Thursday, August 17, 2017

Neocatechumenal Way In Detroit

Every year, the Neocatechumenal Way would hold its annual 2X2 convivience. In these 2X2 experiences, missionaries carry little to no money, no cell phones and with only the clothes they wear.  They also do not take their cars with them.  They are to rely on the providence of God. At the end of the retreat, they would return to share their experience with the rest of the group and later with their communities.  Last month, the Archdiocese of Detroit in Michigan was visited by missionaries from the Neocatechumenal Way.  The Archdiocese of Detroit was also where Archbishop Michael Byrnes came from.   According to the Michigan Catholic, the official publication of the Archdiocese of Detroit:  
Missionaries from the NCW outside the Archdiocese of Detroit Chancery building
With no money, cellphones or itinerary, D.C. group arrives to share the Gospel 
Detroit — The Archdiocese of Detroit got a surprise visit on Monday, July 17. 
Travelling at the “spur of the moment,” Fr. Bill Acevedo of the Archdiocese of Boston and 10 people from the Neocatechumenal Way showed up unannounced at the Chancery’s doorstop, ready to share the Gospel in Detroit. 
The missionaries came by bus from Washington, D.C., from the “2×2 Convivence,” the annual Neocatechumenal Way retreat in which participants gather and are sent at random to a diocese to spread the Gospel. 
“I’m here on a mission with a group of young people on a special mission of the Catholic Church to spread the good news of the Gospel,” Fr. Acevedo said. “We showed up in Detroit by pretty much a random choice. None of us knew where we were going.” 
At the mercy of a blind draw, Fr. Acevedo and 10 conference-goers, most of them in the 20s and late teens, embarked on a 15-hour trip that included taking the Amtrak and Greyhound to Toledo, another bus to the Amtrak Station on Woodward Avenue in Detroit and the QLine to the Chancery Building on State Street. 
“When I found out where I was going, I didn’t know where it was on a map,” said Mariam Ramos, a 19-year-old from the Archdiocese of Newark, N.J. “Whenever I asked people where Detroit was, they gave me the sign of the cross and a chuckle, so I got nervous. But every single person who looked at my face when I was getting on the bus told me to have courage, to be not afraid.” 
The pilgrims set out from Washington, D.C., with very little money, no spare clothes, no cellphones and no set itinerary. Just the Gospel message. 
“The purpose of the retreat was to go out and announce the Gospel,” said Fredy Calderon, 25, from the Archdiocese of Washington. “I had nothing in my mind when I found out I was going to Detroit; I haven’t been here. But I knew it was a city that’s had many struggles. It’s difficult to listen to the good news in a city that has had many sufferings. But this is following the command of the Lord, to announce the good news.” 
Armed with a list of every single church and parish in the six-county archdiocese, Fr. Acevedo said the group planned to visit as many churches as possible without the use of a car or any other reliable transportation. 
“Our plan is to visit as many priests as possible and share what the Lord has done in our lives,” Fr. Acevedo said. “We’re going to a town we don’t know, without any money, without any change of clothes, without anything really, no cellphones.” 
Indeed, the pilgrims’ plan seemed to be ripped straight out of the Acts of Apostles, journeying a great distance and relying on the Lord for all they would need. 
“What we’re doing is what they did in the time of Jesus, when He gave a mission to His twelve apostles,” Fr. Acevedo said. “If we were to analyze all the things that could go wrong, we could probably come up with a hundred different reasons not to do this.” 
After staying Monday night at the rectory of Most Holy Trinity Church on Porter Street, the pilgrims began walking through the city. 
“I go to announce how God has saved me from many years of suffering,” said Jane 
Thornton, 19, from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis but who lives in Detroit with her parents, who serve as missionaries in the Neocatechumenal Way in Detroit. 
Thornton added she preferred to go “anywhere but where I was from,” but saw her mission to Detroit as providential. 
“I have the chance to tell others about my life. That I was in hell; that I was suffering. That there was a time when I didn’t see God in my life.” 
Recalling the times when her own faith was tested, Thornton said her experiences make her a better witness to God’s message. 
“For a while, I was really hurting,” Thornton said. “I hated God, hated my parents, always felt angry for what was done to me. But I was able to reconcile with them and with God. I’m still a sinner today, but this is why I came to the city. To tell them something, I’ve received and I’ve come to give it to them. That no matter who you are or what you did, God loves you.” 
After spending Monday night at Most Holy Trinity Church, the group of 10, who were joined by six more pilgrims the following day, dispersed throughout the city, relying on the good deeds of others to feed and shelter them. 
A group of three evangelists were reported to have slept a night at the Solanus Casey Center on Tuesday and on Wednesday slept outside Most Holy Trinity, sharing blankets and pillows with a homeless man. 
Without much of a plan and next to nothing in terms of supply, the group relied on God to provide them with all they needed, as they carried out the mission Jesus provided for all Catholics: Go out and make disciples. 
“For whatever reason, God has chosen us and given us strength, the courage and the zeal to carry out this mission,” Ramos said. “To do everything that I’m doing in spreading God’s message, I’d say to any Catholic: pray, pray that God gives you the strength and the truth to spread His message. And He’ll do anything you ask Him to do.”


