ORLANDO | How does prayer touch one’s life? How can one deepen the experience of prayer?
This February, the Diocese of Orlando is offering a two-hour presentation called “Why Catholics Pray?” that can open hearts to the beauty and power of prayer. (See sidebar for dates/times.) The presentation is offered at 12 different parishes in six counties and is a diocesewide effort to help Catholics understand the meaning of prayer and the different forms prayer can take.
“Prayer is the language of a loving covenant — of a love for God who made us and continues to call us into a personal loving relationship,” said Carol Brinati, Why Catholic? coordinator and secretariat for evangelization for the Diocese of Orlando. Brinati added, “Just as in any relationship, we learn about the language we speak so that we might understand the words we use and their meaning.”
During the two-hour presentation, offered in both English and Spanish, participants will experience various forms of prayer including guided meditation and contemplative prayer. Dominican Sister Pat Thomas of Renew International of Plainfield, N.J., will be the English presenter and she will also explain lectio divina (divine reading) and various traditions of Catholic prayer.
“This presentation will introduce people to new ways of prayer so we can really examine our prayer life and we can deepen our experience of prayer. We will discuss how to pray with Scripture and how prayer can touch our lives,” said Sister Thomas.
“My hope is that people will add to their prayer life and have a better appreciation for the community aspect of prayer — how prayer connects us all and how we pray for the universal Church and to also understand the real need for prayer in our lives,” she added.
Why Catholic? is a ministry of Renew International. The adult faith formation and evangelization process began in the Diocese of Orlando Oct. 4, 2010. Twelve thousand people participate in small Christian communities at 50 parishes discussing the first year’s theme: “Christian Prayer: Deepening My Experience of God.”
The “Why Catholics Pray?” presentation is intended for every member of every parish. If one has been attending a Why Catholic? small Christian community, it will be a chance to expand on the theme, providing more history and background. For the person who has not signed up yet, it’s a chance to be a part of the Why Catholic? process and to gain valuable insight into prayer.
Deepening prayer experience
Catholics are invited to attend a two-hour presentation on “Why Catholics Pray?” This experience is designed for the whole parish and is based on the annual theme of Why Catholic? — “Christian Prayer: Deepening My Experience of God.”
The presentation includes two major elements:
• Explains the richness of the Catholic tradition of prayer, its faithful practice and the need for spiritual reading and other spiritual aids.
• Explores different forms of both private prayer and common prayer within the family, small communities and other groups.
Presentations will be given by Renew International speaker Dominican Sister Pat Thomas in English, and Dominican Sister Marenid Fabre in Spanish.
DATES/TIMES/LOCATIONS IN ENGLISH
• Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2 and 7 p.m., Our Lady of Hope Parish, 4675 S. Clyde Morris Blvd., Port Orange.
• Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2 and 7 p.m., Ascension Parish, 2950 N. Harbor City Blvd., Melbourne.
• Thursday, Feb. 3, 9:30 a.m. and 7 p.m., St. Margaret Mary Parish, Bethany/Cana Rooms, 526 N. Park Ave., Winter Park.
• Friday, Feb. 4, 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., All Souls Parish, 3280 W. First St., Sanford.
• Monday, Feb. 7, 9:30 a.m. and 7 p.m., St. Mary of the Lakes, 218 Ocklawaha Ave., Eustis.
• Tuesday, Feb. 8, 8:30 a.m. and 7 p.m., Holy Cross Parish, 12600 Marsfield Ave., Orlando.
• Wednesday, Feb. 9, 7 p.m., St. Anthony Parish, 820 Marcum Road, Lakeland.
DATES/TIMES/LOCATIONS IN SPANISH
• Tuesday, Feb. 1, 6:30 p.m., San Jose Mission, 165 Emporia Road, Pierson.
• Wednesday, Feb. 2, 6:30 p.m., Our Lady of Lourdes Parish hall, 1626 Oak St., Melbourne.
• Thursday, Feb. 3, 6:30 p.m., Blessed Trinity Parish, 4545 Anderson Road, Orlando.
• Friday, Feb. 4, 6:30 p.m., All Souls Parish, 301 W. Eighth St., Sanford.
• Monday, Feb. 7, 6:30 p.m., St. Mary of the Lakes, 218 Ocklawaha Ave., Eustis.
• Wednesday, Feb. 9, 6:30 p.m., Centro Guadalupano Mission, 2150 Bomber Road, Wahneta.