Watch: Deployed for Mission: Re-imagining the Catholic parish

This week parish staff from across the Diocese of Lansing gathered to prayerfully re-imagine what a Catholic parish could be in the 21st century. Entitled “Deployed for Mission”, the October 20 event was led by Father John Riccardo of the Archdiocese of Detroit and a team from his Acts XXIX apostolate.

“Thank you to all those who attended Deployed for Mission; to all those who helped organize it; to Saint Patrick parish in Brighton for hosting it; and to Father John Riccardo and his team for providing us with inspiration and vision as to what our parishes can become as we attempt to bring the healing love of Jesus Christ to our contemporary society,” said Craig Pohl, Director of the Office of New Evangelization for the Diocese of Lansing, October 21.

The vision of Acts XXIX is based upon three principles:

• “Reacquiring a Biblical Worldview”: To be a disciple of Jesus is not to see some things differently, but to see everything differently — to see reality as it truly is. It is urgently required to see the world through biblical lenses.

• “It’s not enough to be a staff”: Strong leadership and healthy culture are paramount for every age but are especially needed now. Of the three principles, they say, this one requires the most work, but is also the most rewarding.

• “God is the Architect”: “Build according to the pattern I will show you,” is the simple and direct command from God which forms Acts XXIX’s third foundational principle.

It is in doing this that parishes can start to bring that healing love of Jesus Christ to a world that is “crying”, to a Church that is also “crying”, and to do so through the prayer and actions of ordinary Catholics – clergy and lay – living out heroic sanctity wherever they find themselves in the modern world. As Acts XXIX put it: “You are not alive right now by chance. God created you for this moment.”

Acts XXIX attempt to do this be fostering priestly revival; equipping clergy and lay leaders; and by ensuring all their work is rooted in prayer or, as they describe it, “wasting time with the architect”.

As regards the name, “Acts XXIX” is in reference to the New Testament’s Acts of the Apostles. It charts the history of the early Church and is 28 chapters long. Thus, “chapter 29” refers to the Church of the 21st century which is the very same Church as the 1st century and is animated by the very same Holy Spirit. For more go to: