by Fr. Christopher Argano
During my five years as director of vocations for the Archdiocese of New York, I met with many young men considering the priesthood. With each man I would ask the intentionally open ended question, “Why do you want to be a priest?” This would yield a variety of answers, but the one that has most stuck with me is the man who said,“Father, I just want to bring people to Jesus Christ.”
This young man’s response is at the heart of ChristLife.
I first encountered ChristLife through my friendship with Dianne Davis, currently ChristLife’s Director of Mission Expansion. As a seminarian I spent three summers at Dianne’s parish, St. Martin de Porres in Poughkeepsie, NY. Shortly after my ordination in May 2009, Dianne became involved with ChristLife. Through our conversations, she told me about the program and encouraged me to run it at my parish. I assembled a team, attended the training, and ran Discovering Christ.
In the first weekend promoting it, we maxed out the attendance. Roughly fifty people attended as participants and I know of more than one family which came back to the Church through their experience. I was transferred to another parish less than a year later, but the team in place continued running Following Christ and Sharing Christ.
In my next parish, I was involved with ChristLife being run at a neighboring church on a larger scale. Through giving talks and just being with the people it was remarkable to see hearts open to the Lord and lives literally transformed.
Now, as a pastor myself, I will be running ChristLife in my parishes. I have seen the results, I believe in the mission and am confident that through this more people will have that life changing encounter with Jesus of Nazareth.
Fr. Christopher Argano serves as Pastor of St. Mary’s in Washingtonville and St. Columba in Chester, NY.