Discipleship Ministry offers a variety of programs to help each individual grow in following Jesus as one of his disciples in the modern world and to support the parish’s worship, formation, and service ministries.
Discipleship involves living according to Jesus’ teaching and following the pattern of his life which includes sharing in his ministry. Discipleship Ministry pursues these goals by offering programs through four tracks:
The Gospel of Mark
Tuesdays, Oct 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
The Gospel of Mark is the earliest of the four gospels. Like all the gospels, Mark centers on two questions, “Who is Jesus?” and “What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus?”
Mark also provides provocative answers to both questions. This course will follow the questions throughout the gospel, probing for answers.
Facilitated by Harry Fleddermann, Professor Emeritus
Tuesdays, December 5 & 12, 7:00 pm
A fresh look at Jesus’ birth, when God assumed our human nature into divine life. What does it mean for Christians to confess that God lived the life of a Jewish Rabbi under the brutal, autocratic rule of Roman occupying forces in first century Palestine? What does Christ’s birth tell us about God? About ourselves?
Facilitated by Dr. Sean Larsen, Carroll University, Waukesha
The Wider Picture: Continuing the Spiritual Pilgrimage
Tuesdays, September 12, 19, 26, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm.
This is another in our Spirituality offerings – a three- week pilgrimage incorporating discussion, journaling, visioning, and labyrinth walking – to help us see the wider picture of where God is in our lives and where we fit in the world.
Session One: “Pointing North” includes looking at the “puzzle” of our lives, taking a “wisdom” pilgrimage, writing, discussion and walking the labyrinth.
Session Two: “Moving Forward” includes discussion of previous week, finger-walking the Labyrinth, developing a sense of mindfulness, a pilgrimage with Hildegard of Bingen, writing, discussion, and walking the labyrinth.
Session Three: “Open To The Spirit” includes an experience of openness through story, writing, discussion, walking the labyrinth and finally in conclusion developing your own labyrinth.
Facilitated by: Anita Hallman Kowalski MS
Fall Bible Study
Tuesdays, October 31-November 28, 7:00 pm
Join us for a five-week Bible study as we look into the Letter of James. James deals with our struggles to become whole and to be women and men who live in integrity and peace. We will look at the authorship of this letter, what the letter says, and how James applies to our daily lives. All are welcome. The fee is $8 for materials and is payable at the first session.
Facilitated by Deb Steppe
Advent Evening of Reflection
Wednesday, November 29, 7:00 pm
An opportunity for to focus on the preparation for Christmas, using Scripture and Prayer.
Facilitated by James Wielgosz.
…And The Elders Pray…
2nd Tuesday of each month, 9:00 am – 9:45 am
A new format to include a Communion Service. We begin with a blessing and an opening song, have an opening prayer, read the scripture for the day and discuss, then have an extended prayer of the faithful where we can pray for families, neighborhoods, faith community and our nation. We will also look at and discuss how we can become better disciples. We then join hands for the Our Father, share peace and prepare to receive Eucharist. There is a closing prayer, a closing blessing and a closing song.
As elders, we have the time and the responsibility to pray for one another and anyone who needs our prayers. The Spirit is alive in our group. Join us.
Facilitated by Anita Hallman Kowalski and other prayer leaders.
There are two MOMS Spirituality Groups (one morning & one evening) to meet the needs of moms’ busy schedules. The morning group meets every Thursday morning from 9:15 am – 11:00 am from September-May (excluding December). The evening group meets the 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month from 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm from September-May, then once per month during the summer.
The purpose of these groups is to attend to the spiritual needs of moms, bringing scripture readings and discussions into their daily lives. Whether you stay-at-home, work full-time, work part-time, have 1 child, 10 children, biological, adopted, or step-children, all are welcome. As a group, we support and lift each other up through the challenge of motherhood in its many forms.
The Thursday morning MOMS’ Spirituality Group has been meeting for 15 years here at Our Lady of Lourdes. Some of the little ones who played in the nursery during our early sessions are now attending high school and college, yet their moms continue to attend the sessions.
What entices these moms to continue to be a part of the MOMS’ Spirituality Group? Perhaps the following elements of our sessions draw them back: scripture study, prayer, child-rearing discussions, the retreat, friendship, and faith sharing.
Bible study is our main focus. Primarily, we analyze and reflect on the Gospel for the following Sunday. We reflect by discussing pertinent questions that help us to see the relevance of the Gospel message for us, as moms, in today’s world.
