Our Lady of the Lakes Parish will mark a Renewal of Spirit and Joy Week beginning with an event today and continuing next week. The observance is part of the pilot program on parish evangelization. The parish is the merger of St. Catherine Church, 1254 Grandview Road, Lake Milton, and St. James Church, 50 Rosemont Road, North Jackson, which occurred in 2010. All events are free and open to all.
Today: PEP (Parish Evangelization Program) Rally will be after the 4:30 p.m. Mass with youth participants including Emily Gellatly, Christian MacIntosh, Connor MacIntosh, Abby Fischer and Sophia Fischer. There will be food, music, bonfire and meditation trail tours.
Monday: Coffee house with coffee, juice, goodies and conversation will be from 10 a.m. to noon at St. James Church.
Tuesday: Coffee house will be from 4 to 6 p.m. at the picnic pavilion at St. Catherine followed by meditation trail dedication and tours at 6:15.
Wednesday: Curious About Catholics open forum will be after the 6:30 p.m. Mass at St. Catherine.
Thursday: Coffee house set from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at St. James.
Friday: Coffee house from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at St. Catherine.
Oct. 5: St. Francis of Assisi pet blessing from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Catherine pavilion with pet talent show and costumes. There also will be hot dogs.
Information: Website is ourladyofthelakesparish.com; parish office at St. James at 330-538-2602; or St. Catherine rectory at 330-654-4001.
Pilot program: The Rev. Nicholas Shori, director of the office of evangelization in the Diocese of Youngstown, said that evangelization has various components. It’s about asking basic questions in parishes such as “what is being done to help the parish grow?” Evangelization also focuses on “helping parishes deepen members’ faith, how to get more members involved in parish life, reaching out to alienated Catholics and reaching out to those who are searching,” Father Shori said. In evangelization materials, he noted that it calls for consideration of what changes are needed to reach out to as many people as possible as new generations and issues come along. A phrase used in regard to evangelization is “to glean a new soul,” and by gleaning people gather information and examine it.