Villa Maria Catholic Life Conference and Retreat Center
In his Pastoral Letter on Building of Culture of Growth in the Church, Bishop Paprocki has laid out a vision for robust and sustained growth in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. One of the central aspects of that vision is to encourage and form the faithful to be intentional disciples.
All Christians are called to the life of discipleship. It is not just reserved for those who serve the Church as priests, deacons, or religious. Each of us is called to see that, by virtue of our Baptism, we are invited to live our lives as followers of Jesus Christ, actively involved in putting our faith into practice in every aspect of our lives.
As with the first disciples, our journey of intentional discipleship begins by personally encountering the love of Christ in our lives. It is out of this personal experience of our relationship with the person of Jesus Christ that we make the conscious choice to let our lives be guided by His will for us.
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Called and Sent is a program that offers high school students the opportunity to be formed as the next generation of disciples in the Church. The program will provide an environment in which young people will be able to encounter Christ in a personal and powerful way. They will come to understand who Christ is, and in coming to know Him, they will come to better understand who they are in relationship to Him. This then leads to a greater awareness of how they are called to live their faith in the lives intentionally as disciples.
Having encountered Christ, themselves, and one another in the light of the truths of our Catholic faith, the young people will be better prepared to see that they each have an important role to play (vocation) in the mission entrusted by Jesus to the Church when He said to His disciples: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19).
Some of the highlights of Called and Sent are as follows:
- Daily opportunities for deepening the personal encounter with Christ through…
- Liturgy of the Hours (the official prayer of the Church)
- Eucharistic Adoration
- Silent Personal Prayer Time
- Safe, supportive environment in which to share one’s Catholic faith with other young people
- Classroom formation on topics relating to discipleship, including…
- The person of Jesus Christ
- Personal Catholic identity
- Relationships rooted in Christ
- Importance of the Church for discipleship
- Missionary discipleship
- Fun and interactive activities to support classroom formation and fellowship
- Mentorship and guidance from priests, seminarians, religious sisters, and young Catholic disciples
- Tools and resources to better equip participants in living a life of intentional discipleship in their lives now