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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 jimnolan@psu.edu. Or, telephone Theresa Hawbaker at 814-667-2408. 

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

If you are a small group leader, please download the Role and Responsibilities Handout (PDF).


Arise Small Group Sign Ups

Arise Small Groups start the week of October 7, lasts six weeks ending the week of Nov 11, just prior to Thanksgiving. The theme is, “Encountering Christ Today”. It’s an opportunity to deepen our faith and grow together through small-group faith sharing. Please fill out the form below to choose up to three different small group sessions. More information on sessions, including beginning date and meeting times, can be viewed below. 

Have any questions? Please contact Kathy Karchner at: (814) 231-9377 or via email

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*Please note that the following groups are now full and unavailable: Ken Davis, Jim Maund, and Kathy Karchner.

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Additional Resources:

Arise Prayer

Prayer Commitment Card