On this page you will find information about the annual Parish Mission:
- What is a Parish Mission?
- Dr. Anthony Lilles, STD — 2016
- Fr. Michael Champagne, CJC, STD — 2015
- Jon Leonetti — 2014
- Fr. Antonio Anderson, SOLT, STD — 2013
What is a Parish Mission?
A Mission is a parish-wide retreat! But instead of you going somewhere, say, to some retreat center off in the woods, the person leading the retreat is coming to us! We will begin each evening together in song and prayer, and in some missions we will break into sessions for adults, high school and junior-high youth, and elementary school kids. So this is a retreat for the whole family!
Why should I go?
We all need an annual physical with our doctor, or to get our car’s oil changed once in a while. Well, a Parish Mission is just that—a time to get a spiritual tune-up! Sometimes we don’t even know anything is wrong until we go, like when we feel fine, but then the blood test the doctor runs tells us that our cholesterol is high. So the Parish Mission is a once-per-year opportunity to examine ourselves a little deeper.
What should I expect to get out of it?
Everyone has to confront, at some point in their lives, the meaning of life. Why am I here? What is my purpose? How do I get to Heaven? The Parish Mission is one step to helping you answer these questions! The Church has a map—or a GPS, since we’re in the 21st century—given to it by Jesus. This map is what will help you answer these questions and make progress toward your final destination.
What do I need to put into it?
Come excited! Come with an open mind and an open heart. Be ready for God to surprise you! Listen to what the leader of the Mission will say in his talks, and listen to the Holy Spirit speaking in your heart. Listen to your fellow parishioners in your discussion groups. You will get out of the Mission what you put into it!
What’s the ultimate goal of the Parish Mission?
God’s plan for sanctity is this map, this way of bringing us from where we are—broken, divided from each other, wounded in so many ways, weak and weary—to where God wants us to be: in a perfect relationship of love with Him and with our neighbor! Each night’s talk will walk you one step further on the way, beginning with who we are and what we’re made for, then looking at Mary as the model disciple leading us to Jesus, and then looking at the final goal for which we were made, which is Heaven—and what Heaven is actually like!
Dr. Anthony Lilles, STD — 2016
A Mission of Mercy: Living Out the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy
April 10-13, 2016
The video below contains a Playlist of different parts of the 2016 Parish Mission, which is now past. Click on the upper-left corner of the video to open up the contents of the Playlist. This is what’s available:
- Fr. Vincent Nguyen’s Homily and Dr. Anthony Lilles’ Introduction to the Parish Mission (14:57 min)
- Dr. Anthony Lilles – Talk 1/3: Pope Francis and the Corporal Works of Mercy (1:08:56 min)
- Dr. Anthony Lilles – Talk 2/3: Pope Francis and the Spiritual Works of Mercy (1:02:10 min)
- Dr. Anthony Lilles – Night #2 of Parish Mission: Introduction to the Rosary (4:24 min)
- Dr. Anthony Lilles – Talk 3/3: The Merciful Love of God and the Holy Face (1:04:41 min)
- Dr. Anthony Lilles – Night #3 of Parish Mission: Introduction to the Rosary (4:38 min)
You can also go to the Adult Faith Formation Youtube Channel–this contains other informative and inspiring videos, as well!
The following mp3 files can be downloaded (or possibly listened to in your browser, depending on your browser and/or what apps you have connected to your browser). These contain not just the mission talks, but the audio for the entire evening. Enjoy!
1. Pope Francis and the Corporal Works of Mercy
Pope Francis has encouraged the Church to reconsider the seven corporal works of mercy in our daily lives. This presentation provides the Scriptural roots and practical application for our personal lives and households concerning feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, visiting the imprisoned, caring for the sick and afflicted, burying the dead and giving alms to the poor.
2. Pope Francis and the Spiritual Works of Mercy
Pope Francis is concerned about providing the poor and marginalized not only material support, but also spiritual accompaniment. This presentation challenges us to make our homes places of counseling the doubtful, instructing the ignorant, admonishing the sinner, comforting the sorrowful, forgiving injuries, bearing with wrongs patiently, and praying for the living and the dead.
3. The Merciful Love of God and the Holy Face
The mercy we share for one another as Christians does not come from ourselves, but is a gift from God. In the Holy Face of Christ Crucified we see the radical extent of God’s faithfulness and concern for humanity. For great saints like Therese of Lisieux, Faustina Kowalska, and John Paul II, what they beheld in the Face of Christ gave them the strength to be merciful even in extreme circumstances. By considering what they contemplated in the Face of Christ, we will discover the inexhaustible treasures of mercy God has entrusted to us through His Son.
Who will be speaking?
Anthony Lilles, a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, completed his ecclesiastical licentiate (S.T.L.) and doctorate (S.T.D.) in spiritual theology in Rome at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas. He and his lovely wife, Agnes, are blessed with three children and live in California, where he is the Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Theology at St. John’s Seminary of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, as well as Academic Advisor at Juan Diego House, House of Formation for Seminarians. For over twenty years, Dr. Lilles worked for the Denver Archdiocese directing parish religious education, R.C.I.A., and youth ministry, as well as serving as Director of the Office of Liturgy for the Archdiocese and as Coordinator of Spiritual Formation for the permanent diaconate. In 1999, he became a founding faculty member of St. John Vianney Theological Seminary, where he was Academic Dean for nine years and Associate Professor of Theology. He is a Board Member for the Society of Catholic Liturgy.
