Advent: A Time of Visitation Moments 
  
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Dear Friend,  
 
Mary’s visit to Elizabeth when both women were pregnant by God’s grace shows how we experience God’s presence in our encounters with other people. The Advent story of those two women evokes memories of my mother and the many ways in which she touched the lives of others with encouragement, comfort, and strength—gifts we all can share.
 
To read my blog, click here.
  
In Christ, 
Sr. Theresa Rickard, OP
President and Executive Director
 

 
Sean's Story image 
'Lord, Let Me See You'—Sean's Story
 
A young man comes to see his work with the poor as intimately connected to his encounter with Christ in the Eucharist.

To hear Sean's story, click here.

Sean's story is part of a new video series from RENEW International entitled Turning Points: Witness Stories. The videos offer a way to help parishioners start a dialogue about faith with family and friends who have left the Church or who are religious “seekers.”

A video series is also available in Spanish as Cambios de rumbos: Historias de testigos.
  
 
 
To learn more, visit www.renewintl.org/turningpoints.
 

Pope Francis's Evangelii Gaudium 
 
In his first apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium ("The Joy of the Gospel"), released on Nov. 26, Pope Francis outlined his vision for the Church. He addressed many topics including evangelization, solidarity with the poor, care for the environment, the sanctity of all life, and the characteristics of good preaching. We would like to highlight what the pope said about the role of the parish in evangelization.
 
"While certainly not the only institution which evangelizes, if the parish proves capable of self-renewal and constant adaptivity, it continues to be 'the Church living in the midst of the homes of her sons and daughters.' This presumes that it really is in contact with the homes and the lives of its people, and does not become a useless structure out of touch with people or a self-absorbed group made up of a chosen few. The parish is the presence of the Church in a given territory, an environment for hearing God’s word, for growth in the Christian life, for dialogue, proclamation, charitable outreach, worship and celebration. In all its activities the parish encourages and trains its members to be evangelizers. It is a community of communities, a sanctuary where the thirsty come to drink in the midst of their journey, and a centre of constant missionary outreach. We must admit, though, that the call to review and renew our parishes has not yet sufficed to bring them nearer to people, to make them environments of living communion and participation, and to make them completely mission-oriented.
 
To read the entire text of Evangelii Gaudium, click here.



From left to right, Mary Beth Oria, Sr. Honora Nolty, OP,
Archbishop Bernard Hebda, and Deirdre Malacrea.
 
Welcoming Newark's Coadjutor Archbishop
 
Several members of RENEW's staff attended the Archdiocese of Newark's Eucharistic Celebration of Welcome for Coadjutor Archbishop Bernard Hebda on Nov. 5 at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark. Mass was followed by a reception in the Archdiocesan Center.
 
RENEW International began as a ministry office in the Archdiocese of Newark in 1978. Since then RENEW International has revitalized parish life in more than 150 dioceses in the United States, touching the lives of 25 million people through its ministries and pastoral offerings. RENEW International has also reached many thousands outside the United States having served in 23 countries, across six continents, and in 44 languages and dialects.
 
For more photos of the Mass, click here.
 

 
 Sr. Veronica Mendez, RCD, leads a presentation on multicultural communication for RENEW International's Board of Trustees and guests.
 
Communion Breakfast
 
RENEW trustees, staff, friends, and families gathered for a Communion Breakfast on Sunday, Nov. 10. Mass was celebrated in the RENEW chapel and was followed by brunch and a presentation on understanding the many different cultures that make up today's Church.
 
For more photos of the RENEW Communion Breakfast, click here.
 

 
 
Looking Ahead to Lent
 
RENEW International invites all small groups and parishes to make a six-week retreat by exploring the Sunday readings of Lent with our Lenten Longings series.
 
This year’s readings and reflections cover the theme, Let Yourself Be, which reminds us of Christ’s teaching that authentic loving involves self-surrender.
 
Also for Lent 2014, RENEW’s Sr. Terry offers daily Lenten reflections drawn from her unique perspective and diverse ministry background in a pocket-sized devotional prayer book entitled The Living Gospel, available now.
 
Order these and other Lenten resources by Jan. 15, 2014 to take advantage of Early Bird specials by calling our order line at 1-888-433-3221.
               
