By Bob Reddy (Florida Catholic)
Religious women novices and postulates and male seminarians graced St. Michael Parish in Wauchula for a Parish Popular Mission with the theme, â€śHoly Mission, Save Your Soulâ€ť which ran from Feb. 25 to March 5.
The Mission included daily activities which were geared to inspire the faithful of all ages to grow closer to the Lord. The Parish is blessed to have religious priests from the Institute of the Incarnate Word and religious sisters from the companion order, Institute Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of MatarĂˇ.
Bishop Frank J. Dewane celebrated Mass at the Parish on Feb. 26 and encouraged the faithful to take advantage of the Parish Mission retreat because â€śwe all need to be renewed and restored in Jesus Christ. Refreshed once again by the Sacramentsâ€¦ take the time to use the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Go to Confession.â€ť
Bishop Dewane noted how important it is to deepen oneâ€™s relationship with the Lord and how the Parish has â€śbeen really blessed to have these novices, postulates and seminarians present. They will look after all of you during this Mission.â€ť
The men and women religious were in Wauchula as part of a missionary work to serve the faithful. The 15 women and seven men are each continuing their own spiritual journey with studies taking place at the Instituteâ€™s formation houses in the Washington, D.C. area.
The Mission activities included several youth festivals for different age groups for which there were appropriate games and inspirational talks. Throughout the week there were daily rosary processions after the morning Masses and extended hours for Eucharistic Adoration and opportunities for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
A key component, unique to the Popular Mission, was that the parishioners of St. Michael were offered the opportunity to welcome the visiting religious for a home visit, which was in the form of a personalized spiritual retreat.
St. Michael Pastor Father Fabio Schilereff, IVE, said having the presence of the aspiring religious men and women was invigorating for the faithful. Also, he added that having the extra assistance allowed the Popular Mission to encompass many more activities that would otherwise not be possible.
Before starting the Parish Mission, the visiting religious were given a tour of the area including a visit to Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota where they had the opportunity to speak to the students.