Dear RENEW Friend,
“God does not look at the caterpillar we are now, but the dazzling butterfly we have in us to become.” —Desmond Tutu.
Bishop Tutu picked the movement of a caterpillar into a butterfly as an analogy for the transformation to which God has called each one of us. Our response to that call is at the heart of the season of Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday, February 13. During Lent, the Church encourages us to devote time and attention to the process of conversion in our lives, the process of becoming our best and truest selves, the process of growing beyond the worldly things that burden us and taking flight in the freedom that comes only through friendship with God.
Sr. Theresa Rickard, OP, DMin
President and Executive Director
“Dios no mira a la oruga que somos ahora, sino a la delicada mariposa que se está formando en nosotros.” —Desmond Tutu.
El obispo Tutu escogió el paso de una oruga a su conversión en mariposa como una analogía de la transformación a la que Dios llama a cada uno de nosotros. Nuestra respuesta a tal llamada es central a la Cuaresma, que empieza con el Miércoles de Ceniza el 13 de febrero. Durante la Cuaresma, la Iglesia nos anima a dedicar tiempo y atención al proceso de conversión en nuestra vida, al proceso que nos convierte en personas mejores y más auténticas, al proceso de crecer más allá de las cosas mundanas cuyo carga nos impide tomar el vuelo de la libertad que solo podemos encontrar en la amistad con Dios.
Para reflexionar más profundamente sobre este tema, lee mi RENEW blog post
Hermana Theresa Rickard, OP, DMin
Presidenta y Directora Ejecutiva
Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on February 2 commemorates the first appearance of the Holy Family in the Temple in Jerusalem.
This event has been called the "second epiphany," because the holy man Simeon, rejoicing at the sight of Jesus, called him a “light of revelation to the Gentiles,” meaning that Jesus would save the whole world.
Simeon also forecast the difficulties that lay ahead, saying that Jesus would be "a sign that will be opposed" and warning Mary, "a sword will pierce your own soul."
A Widow Finds God's Healing through RENEW
“I am now closer to Jesus, the Blessed Trinity, as well as his mother, Mary. They are getting me through my husband’s untimely death.” This participant in ARISE Together in Christ is a parishioner at Our Lady of the Assumption of the Portuguese in Turlock, CA. The church is part of the Stockton Diocese, a “mission diocese” requiring financial support in order to offer ARISE. Your generous contributions have brought RENEW’s mission to Stockton and other mission dioceses, helping thousands of Catholics build a deeper faith.
New Videos Show Turning Points of Faith
RENEW International now offers a way to help parishioners start a dialogue about faith with family and friends who have left the Church or who are religious “seekers.”
Turning Points: Witness Stories
tell real-life stories of people who have experienced awakened faith and new life as Catholics. These short, engaging videos in English and Spanish encourage sharing and discussion.
Parish ministries will also find many uses for these videos, for example incorporating them in sacramental preparation and RCIA and sharing them through YouTube, Facebook, and email.
RENEW International received generous support for this project from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Catholic Communications Campaign and the Our Sunday Visitor Foundation. Visit www.renewintl.org/turningpoints
Resources Available Now
Make a six-week retreat by exploring the Sunday readings of Lent in Lenten Longings: Seeing with God’s Eyes
. Lent invites us to a time of prayer, reflection, and conversion—to see the world as bigger than ourselves and practice self-sacrifice.
Books and CDs are available to order
St. Josephine Bakhita and St. Scholastica
St. Josephine Bakhita, whom the Church honors on February 8, was a native of Sudan who in the late 19th century was kidnapped into slavery when she was nine years old. She was repeatedly sold and was emotionally and physically abused before she ended up serving a family in Italy as a nanny. When she had become an adult, Josephine succeeded in getting an Italian court to declare her free, and she went into religious life until her death 50 years later. She forgave those who had enslaved and mistreated her. She died in 1947 and was canonized in 2000. Click here to read more
St. Scholastica, who was born in the late fifth century, was the twin sister of St. Benedict, founder of the religious order that bears his name. Scholastica apparently entered religious life at an early age and eventually was the leader of a community of nuns about five miles from her brother’s abbey in Monte Cassino. She is the patron against rain storms and the patron of children who suffer convulsions. She is believed to have died on February 10, 457 AD, and the church observes her memorial each year on that date, which this year falls on a Sunday. Click here to read more
How Fiscal Cliff Laws May Affect Your Charitable Giving Plans
The American Taxpayer Relief Act Congress passed on January 1 raised taxes in several areas. However, many deductions for charitable giving remain. Here’s how you may be affected.
- Individuals and families in higher income brackets will see their taxes increase in 2013. Charitable donations may reduce those taxes. Keep in mind, though, that limits on total itemized deductions may apply.
- People over age 70-1/2 must take distributions from their IRAs and pay income tax on the earnings. For people in this age group who do not need the IRA income for living expenses, they may want to consider using the IRA distribution to fund their contribution to RENEW and other charities. Transferring the money (limit $100,000) directly from the IRA custodian to the charities would eliminate the taxes due on the distribution.
Always discuss the effects of charitable donations on your taxes with your financial adviser before you make a decision.
If you have any questions about RENEW International’s estate giving program, the Msgr. Thomas A. Kleissler Legacy Society, please contact John Carney at RENEW International, 908-769-5400, ext. 143; email@example.com.
Awaiting the Risen Lord
To celebrate new life each day, to be resurrection people, do something you have never done before. Some possibilities:
- Each day, learn one new thing
- Try eating food you have never had before
- Plant seeds for a new flower or vegetable
- Read about a person in history who nurtured the hope of new life, for example, Oscar Romero
- Tell your family about this person
- Listen to the “Alleluia Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah
- Make something you have never made before
- Help at a soup kitchen
- Examine your spiritual life: prayer, faith-sharing groups, lectures, and retreats are forms of spiritual renewal.
Consider a Gift to RENEW International
Your tax-deductible donation
to RENEW International helps us engage more people to strengthen their faith and find God in everyday life.