Welcome, friends. Today’s blog post is the first in a series that I’m writing to recap the inspiration that was shared at our recent St. John Bosco Youth Ministry/Formation Planning Day (SJBYMFPD). This way, folks from around the Diocese who couldn’t join us in person are able to reap the benefits of this time of learning, collaboration and planning! Specifically, today I’d like to share about an idea proposed in Tools for Rebuilding: 75 Really, Really Practical Ways to Make Your Parish Better: #64 – Celebrate Wins.
(Sidebar: I would not give this book a wholehearted, two thumbs up review. I think that many ideas are really incredible, others were off to a good start, and some may only provide for an interesting conversation. If you’re interested in reading it, I would love for you to get in touch with me and schedule a coffee outing where we can discuss its content! This way, we can filter out the okay, good and great ideas together.)
This particular idea (#64) we’re talking about today is one of those outstanding ideas proposed. The general concept is simple: the Holy Spirit is moving in the Church, and it is a great thing to recognize how the Lord is transforming hearts, with our cooperation. We should be celebrating wins with our parish staff, with our catechists and with our communities. Knowing how the authors define a “win” is helpful: “We define a win as any positive movement someone makes toward a relationship with Christ and his Church” (255).
Pope Francis supports celebrating wins, as he wrote in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium: “An evangelizing community is filled with joy; it knows how to rejoice always. It celebrates every small victory, every step forward in the work of evangelization” (24).
We began our recent SJBYMFPD by celebrating the small victories we’ve been a part of this year. It was inspiring to hear about the transformations happening throughout our parishes! This is a routine the Love Begins Here Core Team uses to begin every Sunday staff meeting. We start by putting ourselves in a positive state of mind through sharing the impact moments we witnessed the previous week. Give that a try at the next meeting you coordinate! (As the book suggests, make sure to define a win, and once you hear them, share them – in the bulletin, with parents and beyond!)
I’d love to hear about your might use this practical idea in your own parish or apostolate. Leave a comment to share your ideas! – Lindsay