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ARISE Inspires Group to Help Family Coping With Illness

According to its web page, a parish in the Diocese of Owensboro, Kentucky, is dedicated to “continuing the mission of Jesus Christ through word, worship, and service.’’

And parishioners who have been participating in ARISE Together in Christ, the faith-sharing process from RENEW International, have taken a new look at what service means and can’t wait to see where it will lead them next.

The parish is St. Romuald in Hardinsburg, which is about 70 miles southwest of Louisville, where 11 small groups completed Season Two of ARISE last spring.

ARISE St. Romuald Tee Shirts
ARISE Team St. Romuald
Tee shirts were among the ways St. Romuald’s Parish
in Hardinsburg, Kentucky, raised awareness
of the faith-sharing process from RENEW International,

ARISE Together in Christ.
This young lady is displaying the shirt at a parish picnic.
The ARISE team meets at St. Romuald’s Parish
in Hardinsburg, Kentucky.
Eleven small groups in the parish completed
Season Two of
ARISE last spring.

Rosa Hockenberry, pastoral associate at St. Romuald and ARISE coordinator for the parish, said Sr. Kass Collins, SFCC, of RENEW’s pastoral team, introduced ARISE with a strong message attached—to “think outside the box” when it came to applying the Gospel to everyday life.

An opportunity to do that came from nearby, Rosa said—in fact, it came from the parish office adjoining hers.

Rosa learned that the parish St. Vincent De Paul ministry was processing a request for assistance with meals for a family of seven at the nearby Corinth Baptist Church.

The mother in that family had been stricken with cancer and was undergoing multiple surgeries.

“I thought, ‘Oh my gosh,’ ” Rosa said, “here’s a chance to see what ARISE can do to help!

“I talked to the deacon in the St. Vincent group, and he said that the mother was going through more surgeries and they were trying to get meals together for the family for close to a two-week period.

“What Sr. Kass had told us jumped in my head. This is something we can do ‘outside the box’—something besides what we can do for ourselves in our parish family.’’


ARISE Team St. Romuald poster
The ARISE team poses for a “class photo” at St. Romuald’s Parish in Hardinsburg, Kentucky.
Pastor Tony Bickett shows off the
ARISE poster. Rosa Hockenberry is standing at the far right.

Members of the small groups signed up and prepared meals for the family.

“This was a chance for our groups to ‘Arise’ to the occasion,’’ Rosa said, “and we did, in a big way.’’

And she said the group went further and bought gift cards for the family from the parish “Scrip office,’’ which is a clearing house for discount offers from restaurants and merchants.

“The cards from local restaurants were purchased in the name of a parish family, whose mother also has cancer,’’ Rosa said. “The purchase gives credit to the family for school tuition here at St. Romuald school. So our journey helped us to reach outside of our church, and to offer help within!’’

Rosa said she was inspired by the groups’ response: “There was no hemming and hawing—just, ‘What do you need?’ It was amazing.’’

One of the groups also started a drive to collect baby items such as diapers, bottles, and formula, for young couples who had limited resources, Rosa said.

“We put a lot of effort into what Sister Kass said to us,’’ she added. “We put ourselves out there. Now we’re so looking forward to the next season. She challenged us, and we want to challenge ourselves again.’’

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