FIF St. Therese Fund Grantee Spotlight: ChristLife

ChristLife: Knowing, Following And Sharing Christ

FAIRFIELD—“You bring me souls.” These are the words I hear when I think about the ChristLife program. That is our “soul” purpose to exist.

ChristLife is a 21-week program to encounter Jesus, who he is, why we need to know him ever deeper, how we follow him and how can we share him with others. We minister locally under the name of ChristLife Fairfield.

The first seven weeks are called “Discovering Christ” and focus on Jesus, who he is, why the Resurrection is so important, how can we become more intimate with him and how he shows us the Father’s Love.

An evening at “Discovering Christ” consists of dinner, opening prayer, a video on the night’s topic prepared by ChristLife International, which is headquartered in Maryland and whose purpose is to re-evangelize Catholics to become missionary disciples. Our purpose is to bring Catholics and all who will come to the series to a fuller relationship with Jesus, or get to know him for the first time.

After the video there is discussion of the night’s topic in small groups led by ChristLife leaders. Questions are encouraged. All this is done in a welcoming, loving, nonjudgmental environment. We are here to learn and open our hearts to Jesus.

The next seven weeks are called “Following Christ” in which we try to grow closer to the Lord by building a better prayer life which includes Scripture reading and participating in the Sacraments.

The last seven weeks are called “Sharing Christ” in which we learn to share our beloved Jesus in everyday life, whether with a struggling neighbor trying to find meaning in life or in casual conversation with someone who seeks the cause of our peace and joy.

There is no charge for any of the series or dinners. We live by the donations of others. Our resources are the Lord’s Providence, through individuals, parishes and the Knights of Columbus. Last year we were also blessed with a grant from Foundations in Faith’s St. Therese Fund for Evangelization. So, thank you to all Fairfield County Catholics for your support and encouragement. We started in Fairfield in 2018 through the request of Father Peter Towsley and people from 18 parishes have participated.

We are open to all the parishes and any seeking soul regardless of affiliation. Come fellowship with us as we talk about Jesus.

Who should come? Anyone who is seeking the meaning of life, has doubts or questions where their life is heading, looking for a deeper spiritual life, or wants to grow closer to our Lord.

Any person that comes and humbly seeks the Lord will find a closer relationship with Jesus. It is not we who work that miracle, it is the Holy Spirit who gives to the soul that comes seeking, opening their mind and heart, and receiving the graces God wants to give them. It is the humble seeking, soul that will be filled. I have no doubt, I have seen it often. To paraphrase Scripture; People who seek, find; when they knock, it is opened to them; and those who ask, receive. People who come “with all the answers” might not be open at the moment, but a seed is planted that the Holy Spirit will nourish.

Each of the three series has a full Saturday retreat at one of our local parishes (so far, St. Pius, St. Thomas Aquinas, Our Lady of the Assumption in Fairfield, Holy Cross and Holy Family-St. Emery). Our Fairfield pastors have been so generous with us, especially Father Sam Kachuba at St. Pius and Father Victor Martin at St. Thomas Aquinas in the use of their facilities. Remember, we are beggars with no resources but the Providence of God through the generosity of others.

The Lord is blessing our ministry. How do we know? From the encouraging comments of priests who have heard confessions at our retreats and tell us to keep up the good work, from people who have come as guests and return to serve others as volunteers at future sessions, and especially from the remarks on the surveys we take after a seven-week series is completed, such as:

“Gave me strength and knowledge to stand my ground on my faith,” “made me want to return to Church,” “increased my prayer life and witnessing to others,” “deepened my relationship with Jesus,” “basically a quiet person, but now I joyfully spread the word of God to others”, “I am more understanding and forgiving to the shortcomings of others,” and many, many more beautiful witnesses to God’s transforming love.

We have also started a group called “Live ChristLife” for those who have attended the ChristLife program and want to continue what was started in ChristLife. We have retreats, gatherings and programs on spiritual topics. Our next event will be a day of reflection and fellowship at St. Margaret’s Shrine on June 4.

God is doing a mighty work, one soul at a time. And we are thrilled to be part of it. We are servants in the field doing whatever He asks.

By Sharon Fischer