The word "renewal" is often associated with activities that get one away from the regular daily routine — taking a vacation, going on retreat, walking along the beach or on a scenic hiking trail.
Could people, however, find renewal in normal everyday life, especially when doing something they love, something they believe in? Could one become renewed when helping others, or bringing Christ’s love to them?
This summer, there’s been a lot going on in the Diocese that points in that direction. Folks in our parishes, Catholic schools, diocesan offices and organizations are willingly and selflessly doing what they love, what they believe in, all the while letting others know they are loved, cared for, appreciated and understood.
A sampling of this renewal is found within the pages of this issue of The Monitor Magazine.
One example is seeing staff from the Office of Catholic Schools visit a number of Catholic grammar schools in recent weeks. The schools received funding from a very generous grant to address learning loss students may have experienced as a result of the pandemic. With the willingness of their teachers, the summer provided time to help get the students back on track. What a boost for these kids and their teachers! What a boost for Dr. Schmidt, superintendent, and Bonnie Milecki, assistant superintendent for school development and operations, who not only supported the schools but also got to enjoy some quality time with these students!
Other examples of people giving of themselves are found in the features on Mission: Jersey, where teens participate in service projects; in the time and energy it takes to facilitate Vacation Bible Schools and summer religious education programs; the massive amount of work it takes to run a parish carnival; and in our Catholic schools, where all kinds of summer camps are available — athletic, music, arts and crafts, and even some new types such as the "Little Chefs" camp in Donovan Catholic, Toms River.
Another example of renewal is in St. David the King Parish, Princeton Junction, where Father Jason Parzynski, parish administrator, kept family schedules close in mind when introducing the new "Post Beach/ Last Chance Mass" on Sunday evenings at 7 p.m. His goal for the Mass was to give families another opportunity to fulfill their Sunday obligation and receive Our Lord in the Eucharist.
When reading these or any other stories in this issue, perhaps you might be inspired to find a way to be renewed when doing something you love, something you believe in.