WHAT IS LIGHT OF THE WORLD?
Light of the World Evangelization Ministries (LOTWEM) brings a powerful plan for evangelization and renewal to your Catholic parish -- it's a comprehensive process. It begins with the kerygmatic Light of the World Retreat, which is designed for all adults 18 years and older. After this Catholic retreat, the process continues with Small Faith Communities, and it extends into all the areas of your parish.
Our hope is that you not only have an evangelizing retreat, but that you become an evangelizing parish.
Light of the World is an outgrowth of Systematic Integration of the New Evangelization (SINE) conceived of by the late Rev. Alphonso Navarro, MSpSC of Mexico. Light of The World Evangelization Ministries, also known as "LOTWEM," owes a great deal not only to Fr. Navarro, but also to Rev. Ernesto Elizando who, prior to his ordination, was the missionary consecrado responsible for bringing SINE to Rockford, Illinois.
As the Midwest Representatives of SINE, Msgr. Daniel Hermes, Jeanne Leezer and Ellie Nelson worked together to produce the founding materials for the Light of the World Parish Evangelization Process. With the help of others, Msgr. Hermes and Jeanne Leezer founded Light of The World Evangelization Ministries as a stand-alone ministry in 2003. LOTWEM is an 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, incorporated in May of 2004.
Light of the World Evangelization Ministries will serve the Church in the New Evangelization by offering all a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. This can be lived out in an evangelizing parish with the assistance of the Light of the World Process, which reaches out to all people: from the new faith seeker to the most faith filled disciple, and helps them to become active servants of God.
Light of the World Evangelization Ministries has five main components to our method of Catholic parish evangelization. Scroll down the page to learn about each of these components...
"Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize." (Pope Paul VI, from Evangelii Nuntiandi)
This Catholic retreat seeks to fulfill the missionary mandate given by Christ Himself: "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19). But evangelization is so much more than an isolated retreat... and so is Light of the World.
Light of the World Evangelization Ministries (LOTWEM) brings a powerful plan for evangelization and renewal to your Catholic parish -- it's a comprehensive process. It begins with the kerygmatic Light of the World Retreat, which is designed for all adults 18 years and older. The process continues with Small Faith Communities, and it extends into all the areas of your parish. Our hope is that you not only have an evangelizing retreat, but that you become an evangelizing parish.
"The initial ardent proclamation by which a person is one day overwhelmed and brought to the decision to entrust himself to Jesus Christ by faith." (St. Pope John Paul II, from Catechesi Tradendae)
Not to be confused with the word "charismatic," Light of the World is a "kerygmatic" retreat, which means that its foundation and heart is the kerygma, the basic Gospel message.
- God loves us.
- Sin separates us from God.
- Jesus reconciles us to God.
- Through the power of the Holy Spirit we must personally accept God’s free gift of salvation in Jesus.
The Light of the World Retreat doesn't intend to only help the retreatants encounter Christ, but to turn parishioners into intentional disciples and your community into an evangelizing parish.
This Catholic retreat is born, raised and run in your parish. It can be implemented by any parish, anywhere. It's run by parishioners, under the guidance of the Pastor. Most of the talks and leaders are lay men and women from your own parish.
It can be held at your parish's facilities, and retreatants return home every night to spend time with their families, sleep in their own bed and return refreshed and ready the next day. Holding the retreat on the parish grounds reinforces the reality of parish as family and church as home.
RENEWAL OF SACRAMENTS
"For it is in the sacraments, especially in the Eucharist, that Christ Jesus works in fullness for the transformation of human beings." (St. Pope John Paul II, from Catechesi Tradendae)
How many of us received the sacraments when we were young, only to drift away from the Church over time? Yet it is precisely in the sacraments that we encounter Jesus most directly and completely. What a tragedy that such treasures of grace go untapped...
The Light of the World Retreat seeks to help retreatants access that storehouse of grace that's been waiting for them in the Catholic Church through the renewal of the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.
SMALL FAITH COMMUNITIES
“Consider the parish as a community of communities... groups of a size that allow for true human relationships.” (St. Pope John Paul II, Ecclesia in America)
The experience of a retreat is an awesome first step in a person’s beginning or continued spiritual journey. To bear lasting fruit however, the retreatants must be afforded opportunities for ongoing faith formation.
After each retreat, Small Faith Communities are formed. Past retreatants meet regularly in small groups to connect, ask questions, get answers, build trust, share their faith together, and enhance their lives and the lives of others by deepening their faith in Jesus Christ.