possible community service.  The focus for this coming Fall will be Encountering Christ Today.

Currently, we are searching for small-group leaders, and then we will form the small groups, either based on weekly times that the leaders select or possibly on special-interest groups.  We want to get as many parishioners involved as possible, with a goal of at least ten groups.

Please consider being a small group leader, guidance and training will be offered.  Contact Jim Nolan for more information at Or, telephone Theresa Hawbaker at 814-667-2408. 

For more information, you can download a program brochure (PDF).

Additional Resources:

Arise Prayer

Prayer Commitment Card