Helping a sister parish in the storms of life Print
Around the Diocese
Written by Julie Allington, Christ the King Parish, McFarland   
Thursday, May. 31, 2018 -- 12:00 AM

MCFARLAND -- In Mark 4:35-39, Jesus calmed the storm by rebuking the wind and waves with His words, "Peace! Be Still!"

Today many people live in the storm of poverty, be it material or spiritual. They may be terrified. They may experience physical hardships. They may have lost all hope.

Who will be Jesus to these people? Who will be the voice that speaks "Peace! Be Still!" to their storm of poverty?

As Catholics, we are the Mystical Body of Christ. We are to be His hands and feet and voice to our underprivileged and hurting brothers and sisters in Christ.

But in a world where there are so many who are impoverished, where do we begin? We pray to discern the will of God for our individual circumstances. In the case of Christ the King Parish in McFarland, the Holy Spirit has been very clear about the actions our parishioners are to take and the people we are to serve.

Exploring relationship

Through Divine Providence, seminarian Peter Kazimoto requested Rosaries from Mary's Rosary Assemblers of Christ the King Parish for his summer pastoral experience at St. Benedict Parish in Ilungu, Tanzania. This connection led the parish priest, Fr. Abdon Minde, to explore a sister parish relationship with Christ the King Parish.

The financial needs of St. Benedict Parish, the spiritual benefits to the parishioners of Christ the King Parish, and the obvious working of the Holy Spirit convinced Fr. Steve Smith, pastor of Christ the King Parish, that this relationship should be pursued.

To that end, a Sister Parish Committee or Task Force has been established in both parishes to identify priorities and strategic plans and to oversee the direction, publicity, and/or fundraising efforts pertaining to this relationship.

Seminarian to speak

On Saturday and Sunday, June 9 and 10, Francisco Ogbonna, a second year theology seminarian in the Diocese of Madison, will speak on behalf of Father Minde at all Masses at Christ the King Parish.

Ogbonna brings a unique perspective to this endeavor. Originally from Nigeria, he was raised in the Anglican tradition but converted to the Roman Catholic Church in 2000. He was instrumental in the conversion of his parents to the Catholic Church 16 years later.

Ogbonna's favorite Scripture verse is that of Jesus calming the storm at sea, as cited at the beginning of this article. He believes that Jesus is the only one who can bring peace and stillness into our lives, but only if we turn to Him in faith through prayer and genuine love for one another.

Ogbonna will present the dire needs of St. Benedict Parish. The presentation will also feature the vision and goals that Father Minde and Father Smith have identified for this Sister Parish Initiative, and current financial priorities.

Father Smith and the rest of the Sister Parish Committee of Christ the King Parish would like to invite everyone in the diocese who is interested in this initiative to listen to Ogbonna's presentation during the Masses on the weekend of June 9 and 10.

Ogbonna, Father Smith, and members of the committee will continue the discussion in the parish hall after each of the Masses and will answer questions. We truly hope that the needs of our brothers and sisters-in-Christ at St. Benedict Parish will touch the hearts of all who read this article, generating involvement and support for these efforts.

For questions or information about supporting this Sister Parish Initiative, contact Fr. Steve Smith, pastor of Christ the King Parish, at P.O. Box 524, McFarland, WI 53558, or call 608-838-9797.

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