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Praise Reports





Teaching: Joy of the Gospel, Chapter 4, part 1

The Social Dimension of Evangelization
A Summary and Sharing by Gretchen Montgomery

GRG = The Joy of the Gospel Group Reading Guide, by Bill Huebsc
EG = Evangelii Gaudium

Good afternoon everyone. Over the past several weeks, various members of our Community have shared with us Chapters 1 through 3 of the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis titled Evangelii Gaudium, or The Joy of the Gospel. It is our hope that you have had the joy of reading along in your own copy of this easily understandable document, either as a book or the free version downloaded from the internet.

Our Holy Father begins this Exhortation with a statement I believe gives direction to each of our sharings as well as the discernment of our Community in how to live it out. The Holy Father writes to us in article 1:

With Christ, joy is constantly born anew. In this Exhortation I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy.

Teaching: Joy of the Gospel Chapter 1, part 2

Go forth boldly expecting great fruit

by Larry Lenzen, III

Good afternoon everyone. For those of you who were here last week we talked a little about Chapter 1, The Church’s Missionary Transformation, of the Pope’s exhortation, “The Joy of the Gospel.” I want to make good on my promise to talk more about that chapter today and don’t want to leave you “hanging.” Last week we talked about how the first part of Chapter 1 applies to us individually.

This week, I want to talk a little on this Papal Exhortation to us as a Community. (And I promise to keep it short.) When I say “as a Community” you can apply it to us as a formal Community or you can apply it to us informally as a community – little ‘c’ or big ‘C,’ it could go either way depending on the circumstances.

Teaching: Joy of the Gospel – Chapter 1, part 1

Taking the first step, being involved and supportive, bearing fruit and rejoicing

by Larry Lenzen, III 

Hello everyone. Sharon Harman gave a nice sharing last week on the Holy Father’s Encyclical Joy of the Gospe and the coordinators have asked me to do chapter one. Sharon did the introduction last week and I’m going to do chapter one and break it into two parts so that you don’t get too tired listening to me. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Larry Lenzen. I came to the Community forty+ years ago as a rather rebellious and somewhat mischievous teenager, so I come before you as a somewhat rebellious and slightly mischievous adult.

Answering the invitation of the Holy Spirit

By Pauline Nuss

Several weeks ago I turned on the television on EWTN to pray the Rosary with Mother Angelica and the Rosary was preempted. Instead it was a video from last June’s address in Rome. Pope Francis was meeting with the National Convocation of the Renewal in the Spirit. There were thousands of people there, all ages. Some Orthodox Priests were there, including non-denominational groups, all asking the Holy Spirit for help in overcoming divisions. I was encouraged about the Charismatic Renewal because even though we here seem small in attendance I want to encourage all of you because the Catholic Charismatic Renewal is alive and well.

Teaching: Joy of the Gospel, Introduction to series

By Sharon Harman

In 2013 Pope Francis issued an Apostolic Exhortation called The Joy of the Gospel. It is available in book form, but it’s also available free on-line (see link) but it’s quite lengthy to print. It was written as a response to the Bishop’s 2012 Synod that met to discuss the New Evangelization and it is meant to be a call to action to the Church. So, for the next nine weeks our Community is going to be studying this exhortation, the Joy of the Gospel, with five different teachers: Larry and Brenda Lenzen, Bob and Gretchen Montgomery and myself. We are going to take a couple of weeks per chapter. It doesn’t do it justice to just do 10 minutes for each teaching; but, at any rate, it will get everybody started. David (Jr.) has bought 30 copies that will be available next Sunday for $7.00 each and you can pick one up next week.

As we begin this series, I encourage you to bring a notebook and pen and Bible so you can follow along. I am very excited that we will be studying this exhortation as a Community, and I’m very hopeful that as we respond to Pope Francis’ words that evangelization will once again rise as one of our community’s strong charisms. I am more than a bit humbled to be teaching from our Holy Father’s words, because I think teaching implies mastery, and I am very much still the student. So let’s learn together!

Teaching: Engaging the Culture

by Neil Coward

Those were some great sharings today. As we have been giving a little sharing at the Prayer Meeting over the last few weeks, tonight I will be talking about “Engaging the Culture.” In other words, how we become the leaven for the salvation of those around us?

I will be referencing quite a few scriptures during the talk, but I won’t be reading them all.  So get out a pen and paper to write them down.

When we look around, it’s pretty obvious there is something wrong in this world, like Joe said earlier,” We’re living in an insane asylum.” I hadn’t thought about that, but it sure fits.

Mercy and Evangelization—and a letter from Pope Francis

From left around the table: Vickie Holthaus, Allan Holthaus,  Laurie Peterman, Peter Poppleton, David Peterman, Sr. and Bob Garrett rekindle their relationships at the Catholic Fraternity Conference.


The Catholic Fraternity (CF) conference in Rome, November 2-8, highlighted the Year of Mercy and a personal letter we received during the meetings from the Holy Father. Laurie and David Peterman, Jr. and Dave Peterman, Sr. represented our Community at the conference held on the outskirts of Rome, Italy. This special conference celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the founding of the Catholic Fraternity, which we helped initiate.

The theme of the conference, “Mercy and Evangelization” was in keeping with the Year of Mercy and these topics wove through nearly every presentation.  A bishop in Poland gave a talk on Divine Mercy and shared about migratory birds that are able to fly through surrender to the warm air as we are called to surrender to the power of the Holy Spirit. Laurie Peterman shared this story at our Gathering on November 15th.

Teaching: Pastoral Care

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by David Peterman, Jr.

My sharing this afternoon will be on the importance of being in a pastoral care relationship. Time will not permit me to fully cover this topic that is part of our Formation II series, but I will try to cover the key points that are important for everyone.

love one another.Pastoral care is one aspect of how we love one another. I recall Bobbie being asked one day in a Coordinators meeting: What is the mission of the Community? I am sure it was asked by someone who was working on a mission statement at work. Bobbie was not big on using corporate themes when leading the Community and quickly responded that the mission of the Community was simply to to love one another.

Witness: I was the paralytic

by Doug Weisbruch

And when (Jesus) returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room for them, not even about the door; and he was preaching the word to them.  And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and when they had made an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Child, your sins are forgiven.” (Mark 2:1-5)