Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Emmanuel Process, Flin Flon, March 7-11, 2010

The Emmanuel Process is a five evening mission given within our archdiocese by a team of Sr. Ethel Detz OP, Fr. Bill Stang OMI and Archbishop Sylvain Lavoie OMI. It is introduced at the Sunday Eucharist in the morning and starts Sunday evening. The themes are Setting Out Into the Deep, Who is Jesus for Me? Forgiveness, Healing and Reconciliation, The Spirit and Mission of the Church, and finally, Moving Into the Future. The session in Flin Flon was attended all five evenings by around 50 enthusiastic participants.

Each session begins with a teaching on a saint, prayer for the qualities of that saint, and a procession with the Word, proclamation of the Word and enthronement of the Bible. Here Fr. Bill proclaims the Gospel with the help of candle bearers Susanne Fortin and Jan Gourlay.

After each presentation there is sharing in small groups to allow each participant an opportunity to share their experience of the topic if they wish.

This small group is obviously having an intense discussion of the theme.

A highlight of this session was an elder, Marie Bjornson who though hard of hearing, came every night just to be present and pray for all the participants. She was our prayer warrior and greatly appreciated.

After the small group sharing, there is an opportunity for any participant to share with the whole group if they so wish. Here Lucille Rossington, the Religious Education coordinator, shares some of her thoughts and experience.

Extra chairs had to be brought in to make sure that everyone had a place to sit.

Each session closed with a ritual based on the theme of the session. Here participants placed on an outline of a human figure representing the Body of Christ, slips of paper on which they had written a God-given gift that they were making a commitment to use in service to their brothers and sisters.

A pleasant surprise for the archbishop was to discover that the Renew process that had taken place within the archdiocese a decade ago was still alive in the form of a bible study group – this one focused on the role of women in the bible. Fr. Cally is pictured here with the group, as he attends whenever he can.

Each session finished with abundant food and warm fellowship. The last evening session was preceded by a pot luck supper.

A spontaneous jamming session involving some of the participants and the archbishop on the violin provided entertainment between the supper and the closing session. Here Lola Leclerc is playing the guitar, Harold Romo the mandolin and Archbishop Sylvain is on the violin (he can't fiddle but is able to play the violin!)

Here Sr. Ethel and Fr. Bill are facilitating the closing session which involved an experience of a Lectio Divina style of prayer, followed by a discussion around where the parish wants to go from here and how the archdiocesan personnel can be of assistance.

Each night the participants gathered in a circle to pray the Our Father together, sing a closing hymn and share the peace of Christ. This was the fifth Emmanuel Process held within the archdiocese. Plans are to take this event to as many communities as possible, and to follow up with other programs such as the Christopher Leadership Course, 12 Step Workshops, retreats and other initiatives in response to the particular needs and requests of each community.

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