Dr. Lilles has provided graduate level courses on a variety of topics, including the Eucharist, the Sacraments of Healing, Church History, Spiritual Theology, Spiritual Direction, and on various classics of Catholic Spirituality. His expertise is in the spiritual doctrine of Blessed Elisabeth of the Trinity and the Carmelite Doctors of the Church: St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, and St. Thérèse of Lisieux. In 2012, Discerning Hearts published his book Hidden Mountain, Secret Garden: A Theological Contemplation on Prayer, a compilation of discussions with seminarians, students, and contemplatives about the spiritual life. He collaborated with Dan Burke on the book 30 Days with Teresa of Avila. Among his many accomplishments and responsibilities, Dr. Lilles now teaches theology for the Avila Institute. He blogs at www.beginningtopray.com and www.spiritualdirection.com.
Fr. Michael Champagne, CJC, STD — 2015
Marriage and the Family: Yesterday, Today, and Forever.
The audio files for the 2015 Parish Mission can be downloaded here, along with Fr. Champagne’s handouts.
Here are the titles of the three mission talks:
Talk 1: Marriage and Family under Attack
Talk 2: Respecting Roles in the Family
Talk 3: Grace of the Sacrament of Marriage
Please note: you may not be able to play the audio file directly in your browser, but you should be able to download the file (just keep clicking buttons that say to download), and then play it on your computer, or then upload it to your mp3 player.
For those interested, Fr. Champagne’s community has a website here, which has some excellent resources which you can download for free.
Our Guest Speaker: Fr. Michael Champagne, CJC
Our guest speaker will be Fr. Michael Champagne, CJC, who will join us all the way from St. Martinville, Louisiana! You won’t want to miss Fr. Champagne, whose down-to-earth, Cajun wit is matched by his theological brilliance! All are welcome!
Fr. Champagne’s biography:
Fr. Michael Champagne, CJC is the fifth child of a family of nine children. He graduated from Leonville High School and attended Louisiana State University where he received a BS in mechanical engineering. He was then employed by Louisiana Power and Light. He began formation for the Community of Jesus Crucified in 1987. He took first promises August 24, 1988. He made his canonical novitiate with the Trappists at Our Lady of the Holy Ghost Monastery in Georgia and professed private vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience on September 14, 1990. In 1993 he received a STB in Sacred Theology from the Gregorian University in Rome.
He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1994 for the Community of Jesus Crucified in Lafayette and returned to Rome for further studies. In 1995 he received an STL in theology from the Angelicum University, where he wrote on the Sacramental Characteristics of Religious Consecration. He returned to his community and was assigned as chaplain to Medical Center of Southwest Louisiana in Lafayette in September 1995. He served in this capacity until April 1998 when he was assigned as chaplain to Hospice of Acadiana, also based in Lafayette. In 2006 he earned a doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas in Rome, writing on The Relation between St. Thérèse de Lisieux and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. He began the Aquinas Institute for Theology and Catholic Studies in the Diocese of Lafayette and served a six-year term as its director. Father is involved in teaching, giving spiritual direction, and ministering in various capacities to the Community of Jesus Crucified and the Diocese of Lafayette. He is presently the religious superior of the CJC and assigned by Bishop Jarrell as the Spiritual Director to the lay community.
In addition to his chaplaincy assignments he serves as a retreat master at the CJC Our Lady of Sorrows Retreat Center in St. Martinville, LA. He is involved with preaching parish missions, on-going spiritual formation programs for laity and priests, and conducts adult catechesis workshops and classes. Father has served as chaplain to the Women’s Center of Lafayette and on numerous committees dealing with end-of-life issues. For three years he was featured on the weekly diocesan television series “What if Means to Be Catholic.” Father Champagne has also served on the Bishop’s Task Force on Reproductive Technology, three terms on the Council of Priests, and presently is the president of the Council of Priests. He serves on the Bishop’s Pastoral Outreach Initiative Task force.
Jon Leonetti — 2014
Fr. Anthony Anderson, SOLT, STD — 2013
If you didn’t get a chance to attend all of the talks that Fr. Anthony Anderson, SOLT, gave us during the Parish Mission the week of February 24-27—or perhaps if you just want to listen to them again, or share them with family or friends—the talks are available for downloading here!
Title of the Mission:
Turn On Your GPS! God’s Plan for Sanctity
Titles of the Talks:
- Who is homo sapiens and what is he good for?
- Bad anthropology and satan’s chuckle
- The dictatorship of relativism
- “Get real, Mom” — Why natural law matters in your home
- Mary, the Prototype
- Mary’s happinesses
- Less is more
- Mary and the Trinity
- The Trinity in 2013
- Communion in the cosmos
- Communion in higher creatures
- Communion and being
Who’s giving the Parish Mission?
We’re bringing in a priest of many years experience, a dynamic, wise, and holy man who sincerely tries to practice every day exactly what he preaches. Fr. Antonio Anderson, S.O.L.T., is pastor of 90,000 souls on the poor outskirts of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. He is the Episcopal Vicar for Religious in his diocese, is in charge of the university apostolate in 6 universities, and has written for First Things and other journals. Fr. Anderson has a BA from Notre Dame, an MA from Holy Apostles Seminary, and his doctorate in systematic theology from the University of Navarre, in Spain. Blessed Pope John Paul II ordained Fr. Anderson in 1991.