From Sunday evening, Dec. 5th, to Thursday evening, Dec. 9th, the Emmanuel Process team of Sr. Ethel Detz OP, Fr. Bill Stang OMI and Archbishop Sylvain Lavoie OMI, offered sessions to a crowd of participants that grew from a dozen the first night to around 40 the last three nights. Each session had a particular theme: Setting out into the deep; Who is Jesus for me?, Forgiveness, healing and reconciliation, The Holy Spirit and the Church, and Where do we go from here?
The sessions involved singing, visiting, a teaching on a saint, prayer, scripture, a teaching on the theme for that session, small and large group sharing, a ritual and homework. The Tuesday night session on forgiveness and reconciliation was particularly moving, with participants genuinely entering into the process, working on their issues, growing in the ability to forgive life's hurts, let go and move on. Here Fr. Bill speaks about the spiritual burden that so many carry around like a bag of garbage, urging us all to take a risk, deal with the burden, learn to forgive, apologize and be reconcilied with one another. There was healing that was happening even as he spoke. The Spirit of Jesus was truly present with us all through the sessions.
Each session begins with a procession with the Word of God, a proclamation of a scripture passage and the enthronement of the Bible. Here Sr. Ethel Detz OP proclaims the word with the help of two candle holders.
An important part of the process is the opportunity to share in small groups after each presentation. Here Fr. Susai, the pastor, shares with his group.
Each night we were blessed by the presence of several youth who participated very well and hopefully benefited from this unique experience.
Following the small group sharing, participants are invited to share their thoughts and feelings with the larger group. Here Elie Sewap shares his wisdom and experience with the others.
Each night a ritual took place to help participants integrate and celebrate what they learned and experienced during that session. The Wednesday night session focused on gifts and talents that each was given by our creator God. They then placed a slip of paper with a gift written on it on a flip chart. Here Valerie Morin places her gift on the flipchart, to be followed by all the rest.
Each night the session ended with the Our Father, a song, warm fuzzies, lunch and fellowship. Pictured here are about a third of the participants.