We, also, use various forms of prayer to help us more fully engage with the gospels. We use Ignatian Contemplation, “composition of place,” which allows us to let Our Lord speak to us through our imagination. Lexio Divina, “sacred prayer,” is another prayer form which draws us “into a deeper relationship with God.” Our opening prayer has become an important component for the group, as we share the news and needs of family and friends, and our sessions always end with the Our Father and a sign of peace.
Of course, as a moms group, our children are always an import ant topic of conversation. Information is shared on parenting tips. Books are recommended for parents and children. Other topics of conversation include the pros and cons of local schools, doctors, shopping, and ideas about extra-curricular activities for the children. Clothing and baby furniture have even been swapped.
The retreat – once a year the moms take a time out over a weekend to get away from the busyness of family life to refresh themselves. Retreat leaders help guide us through self-reflection exercises and faith discussions. We also take time to play and relax with each other.
One of the greatest blessings that has come about within this group is the development of friendship, and with that has come support for each other. We support one another in the hard times and in joyful times. We are there for each other as jobs are lost and when jobs are found, as a loved one dies or is ill and when a baby arrives, as a family experiences a crisis and when a family celebrates a special event, as a mom leaves the group for work or school and when a mom joins our group for the first time to explore her faith.
Most importantly we are people of faith coming together to share what it means to be a Christian mom in the context of family and the community of Our Lady of Lourdes. Motherhood is an awesome responsibility. The MOMS’ Spirituality Group is here to help make our life’s journey a little easier through sharing our faith, our friendship, our support, and our love.
The Evening Group began meeting last year and follows a format similar to the morning group.
Judy Monday facilitates the morning group.
Laurie Ozbolt facilitates the evening group.
Email the Parish Office for to request contact information.
Moms, come join us!
Spiritual direction is an on-going, faith-based dialogue where the spiritual director guides you on a journey of reflection into your life. All aspects of your life are viewed through the lens of faith and spirituality. There is power in telling your story while someone listens intently and in confidence. Possible areas to explore during spiritual direction include: self-fulfillment, connection to the divine, career issues, relationship issues, parenting issues, personal joy, fears, and gratitude. We have three spiritual directors available. Take a descriptive flyer from the bulletin board outside of church and/or email the Parish Office for to request contact information.
Mondays at 4:00 pm
A time for silent, meditative prayer centering on God. We try to “empty” ourselves and turn our focus to God through prayer, silence, music and discussion on books read by the group.
Parish Ambassador Gathering and Update
Wednesday, October 25, 7:00 pm
Includes listening to concerns of ambassadors, an invitation to more involvement, and an invitation to continue training with Parish Ambassador Training, Part II – mentoring new parishioners.
Facilitated by The Discipleship Institute Planning Committee
Parish Ambassador Training
Saturday, September 16, 9:00 am – noon
This is rather a new ministry here at Our Lady of Lourdes. A parish ambassador is very basically a “welcomer” to all newcomers to our parish and to all parishioners. He/She has the responsibility to help people feel more comfortable in our parish. We talk about how to listen, how to welcome, and we share some interesting information about the parish so that the ambassador feels confident. Facilitated by The Discipleship Institute Planning Committee and Parish Ambassadors.
“Friend- To-Friend” Ministry
This ministry connects an individual dealing with an issue to a “friend” who has experienced this same issue. Friendly chats ease stress and help you to know you are not alone. For more information contact Wanda Nye, Parish Nurse. *You can also tap a Parish Ambassador on the shoulder and voice your concern…they will help you make connections.
“Friend” Connections in place:
- Alcoholics Anonymous
- Adult Children of Alcoholics
- LGBTQ concerns
- Dealing with Kennedy’s Disease (form of Muscular Dystrophy)
- Kidney Disease
- Dealing with Heart Disease
- Dealing with sick children
- Dealing with Breast Cancer
- Caregiving for the Elderly
- Alzheimer’s Disease
If you could become a “friend,” please contact Wanda Nye, Parish Nurse, and tell her you are ready and willing!
“Friend” Connections needed:
- Difficult Pregnancies
- Separated & Divorced
- Housebound, Loneliness
- Loss of a loved one
- Marriage Issues
- Aging Issues
- Spiritual Development
- Dealing with Multiple Sclerosis
- Dealing with problem children
- Faith questions
- Recovery issues
- Anger management
- Work/job related issues
For information on any of the programs of the Discipleship Institute, contact:
Anita Hallman Kowalski, (414) 550-9890
Harry Fleddermann, (414) 383-8023
Jim Wielgosz, (414) 208-5647