  1. Nice... I recognized Gabe Camacho, RMS Guam seminarian.

  2. Diana look at what's happening in the and what the archdiocese said because it's too fund a school with Yvonne ellumen it shows that they don't show Christ they were demanding that mount Carmel stop with the benefits concert so sad now that byrnes is here it's showing what the church is teaching now here on guam that they are teaching hate instead of loving a sinner who needs Christ in their life we need the archbishop back not byrnes but archbishop Anthony back badly

    1. God is one,

      Archbishop Byrnes was disappointed that the benefits concert would continue despite the main performer and her husband having been caught and arrested for importing drugs in their luggage.

      What message does allowing her to perform almost immediately after her arrest tell the community and especially the children in the community? What example does this tell the children? Can't one conclude that there are no consequences for wrongdoing because even though I'm caught red handed, the drug detecting dogs and physical inspection provided the proof, I can still do what I want regardless of all of that?

      Even Archbishop Apuron removed what many have described as a "reformed" sex offender from working in the parish. Shouldn't that action be upsetting to you? The guy served his time and seemed from the testimonies provided to have been reformed and coming back to the church. He actually served his time, seemed to want to turn his life around, but was ultimately told to stop serving the church in this particular way!

      If you disagree with Archbishop Byrnes' decision, then the example of Archbishop Anthony and his removal of another sinner from working in the parish should also upset you.

      What I see is a consistent message that there are consequences for my actions. Allowing her to perform lessens the impact of those consequences. Not allowing her to perform I think would have been a great form of discipline..."tough love".

    2. She didn't do what that guy did she did something different And you are just bringing up the kids because it would show the kids to love to bring them to God not condemn them

    3. Dear God is one,

      Are you saying that she should NOT be banned from performing for the fundraiser for Mt. Carmel Catholic School?

  3. To see the Spirit working in Detroit; Florida; Europe is fine but you fail to note to highlight the same Spirit working on Guam.

    The NCW on Guam regardless of all the negativity is actually real and alive on Guam.

    What did we expect in the beginning? Did the Apostles only proclaimed in cities and countries that welcomed them?

    They were not afraid of confrontation; they were not afraid to die.

    Why are we?

    1. "Jesus does not go to the Cross because he heals the sick, because he preaches charity, because he proclaims the beatitudes. The Son of God goes to the cross above all because he forgives sins, because he wants the total, definitive liberation of man’s heart. Because he does not accept that the human being exhausts his entire existence with this indelible “tattoo”, with the thought of not being able to be welcomed by the merciful heart of God." - Pope Francis

      Isn't this the reason for evangelization?

    2. Dear Anonymous at 10:23 pm,

      The purpose of evangelization is to bring people to Jesus Christ so that they can know Him.....really know Him.....and not just "about" Him. So many people know about Christ, but so few know Him. The goal is to bring conversion by the divine power. What is remarkable about the 2X2 experience is that they rely totally on God's providence, bringing no money, no cell phones, and no spare clothes as they spread the Good news to others for two or more weeks. Yet, they survive these experiences.

      I have even heard the experience of two brothers in the community who were arrested for loitering. So, they ended up evangelizing in prison. They had a wonderful experience while they were in jail. As it turned out, someone in prison needed to hear the Word of God. Naturally, those responsible for organizing the retreat had to make arrangements to get them out of prison. Their intention was never loitering but to spread God's word while relying on His providence to take care of them.

