ChristLife partnered with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to present a Discovering Christ conference June 18-19, 2016 at Saints Simon and Jude Parish in West Chester, PA. This was our second time partnering with the Archdiocese to present a conference! Participants received training on the first part of the ChristLife evangelization process, Discovering Christ, and we also presented an "Advanced Track" for ChristLife veterans. Over 100 people, representing 24 parishes, attended the conference.
The conference was opened by Meghan Cokeley, Director of the Archdiocese's Office for the New Evangelization, and Jennifer King, Communication Director for ChristLife. Together they shared the scope of the conference—everyone would receive practical training in running Discovering Christ, but that we also aimed to provide spiritual encouragement and renewal. By the end of the conference, one person commented that the "conference was encouraging and helped build confidence that all things are possible with God. I truly believe that Discovering Christ is so needed for all people."
Dave Nodar began by outlining what the Church has taught about evangelization through the years. Quoting Pope Paul VI, he said, "evangelizing all people constitutes the essential mission of the Church." Fr. Mike Saporito followed by sharing a practical and proven method of evangelization--Discovering Christ. He shared how his parish has experience transformation, saying, "[ChristLife] is a way to be Church; to always have the doors open."
Saturday started with Mass celebrated by Most Reverend John McIntyre and several priests attending the conference. In his homily, Bishop McIntyre encouraged everyone to trust that Christ will provide for all our needs, especially in the work of evangelization, just as He did for the disciples in the Gospel (Matthew 6:24-34).
During the "Advanced Track," Archdiocesan regional leaders met to discuss ways to grow the ChristLife process in their parishes. One conference participant noted, "Even though our parish has done Discovering Christ two times, I picked up so much good information."
Throughout the conference there were opportunities to build relationships with other ChristLife parishes in the area, receive prayer, spend time in Eucharistic adoration, and be inspired in the Church’s mission of evangelization. One participant said, "[The conference] has restored my hope and given me a sense of mission, a concrete way to become more involved in my parish renewal." Another said, "It enriched my hope for building true Christian community within our parish."
Our prayer is that everyone left the conference feeling energized and excited about the work of evangelization, and equipped with a practical way to do it! As one participant shared, "The conference inspired me to speak to friends and neighbors about my faith and has opened my heart more."
All quotes are from conference evaluations.