St. John Vianney Parish is Blessed with Missionary Disciples

Rebecca Lorenzen said she was Catholic for 20 years before she became a missionary disciple.

“I sort of lived my faith by checking the boxes but Christ was pulling me deeper,” she said.

In 2011, she consecrated herself to Jesus through Mary. Soon after that, she attended a workshop presentation by Sherry Weddell on the path to knowing and following Jesus. Then, her adventure of discipleship began.

“I was on fire with my faith,” she said. She supercharged her prayer life to nurture her relationship with Jesus, became involved in many ministries and is currently a volunteer who is leading the Courageously Living the Gospel subcommittee for Missionary Discipleship at St. John Vianney Parish in St. Pete Beach.

Her zeal for faith has led her to find new and creative ways to “bring Jesus out of the Church and into the community.” She has helped organize prayer and study events on St. Pete Beach, such as Good Friday Stations of the Cross and Beachside Catechism as well as monthly rosary walks, led by Father John Blum, around Fort De Soto Park, North Straub Park and local beaches.

“Having the opportunity to witness our Catholic faith out in the community through Beachside Catechism and our Rosary Walks, for example, has been a real grace and blessing for our parish.  I am edified by the faith-filled enthusiasm and Christ-centered joy of Rebecca and of our other parish leaders as we continue our journey with ‘Courageously Living the Gospel,'” said Pastor Father John Blum.

Most recently, Lorenzen organized a Forming Intentional Disciples Workshop that was held on February 23. Nearly 100 people from parishes around the Diocese of St. Petersburg participated.

The workshop was led by Katherine Coolidge, of the Catherine of Siena Institute. She is the co-author of Becoming a Parish of Intentional Disciples and travels internationally on behalf of the Institute speaking to pastoral leaders in parishes, laity and dioceses on evangelization, disciple-making and apostolic formation.

Workshop participants were shown how to enter more deeply into a relationship with Jesus and learned about the graces that flow from this encounter.

“Being an intentional or missionary disciple is all about sharing the Good News of what Jesus has done in our lives so that it’s obvious we belong to Jesus,” said Lorenzen.

St. John Vianney has three parish teams working to implement Courageously Living the Gospel.

Additional Information:

Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus by Sherry Weddell was written in 2012. The book explains the five “thresholds” or stages of faith that people encounter when journeying from nonbelief to discipleship: Trust, Curiosity, Openness, Seeking, and Following. To learn more click here; http://www.phillyevang.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/ThresholdsOverview-Denver.pdf