Monterey prepares for ARISE

Technology Allows for Greater Participation, Less Travel

ARISE Together in Christ, a faith-sharing process from RENEW International, has been launched in the Diocese of Monterey, California — with some high-tech help. More than 30 parishes in the diocese are participating in ARISE, which was launched in January.

Ordinarily, the opening workshops for ARISE take place at many parish sites around a diocese and involve lots of travel for presenters and participants. Also, only those who can attend a workshop in person have had the chance to share ideas.

For the people of Monterey, however, technology has created opportunities for greater participation and less travel. Through video conferencing, the people of the diocese can attend workshops at central locations where the equipment has been set up in advance and where facilitators are prepared to see that information flows in real time from the presenters at the live site to the groups watching close to home. This approach allows every participant to hear the comments, questions, and good-news stories from around the diocese.

The opening workshops, presented in English by Sr. Pat Thomas, OP, and in Spanish by Manuel Hernandez, guide the members of parish teams across the diocese in making plans to roll out the process in their parishes and in identifying and inviting men and women to lead the small faith-sharing communities that will form for each of the five ARISE seasons. Video conferencing allows for even more evangelization to take place among participants who will experience faith-sharing sessions, because they can hear from people from across the diocese whom they otherwise might not have met. Through video conferencing, parishes are able to become even more aware of the parish life in the diocese and realize there are issues specific to one parish that are not the same as that concern another—such as population size, ethnicity, economy, or geographical characteristics—and then be able to give suggestions or advice that might be missed in the usual centralized presentations.

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