Embracing God’s People • Equipping Disciples • Accompanying Believers
Embracing God’s People
We are a community of believers, inspired by our faith in God and by our understanding that we are called, as people of faith, to be in relationship with all God’s people (cf LG n9). In this, we understand that God’s people includes every person we might encounter, whether or not they believe as we believe, act as we act, or pray as we pray. We are convinced of the message of St. Paul that there is nothing that can separate anyone from the love of God in Christ (Rom 8:31-39). We are witnesses to this truth, and are committed to practicing this love. We believe that it is by loving one another as Jesus commanded (Jn 13:34-35) that we practice our own discipleship and we invite people to see our faith in action.
Jesus called followers to him, and took the time to prepare them to begin to realize their own giftedness and their unique way of serving the will of God. We believe that all God’s people are uniquely gifted, and have a contribution to make in the bettering of our world. As a community of believers, we commit to support everyone in this work of discernment.
To equip disciples means that the disciple is nurtured with the development of tools and skills needed to sustain a life-long journey with Christ. Each person needs different tools, has different skills, is at a different stage in their faith development and will benefit from different learning styles. Here at Our Lady of Lourdes, we endeavor to meet the needs of believers as they mature in their relationship with Jesus. As we grow from being a passive bystander to becoming an active disciple, our parish offers comprehensive opportunities for formation and encounter.
An equipped disciple implies accountability, responsibility, and discernment of gifts.There is a call and a challenge to move and propel forward. A disciple will move from seeking information to transformation. An equipped disciple is not one that has an perfect life or an easy journey, but one who has the tools and maturity to sustain themselves for the different stages of life’s journey in faith.
“The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the people of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ. Indeed, nothing genuinely human fails to raise an echo in their hearts.” (GS n1)
As a community of believers, we hold that whatever is going on in the life of anyone, is going on for us. The joys and hopes, the fears and concerns of every person are shared by this community. The compassion of Christ compels us to a willingness to share every experience with all God’s people. There is nothing of the human story that we cannot hold.
We strive to companion people on their life’s journey, wherever it may take them, and to be a Christ-like support and witness. We resolve to avoid judgment of others, and commit to embracing people as they are. We maintain consistent, life long, companionship through the journey of life.
For believers, we commit to walking with those preparing for sacraments, those who are discerning the faith, and those exploring vocation and their particular call to holiness of life. For those who struggle with questions of belief, we pledge to support and encourage people in their doubt, and to share the love Christ shared with all those whose hearts were engaged in life’s struggles.
For those who are deepening their relationship with Christ, and who are advancing in their faith, we commit to developing opportunities for continued growth for the maturing disciple.
For all people, we work to provide opportunities to serve within the community, to enable everyone to put flesh on their commitment to serve in the name of Jesus.