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From the Mission Office of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Ohio

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Presentation on theme: "From the Mission Office of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Ohio"— Presentation transcript:

1 Parish Twinning: It’s about relationships, accompaniment & solidarity for God’s reign
From the Mission Office of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Ohio “The spirit of the Lord is on me, for he has anointed me to bring the good news to the afflicted. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives, sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free and to proclaim a year of favor a jubilee year from the Lord.” Luke 4, Jesus’ mission statement & ours?

2 There are various kinds of mission ministries:
Mission ad gentes, the typical definition, where Christians take the very first steps in evangelization – that is – crossing geographical boarders to bring the Gospel to those who have not yet heard of Jesus’ teaching and life. A second type is crossing social & class boarders within nations where the church is already established and offer God’s love to those who are marginalized in our society. A third form of mission is when established Christian communities further evangelize each other and build up each others’ faith by sharing their lives and love for Jesus while building God’s reign of justice, peace and global solidarity. …known as parish partnering, twinning, sister relationships, etc.

3 Roots of Twinning? Pope John XXIII personally witnessed the horrors of both World Wars. With his 1963 Pacem in Terris and his call for Vatican II, he sought to: Eliminate the causes of war, Stop the hatred of Jews, Build respect toward other religions, cultures, laity, women, the poor Move the church’s mission from a “heroic” to a “humble” model.

4 Before Vatican II, the church had a….
Heroic model of mission where priests and religious “brought” God to “them” and the laity paid for it. But thanks to the Spirit working at the Vatican Council ( ) we now operate with a… Humble model of mission where we recognize that God is already at work in other cultures and religions. Diversity is respected. Lay people also have a key role and full participation. Parish twinning is a example of this humble model at work.

5 From Heroic to Humble models of mission that direct twinning today:
Three shifts in our thinking…

6 1st Shift: Moving away from understanding that missionary endeavors are for a chosen few to… that of the whole church. We are the body of Christ! Catholics from the Navajo Nation with twinning partners at St. Joseph Parish, North Bend, Ohio

7 2nd Shift: Moving away from believing that the missionary “has God and takes God to the pagans” … recognizing that Christ is already present in the mission church. Ghana, West Africa & Cincinnati twinning partners

8 3rd Shift: Moving from a charity model of support for mission work…
3rd Shift: Moving from a charity model of support for mission work…. to awareness of global economics and actions of solidarity so to address economic imbalance and injustice. Two Noble Peace Prize winners: Pope John Paul II with Lech Wałęsa, a Polish electrician, trade-union organizer, and human-rights activist. He co-founded the first independent labor union in the Soviet Union, called “Solidarity.”

9 7 Principles of Catholic Social Teaching to guide twinning partnerships:
1. Life and Dignity of the Human Person 2. Call to Family, Community, and Participation 3. Rights and Responsibilities 4. Option for the Poor and Vulnerable 5. The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers 6. Solidarity 7. Care for God's Creation

10 Hurricane Katrina survivors
Of these 7 principals, the main focus for twinning needs to be on Solidarity: U.S. Catholic bishops state: “Solidarity calls us to help overcome the divisions of our world. Solidarity binds the rich to the poor. It makes the free zealous for the cause of the oppressed. It drives the comfortable and secure to take risks for the victims of tyranny and war.” Hurricane Katrina survivors

11 “Solidarity also includes a kind of mutuality, that goes both ways in respect and accountability when the relationship grows. Solidarity becomes a two-way relationship with both sides giving and receiving. Those who reach out quickly realize that their own humanity and spirituality is being fostered in new ways. Those who are receiving assistance discover they bring gifts to the relationship which the others would otherwise be lacking.” New partnerships & friendships in Honduras

12 Principles of Solidarity
From the U.S. Bishops’ “Called To Global Solidarity: Challenge to U.S. Parishes” I. Anchoring Solidarity through Prayer, Worship, and Preaching II. Teaching Solidarity though Education and Formation III. Living Solidarity through Work, Family, Citizenship IV. Investing in Solidarity through Stewardship V. Practicing Solidarity through Outreach and Charity VI. Promoting Solidarity through Advocacy and Political Responsibility

13 So, What is a Twinning Relationship?
It is an experiential learning process for the entire community to develop a Christ centered mission oriented parish. It is a coming together of a parish in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati with people in a home or foreign mission area of the world, in an active, mutual and on-going faith commitment of solidarity. What does such a relationship accomplish for a parish? It binds people together spiritually, culturally, and in a mutual sharing of resources. What does such a relationship involve for a parish? It involves crossing over into other cultural, economic, political, linguistic, and religious environments.

