Stories of parish renewal
from around the world.
This year, 2023, marks five years since Divine Renovation has been operating in the UK. It is amazing to think back to the very first conference at the end of 2017 at St Mary’s Twickenham (who was there?!)...
Slovenian priest Father Simon Potnik went to Halifax for the DR18 conference looking for a new way forward in parish renewal. There he saw “for the first time there was a way. The path that I believed in, the logic, was there.” The Divine Renovation principles made sense and offered him hope.
By the end of high school Father David knew he wanted to become a priest. Knowing his parents wouldn’t approve, the day he decided to tell them he didn’t get up the courage until 1 o’clock in the morning. His father was shocked. He has now been a priest for 16 years. But the difficulty of telling his family his calling would not be the only challenge he would encounter in his priesthood. Slovenia is no stranger to decline, with amalgamations becoming commonplace. 70% of Father David’s pastoral time was devoted to the formation of his youth and yet only 10% of them remained after confirmation. He deeply felt, “No, that is not what priesthood is all about.” This holy discontent led him to search for another way.
A parish’s ability to evangelize hinges on inclusion. When families do not find a place for their children to belong in church it often means the adults are excluded too. Laura states “you are limiting who you can evangelize to if you don’t provide something for kids.” She continues, a parish needs to ask itself, “who are we trying to reach? And what are their barriers for coming? And how can we mitigate that? And children’s ministry is a big one."