Communities of Prayer

Upon my return from the Dallas area where I just gave a parish mission, I told the Apostleship of Prayer staff that I wanted to move our office there. Now I know the pleasant Spring weather of 70's and 80's will soon enough turn to the 100's of Summer. And I know that the 40 degrees that greeted me when I left the Milwaukee airport will turn to 70's and 80's in the Summer. But my attraction to Dallas is not just the weather.

It was an amazing experience to meet such fervent Catholics. About 300 people came to my parish mission at Mary Immaculate Parish where it's estimated there are 6,000 families. Also, I was blessed to have lunch with Kurt Klement who runs one of the largest high school ministries in the country at St. Ann's parish in Coppell where there are an estimated 8,000 families and where Fr. Phil Hurley, S.J., our director of youth and young adults, will be leading a Hearts on Fire retreat June 22-23.

Another blessing of my trip was to meet Tom Grossman, the director of campus ministry for Mary Immaculate Grade School and the Young Adult Coordinator at the parish. His card has the following Scripture quote from Luke 12: 49: "I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!" Tom is truly on fire with the love of God. Moved by the call of Blessed John Paul II for a new evangelization and for our communities to be "schools of prayer," Tom has helped start a group called "Communities of Prayer." One of their prayer cards caught my eye because it included the Morning Offering. My hope for the Apostleship of Prayer is that we not only unite in praying that daily prayer with the Pope's monthly intentions in mind, but that we truly become "Apostles of Prayer." The Apostles were the friends of Jesus who spent time with him. I think the materials available through Communities of Prayer are ideal for helping us grow in prayer and in our relationship with the Lord. Their "Lectio Divina" booklets can help us make this tried and true method of praying with Scriptures part of our life and the resources available at "Link to Liturgy" are excellent for using the Sunday and weekday Mass readings for prayer.

Once a month Mary Immaculate Parish holds a special Saturday night adoration service followed by entertainment and fellowship. It's called "The Shepherd's Cafe" and I met Yong Oh who is instrumental in organizing it. After Mass and dinner, Fr. Michael Forge, the pastor, and I stopped in for a visit. Throughout the evening the Sacrament of Reconciliation was available and there was a line for it the whole time that I was there.

Throughout the mission people mistook me for Fr. Michael. I guess that's because we part our hair the same way.