Visit our online store for the full selection of resources for Lent in English and Spanish


 
 
 
From the RENEW International Blog
 
The Annuciation: A Walk by Faith
By John Phalen, CSC
Faith is strengthened by service to others (adapted from RENEW International's At Prayer with Mary).

To read, click here.
 
A Church on the Streets
By Sr. Terry Rickard, OP
Christ wants us out among the poor.

To read, click here.
 
Advent: A Journey of the Soul
By Sr. Anne Daniel Young, OP
We yearn and search for God.

To read, click here.
 
Advent Awakening 
 
Just when you felt convinced
that the inevitable was already
happening, just when the dailyness
of every single thing had finally
persuaded you not to expect,
not even to look, just when tomorrow
had completely lost its meaning
as distinct from every day,
a melody of dancing
was caught from far away,
one sigh became transmuted
into mid-air into a gasp of sheer
astonishment, and now a word, He comes,
new whispered on December's wind,
melts grim-set lips to simple
speech and song and framing
salutations.
 
Rev. J. Barrie Shepherd
 
This material is reprinted from Weavings, November/December 1989 by The Upper Room®, Inc., P.O. Box 340004, Nashville, TN 37203-0004, and is used by permission of the publisher.
 

 
 
Calling Parish Leaders!   
Mid-Atlantic Congress
 
MAC
February 27-March 1, 2014
Hilton Baltimore Hotel, Baltimore, MD
We’re inviting all pastoral leaders to save the dates for the Mid-Atlantic Congress. The theme this year is Evangelization Matters: Journey with Christ in Faith, Witness, and Mission. RENEW International President and Executive Director Sr. Terry Rickard, OP, will give the opening keynote address on Feb. 27 at 1 p.m. In addition, on March 1, RENEW staff members will offer workshop sessions. Sr. Marie Cooper, SJC, will highlight the role of small Christian communities as ideal settings to prepare Catholics to reach out as evangelizers. Manuel Hernandez will present in Spanish on how RENEW’s newest resource forms Latinos to understand the social teachings of the Catholic Church. This is an event not to be missed.

For more information, click here.
 
Mid-Atlantic Congress Promo Video sponsored by RENEW
As part of our Gold-level sponsorship of the Mid-Atlantic Congress, RENEW had the opportunity to be a part of the promotional effort. In collaboration with a production team from the Association of Catholic Publishers, RENEW supported the development of the video and gets closing credits.

 
To view the video about the benefits of attending the Mid-Atlantic Congress, click here
 

 
Why Make a Gift to RENEW this Christmas?  
 
The work of RENEW International is founded on the hope at the center of our celebration of the birth of Jesus. Because God and humanity were intimately united in the Nativity we human beings live in the hope of being united with God forever in heaven. The birth of Jesus is a sign of God’s willingness to constantly renew his relationship with us. “He builds and rebuilds,” as Pope Francis reminds us. RENEW strives to bring that good news to adult Catholics and empower them to embrace it and act on it by renewing the world around them—their parishes, homes, workplaces, and communities—through acts of charity and justice.
 
Some of the people and parishes we work with are unable to pay for our services but they do desire to deepen their Catholic faith. We want to work with them but need your financial help to do so.  No donation is too small; we do miracles with each dollar received. 
 
Send a check or go green and click here to make your donation.
 
May the hope we celebrate during this season always stir in your heart.
 
Your tax-deductible donation to RENEW International helps us engage more people to strengthen their faith and find God in everyday life.
 
December 2013: In This Issue
Spring catalog cover
Spring Catalog
Now Online
To view our catalog,
click here.
  
Annual Report
Annual Report
Now Online 
To read our 2013 Annual Report, click here.
Share Your Story!
Share your story of inspiration with us and it may be included in the next World RENEW eNewsletter!
Prayer Request
You are invited to submit your prayer intentions. The RENEW International ministerial community gathers to celebrate Eucharist each day. Your prayer intentions will be placed before the altar in our chapel and will be remembered in the prayers of our entire staff. Click here to request a prayer.
Suggestions? Comments? Send us your feedback!
 
 

 
 

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