Fr. Erik Arnold, the pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPH), is one of the presenters in the ChristLife series. He took some time to share his own experience with the ChristLife evangelization process from the perspective of a parish pastor.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help began using the ChristLife evangelization process shortly after he arrived. Through the ChristLife series, the parish has been able to not only engage people over seven weeks, but also root them in the life of the parish--making it it their spiritual home. The ChristLife series has also assisted in bring parishioners back to the sacraments. Fr. Erik shared the story of a parishioner who returned to confession during Discovering Christ after a 30-year gap.

Over the years, there has been a powerful building of community. Fr. Arnold doesn’t want parishioners to come to Mass in a disconnected or isolated way; rather he wants them to experience life in the parish as though they are part of a family. Parishioners have become involved in the parish in a deeper way as a result of Discovering Christ. He mentions a married couple who were parishioners for 20+ years and sat in the same pews Sunday after Sunday, but never knew the people around them. Discovering Christ gave them the opportunity to meet fellow parishioners and build relationships. These relationships made coming to Mass a deeper spiritual experience because they knew the people they were praying with.

The courses have given sense of purpose and mission to the parish. Time and time again, the popes remind us that the Church exists in order to evangelize. It is easy to talk about that fact, but it’s not until it is put into practice that we really get a sense of what that means.

The parish has also experienced a sense of spiritual renewal. Fr. Arnold shares many stories of individuals growing in their relationship with the Lord and the fruit that flows from that growth: greater desire to serve, greater involvement in liturgical ministries, greater generosity towards the parish, and a greater desire to bring the Gospel to others.