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Why Catholic? Program Seeks Answers to Life's Questions

By Debbie Hovanasian

LOWELL, MA -- A faith-formation and evangelization campaign by RENEW International is designed to help Catholics answer a very important question: “Why Catholic?" The campaign aims to answer that and other important life's questions by offering a faith-filled point of view.

Parishioners in some local parishes [in the Archdiocese of Boston] will spend time during Lent in small faith-sharing groups that allow them to explore and perhaps find the answers to questions like how do I pray, how do we celebrate the sacraments, how can I live a fuller Christian life, how can I make the right decisions.

Among those parishes are St. Rita in Lowell and St. Marguerite D'Youville in Dracut. This weekend, Why Catholic? team members at both churches will encourage parishioners and anyone else interested to sign up for a convenient time to gather for 90 minutes weekly over six weeks during Lent. As part of a "Journey through the Catechism," the groups will reflect on scripture to gain a deeper appreciation of the beliefs of the Catholic faith and more fully understand the power of God's word.

The goals of the program are "essential to the renewal of the church, especially in Lowell and Boston. We're in need of incredible healing," said the Rev. Marc Bishop, pastor of both St. Rita and St. Marguerite D'Youville.

Why Catholic? is a wonderful first step for anyone asking, why am I here or, if I am outside the door, should I come back. It's a great opportunity to re-energize."

"We'll be able to answer questions like, why do we donate to the poor or pray for people who are sick. It's all revealed to us in the scriptures," said Deacon Everett Penney of St. Marguerite D'Youville. "We'll focus on the connection between prayer and how we live our lives in the world, using scripture as the connection between the two."

Why Catholic? "isn't preachy, but inviting. A program like this is needed because people want it," Bishop said. "It's a way to rediscover or to go deeper within their Catholic faith, giving people the language of sharing an invitation to others to return or check us out for the first time."

According to Sister Pauline Leblanc, "at the end of each session, we'll try to find an action item, inviting everyone to do something concrete that came from the sharing, living the good news."

To join a Why Catholic? group call St. Rita, 158 Mammoth Road, Lowell, 978-452-4812 or St. Marguerite D'Youville, 1340 Lakeview Ave, Dracut, 978-957-0322.

This article was published on lowellsun.com and is used with permission.

Parishes in the Archdiocese of Boston interested in becoming part of Why Catholic? can contact Mary Ann McLaughlin, Archdiocesan Coordinator for Why Catholic? and Co-Director of the Office of Worship and Spiritual Life.

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