Download Leader’s Guide: Going Deeper
Loving God, send your Spirit to open our hearts to Jesus. Guide us to a deeper conversion. Grant us a greater appreciation of the beauty of our Catholic faith. Give us the courage and confidence to joyfully share our faith with others. May your Church be a beacon of light for all who seek your loving presence. Be with us now as we explore our faith as universal—for all people of all times! Mary, faithful Mother of God, intercede for us. We make this prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever. Amen.
Scripture: Ephesians (3:2-3a, 5-6)
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians:
You have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for your benefit, namely, that the mystery was made known to me by revelation. It was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body, and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the Gospel.
The Word of the Lord:
Thanks be to God.
Opening Song: Lord, Every Nation Jesse Manibusan
Video #I: The Faithful of the Archdiocese of Dubuque
- a. From what countries are your ancestors? How did this affect the practice of faith in your home?
- b. When have your experienced a different expression of the Universal Church? What did you like about it? What did you learn from it?
- c. When have you had an experience of the larger Church? What were your feelings?
- d. How does your parish welcome immigrants and refugees?
- e. How can your parish help feel welcome?
Video # II: The witness of men and women studying at Divine Word Seminary in Epworth, IA.
- a. What struck you most about the witness of the members of Divine Word Seminary?
- b. Father Nam Vu, born in Viet Nam, studying in Epworth, IA, speaks to his experience of serving in Argentina—talk about the universal Church! How does his witness inspire you?
- c. Interestingly, we are now receiving “missionary” priests from other countries: Why would North America now be considered a missionary field? How can we begin to nurture vocations among our own young people?
- d. We also have many members/parishes/clusters who have participated in mission trips in other countries: What have been some of your (their) experiences?
Conclusion and Closing Prayer:
Please be sure to make time for large group discussion: What did you learn about the Church as universal? What did you like best about the session? What is one thing you will share with someone at home or in your sphere of influence? *** What difference does it make to know the Catholic faith is open to all men and women from all backgrounds?
Closing Song: Lord, Every Nation on Earth Shall Adore You by John Michael Talbot
Prayer in Thanksgiving for the Gift of the Universal Church:
Loving God, you have called each of us to be formed in your image. Thank you for the gift of your living presence in the Universal Church. Grant us a deep desire to receive you and to take your presence into the world. Help us to graciously welcome others—the immigrant, the refugee, the foreigner—into our parishes, communities, homes and hearts. Give us the strength and courage to live as one. Make us into a people of thanksgiving. Mary, Blessed Mother of the Word Incarnate, intercede for us. We make this prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit. One God, forever and ever. Amen.