A year ago I read an amazing book at the recommendation of my beloved wife Christine. I was on my way to Franciscan University for a week-long retreat with 125 priests, deacons and seminarians. I listened to the audio book, Rescued: The Unexpected and Extraordinary News of the Gospel, narrated by its author Fr. John Riccardo, founder of the Acts XXIX apostolate. The book was life-changing for me and I decided then and there that it would guide my diaconal ministry. I prayed as to how I would bring this powerful and overwhelming proclamation of the gospel to my parishioners and to those whom the Lord sends my way. My prayers have now been answered in the form of the Rescue Project!
The Rescue Project was launched last weekend and I was privileged to be with Fr. John and his team for an “equipping day” and the official launch of the program. Myself and 250 others from around the country gathered at St. Patrick Catholic Parish in Brighton, MI to learn how to run this extraordinary small group program that brings the gospel alive though a series of video presentations designed to be watched by small groups who gather for 8 weeks to share a meal, pray and discuss the evening’s presentation. Like the book, the Rescue Project presents the gospel message in a way that can touch everyone and anyone. It will bring the gospel alive for life-long Catholics and those who are new to the faith.
The Rescue Project is for everyone. It appeals to those who have been walking with Jesus for years, as well as those for whom Jesus is only a figure in ancient history. For those who have been practicing their Catholic faith their whole lives, it will breathe new life into your faith. The Mass will come alive as you experience the gospel in a way you have quite likely never experienced it before. If you are a “fallen-away” Catholic who no longer goes to Mass for any number of reasons, the Rescue Project is also for you. It’s for everyone, everywhere, whether inside or outside of the Church.
In short, the Rescue Project proposes a Biblical world view that, if nothing else, will challenge you to re-think what is real, what is true, and what is most important in life. During the 8 weeks you will consider the following four big questions:
- Why is there something rather than nothing?
- Why is everything so messed up?
- What, if anything, has God done about it?
- And if He’s done anything, how should I respond?
So, what’s next? Well, you might want to watch the videos and review the discussion materials, all of which are available free of charge on the Rescue Project website.
Christine and I will soon be hosting a small group at our home of those who have expressed interest in bringing the Rescue Project to their parishes. We would be happy to meet with you if you think you may want to start your own small group or even introduce the program at your parish in the context of a men’s or women’s group, RCIA, sacramental preparation, or youth ministry. It’s absolutely appropriate in any of these settings. Just give us a call or drop us an email and we’ll be happy to help you get started!