      I also heard another 2X2 experience of two other people who were supposed to evangelize in Canada, but they were refused entry into Canada simply because they did not have any luggage. All they had was their bible and passport. Nevertheless, they refused to allow them to enter Canada, so they ended up evangelizing in New York City. Sometimes, God interferes with our human plans because He knows best where to evangelize.

    3. I think we all know why Jesus Christ went to the cross.

      The question that begs an answer is why am I afraid to go to the same cross?

      faith without action is dead.....dead.

    4. Though I command languages both human and angelic -- if I speak without love, I am no more than a gong booming or a cymbal clashing.

      And though I have the power of prophecy, to penetrate all mysteries and knowledge, and though I have all the faith necessary to move mountains -- if I am without love, I am nothing.

      Though I should give away to the poor all that I possess, and even give up my body to be burned -- if I am without love, it will do me no good whatever.

      Love is always patient and kind; love is never jealous; love is not boastful or conceited,

      it is never rude and never seeks its own advantage, it does not take offence or store up grievances.

      Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but finds its joy in the truth.

      It is always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes.

      Love never comes to an end. But if there are prophecies, they will be done away with; if tongues, they will fall silent; and if knowledge, it will be done away with.

      For we know only imperfectly, and we prophesy imperfectly;

      but once perfection comes, all imperfect things will be done away with.

      When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, and see things as a child does, and think like a child; but now that I have become an adult, I have finished with all childish ways.

      Now we see only reflections in a mirror, mere riddles, but then we shall be seeing face to face. Now I can know only imperfectly; but then I shall know just as fully as I am myself known.

      As it is, these remain: faith, hope and love, the three of them; and the greatest of them is love.


      Faith without love is useless.

    5. Dear Anonymous at 8:10 am, 

      Both you and J. Bautista are correct. Love can be viewed as actions or deeds. The Apostle James said that a faith without deeds is dead. In other words, love can be seen in our actions. Jesus loved the world that he gave up his own life to bring salvation to the world. His love was expressed in His action....that is a giving up his life.

    6. The passage above is from 1 Cor 13:1-13.

  4. Diana look at what Tim put in the comment section of the post about mount CarmelThe use of "Catholic" in an official entity located within a diocese implies that the entity operates under the auspices of the competent ecclesial authority, i.e. the bishop the reason I put this on is because he's saying that mount Carmel school should stop using the word Catholic because who it's run by Tim must be confused the thing that he's is similar thing that happened to his baby last year when archbishop had them band from using the word that he's complaining about

    1. Dear God is one,

      This is the reason why Archbishop Apuron put a decree on CCOG, calling it a "prohibited society". Canon law says that in order to use the name "Catholic", they must first obtain permission from the diocesan bishop. We know for a fact that CCOG never obtained such permission. Now, Rohr is calling on the Archbishop to remove the name "Catholic" from the school? I think Rohr and CCOG should practice what they preach first before telling others what to do.

    2. Rohr and CCOG was the reason of this fund raising. If you recall there were the one who said not donate to dismantle everyone.

      Mt.Carmel is doing everything they can to help the parents of the institution. What they do? Turn a blind eye, Rohr has the gad criticize the concert. Might I remind you Klitzkie,Rohr,White and David Sablan if you believe that your doing is guarantee you heaven?! Think again, you'll be in mercy chair when you meet the creator. I can't wait when the Archbishop Apuron comes back. Believe me he'll be back.

    3. Dear Anonymous at 9:55 am,

      It is only a matter of time before Rohr turns against Archbishop Byrnes. Already, he is telling the Archdiocese what to do, and Rohr is not even the Bishop. It would be interesting to see what accusation he is going to invent against the coadjutor Archbishop.

      As for Archbishop Apuron, he needs to come back. We need to resolve the issues of the past before moving forward because the past is once again creeping in.

  5. Diana look at this saying and this is a quote from the pope and it was from when he was in the US and this is not what's happening here because byrnesThat vision being an open Church, more focused on evangelization than on the preservation of the status quo ; a Church that is socially engaged for the weakest and the least fortunate ; and aware of the temptation to use the cross of Christ as an ideological tool.