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Go Make Disciples

Go Make Disciples

By Fr. Bill Van Wagner, Parochial Vicar

The Diocese of Madison, at the behest of Bishop Hying, is in the formative period of a diocese-wide initiative of Evangelization. Through “Go Make Disciples”, the Bishop is encouraging all of the faithful of the Diocese of Madison to recommit to the task assigned to us by Our Lord Himself, that is to “go and make disciples of all nations”.

The first stage of “Go Make Disciples” is focused on the formation and empowerment of parish staff and leadership. Over the past number of months here at St. Maria Goretti, we have had the opportunity to gather our whole staff, parish and school alike, for a bi-weekly hour of prayer in Adoration.

Prayer is the essential first task of any disciple of Jesus Christ. In order for us to be His messengers in the world, we must first go to the source. The word “disciple” means student or one who learns. In prayer before Our Lord, present in the Holy Eucharist, we allow our hearts and minds to be formed by his generous and infinite love. Furthermore, to “evangelize” means to spread the Gospel or Good News. In order to do so, we must be in relationship with Him who is the Good News incarnate.

Gathering the whole St. Maria Goretti staff in prayer serves as a reminder of our primary mission as a parish and school: to make the love of Jesus Christ known to the world. All that we do as a parish, from the celebration of the Holy Mass, to fish fries and math class, and everything in between, is aimed at this same goal. To come before the Lord together in prayer grounds us in this task and empowers us by God’s grace to do so with joy.

During these staff Holy Hours, we have reflected on a variety of topics Bishop Hying has marked as the essential pillars of discipleship and evangelization. As our leader, Bishop Hying is the chief shepherd and teacher of the whole Diocese of Madison. We, then, as the staff of St. Maria Goretti, are to proceed according to his vision and desires for the faithful of the Diocese.

Above all, these Holy Hours have been a time for our staff to take a break from the busyness of our work running a large parish and school, and rest in the peace of Christ. Amidst the unique challenges that we have faced throughout this year, the staff Holy Hours have been an opportunity to fix our eyes on Jesus and be filled with his grace and love.

"Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations..."
- Matthew 28:19

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