14 Twinning IS About…. - building a mutual relationship of solidarity - promoting social justice and peace - sharing faith journeys in Our Lord - learning various worship styles - developing joyful friendships in another culture Twinning is NOT About…. - changing others’ views - imposing our way of life - building infrastructure - only fund raising Twinning partners in Oaxaca, Mexico

15 Twinning is a lot like a marriage relationship, a friendship
What do you need for a good marriage or friendship?? Left, youth twining partners from the Archdioceses of Tegucigalpa, Honduras and Cincinnati.

16 SO WHY TWIN? Because: 1. It is a response to Jesus’ call to social justice, reconciliation and unity of all peoples. 2. It promotes both local and global solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Christ as well as an appreciation for the universality of the Catholic Church, a church with no borders. It’s an invitation to go beyond models of charity and compassion. 3. It encourages the Second Vatican Council’s call for the empowerment of the laity in our church and mission. Tomb of Archbishop Oscar Romero with twinning partners from El Salvador and Archdiocese of Cincinnati,

17 4. Just as healthy friendships or marriages can bring out the best of both partners, twinning enriches our personal and parish faith journeys through engagement with Catholics in other cultures. It encourages us to appreciate and share all talents, gifts and resources within the Body of Christ. 5. It can help eliminate the grave sins of Racism, Sexism, Classism, Paternalism, Materialism, Militarism, and Xenophobia; hopefully, these “isms” can be replaced with the fruits of the Holy Spirit such as increased justice, understanding, peace, reconciliation and joy! 6. It can be a joy filled experience! A taste of the heavenly banquet when all are gathered in perfect love with the Trinity. Archbishop Schnurr with the local Filipino choir at a World Mission Sunday Mass.

18 So what’s needed for a good Twinning Relationship?
1. Prayer 2. Communication 3. Cultural Sensitivity 4. Involvement for Justice 5. Broad based involvement Ongoing mutual visits to each others 6. Goal Formation 7. Assumption and Responsibility of Roles 8. Parish Celebrations of the twinning relationship Visiting potential twinning partners in Vietnam

19 Now, please take a quiet moment to write down:
“What are some of my key motivations for becoming involved in twinning relationship?” “Why do or did I or my parish want to begin such a relationship?” “Why do we want to continue this relationship?”

20 To sum this up…. One of the Honduran twinning partners, Lourdes Chavarria, (Lulu) put it this way when asked about the benefits of parish twinning. She said: “By having a twinning partners in Cincinnati, we realized we are not crazy or alone in living according to our faith in Christ. For the parish community in general, it is a good experience to see beyond our needs and pray for one other, no matter if they are in another country. They are our brothers and sisters.” So why should other churches, dioceses or seminaries consider these relationships? Lulu added, “I think it is simple math, 1+1=2. If we add the faith of one parish with another, it simply grows! It’s like having relatives or friends. It’s always nice to know that we have people we can count on who are always aware of our needs and who want to share our joys... and that goes both ways.”

21 And when asked what was a key moment of your visit, she continued:
“When we shared Sunday Mass, we found that their experience of faith was amazing and it made me feel very proud of my big Catholic family. We really are the Body of Christ with many, many members!”

22 Resources: Mission Office Website: to find guides for parish twinning and some of the items in this PowerPoint. U.S. Bishops on: “Catholic Social Teaching” “Called To Global Solidarity: Challenge to U.S. Parishes” Catholic Up-date: “What Catholics should know about Global Solidarity”

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