It is amazing to see the Holy Spirit work through participants
By Shawna Hanson
Eucharistic Revival Point Person
“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” (Is 43:19a)
This short verse from the Prophet Isaiah comes to my mind when I think of the Rapid City Newman Center. It has been such a privilege to serve as a catechist to the students for the past four years. This year, in particular, has been inspiring. We welcomed over 20 students to RCIA in the Fall and now we have eight more – some Catholics looking to grow in their faith, some Catholics who had left the Church and wanted to come back, and some non-Catholics interested in learning more about Catholicism. This year, Fr. Mark McCormick and I chose to use “The Rescue Project ” produced by ACTSXXIX for the first eight weeks of RCIA formation.
The response of the Newman Center community to Father John Riccardo’s preaching has been amazing. Kathy Johnson, who has been leading our spring semester group along with her husband, Michael said, “Hosting ‘The Rescue Project’ is not much effort on our part. It starts off with a meal, prayer, and good fellowship. Father John has a beautiful way of teaching and leading people to the truth. I’m getting more from it and the participants than I’m giving. ‘The Rescue Project’ seeks to proclaim the Gospel in a compelling and attractive way while creating an opportunity for people to be overwhelmed and to be brought to a decision to surrender their lives to Jesus … job well done!”
Michael adds, “‘The Rescue Project’ is the single best Catholic program I have experienced. The content Father John delivers and the way he delivers it is phenomenal. I think every single Catholic could benefit from attending a Rescue Project. It is amazing to see people wrestling with tough issues and then open themselves up to the Holy Spirit and see how the Holy Spirit works in and through participants.”
The students would agree — here are a few things they are saying:
“Father John does a great job of giving the scriptural foundations for his teaching. He also uses awe-inspiring images and examples.” – Henry Fritzler
“I would say to anyone – attend a Rescue Project and take some time to re-connect and remember what you were made for!! It is so worth it. I would 100% encourage you to come.” – Maria Vukovich
“I found it applicable to daily life and a great perspective.” – anonymous
“I gained an entirely new perspective to traditional doctrines that I was taught growing up but never truly understood. This series forces you to engage with and discuss issues and doctrines that you are afraid to ask about or ashamed to admit that you don’t understand but are fundamental to our faith. The doubts you have, your conflicting beliefs with the Church are answered in this series. It corrects your understanding and allows you to confidently re-affirm your faith and repair your relationship with the Lord.” – anonymous
“I gained a deeper understanding of my faith, the Church, and what Jesus has done for me. It made me feel so fulfilled and sure of my calling to and love for God.” – Jalen Capps
Several students commented that Father John teaches that we need to know how terrible things are for us to really and truly understand how beautiful the good news is. “I would say I learned a start to finish view on the good, the bad and the TRUTH.” – Ethan Harris
One student said that it helped him truly engage in the Mass. As the Diocesan Point Person for the Eucharistic Revival, I would also highlight the way Father John speaks of the Eucharist in this series. It is truly profound and moving.
But don’t just take our word for it, please, take the time to check out this incredible resource here: https://rescueproject.us/. The ACTSXXIX team is providing this resource to individuals and parishes for free. They offer training tools, professionally produced videos, a study guide, and a leader guide – everything you need to successfully run The Rescue Project in your home or in a larger parish setting.