Stories of parish renewal
from around the world.

“I love the local parish”: A Donor Story

Bill and his wife have seven kids and live in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where they are part of a thriving DR-accompanied parish, Christ the King Catholic Church.

Bill is also a donor.

When asked why he gives to the ministry he responds, “I don’t know how to say this…it really just comes back to the Lord…how much He loved me and gave of himself for me. And then seeing the love of God and His generosity to me repeatedly…I just think this ministry is just such a beautiful extension of that.”

Ultimately, he has a passion to support DR because, “I love the local parish… it’s where God acts in most people’s lives…It’s just a real place of grace for people.”

Read More »

Bill and his wife have seven kids and live in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where they are part of a thriving DR-accompanied parish, Christ the King Catholic Church. Bill is also a donor. When asked why he gives to the ministry he responds, “I don’t know how to say this…it really just comes back to the Lord...how much He loved me and gave of himself for me. And then seeing the love of God and His generosity to me repeatedly…I just think this ministry is just such a beautiful extension of that.” Ultimately, he has a passion to support DR because, “I love the local parish… it’s where God acts in most people’s lives…It’s just a real place of grace for people.”

In 2021, Salvador returned to his childhood home in Chicago, a broken man. His partner and the mother of his children had kicked him out of their home in Las Vegas. Addiction and a life of fast living had brought his world crashing down on him. As a child, Sal had felt a strong connection to God. A cradle Catholic, he was involved in youth retreats at his parish and felt drawn to the Bible. But as a teen, he was afraid to be known in school as the one who chose God fully: “here in Chicago, I mean growing up, it was not easy... it was kind of rough.” At that time, the priests in the parish were Divine Word Missionaries from Mexico. “All these teachings were with the Bible... I was in love with that.” But it caused a tension within him – it didn’t fit with the persona he wore with his friends. His Pastor challenged him: “either you're hot or you're cold, you cannot be in between.” So, as a teen, in his rebellion, in his pain, in searching for his identity and worth, he decided “I'll be cold.” By the time he was 17 he was far from the Church and moved to Sin City. “I felt like the lost sheep.”

Divine Renovation UK provided support for Angela, a parish worship leader from Blessed Hope Parish, Exeter, to attend the One Hope Project Academy this year. Her parish priest, Father Jonathan and their parish have been accompanied by DR for the last three years.

Ordained only one year ago, Father Erik is at St. Titus Brandsma in Wageningen, an amalgamated parish (collapsed from 11 churches down to six) in the Netherlands – a country all too familiar with parish decline. But while in seminary, this young priest read Divine Renovation: Bringing your parish from maintenance to mission, and attended last year’s Missionary Parish Conference in the Netherlands and was determined to enter the priesthood already focused on mission. Despite entering a dire situation in his region, he is incredibly joyful! He says, “The priesthood brings this happiness to my life.” Through Divine Renovation, he sees the path forward and, with his Pastor, is taking action. They are relying on the Holy Spirit to transform a seemingly hopeless situation to one teeming with possibility.

Get the latest stories of renewal delivered right to your inbox.