By Henry M. Holden
Everyone knows how busy Saturdays are with shopping and sports. Yet, between 12:00 noon and 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, Resurrection Parish in Randolph will host its semi-annual Day of Reflection. The theme is Living Simply in a Complex World.
The guest speaker, Fr. Anthony Ciorra, was ordained a priest in 1973. His experience has included parish life, teaching, administration, retreat work, preaching, and formation ministries. He has graduate degrees in psychology, history, and pastoral theology, and a certificate in Spiritual Direction, and a Ph. D. in Theology from Fordham University. He is currently the Vice President for Mission and Catholic Identity and Professor of Theology and Catholic Studies at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut.
His publications include “Everyday Mysticism,” a book about spirituality in the marketplace. He co-authored “Moral Formation in the Parish,” a work about living Christian and moral values in the world. In recognition of his ministry in the Church, he was given the pontifical honor Pro Eccelsia et Pontifice by Pope John Paul II in 1999. He was awarded the Caritas Centennial Award in 2000 for his work in lay ministry and the Spirit of Renew Award for his work in interreligious dialogue and ecumenism.
Fr. Ciorra is also actively involved in creating programs for inter-religious dialogue among Jews, Christians and Muslims.
First held in 2012, the Day of Reflection was expanded to reach out to evangelize the entire community and beyond. In the past, over 100 people from different parishes; Assumption, St. Matthews, Notre Dame of Mt. Carmel, and as far away as Holy Spirit, in Pequannock, have attended.
“I know Fr. Ciorra,” said Bob W. “He is an excellent speaker, funny and he appeals to a broad audience.”
The Day of Reflection allows people to set aside a few hours to ponder how God is working in our hearts. It is also an opportunity to meet other like-minded people on their faith journey.
“Fr. Ciorra offers a new way to look at our faith and provided me with a way to increase faith and improve my prayer life,” said Barton C.
“The world that we’re living in is obviously becoming more and more complicated as time goes on,” said Fr. Ciorra. “It’s true in the world, it’s true in our country, and it’s true in the church itself. It’s become very complicated and the awareness of the day will help us navigate the complexities of our time.”
Fr. Ciorra is proposing that to live simply in this complex world, we must have a focus, and a vision, that comes from the Scriptures as well as from some of the major figures in our tradition including contemporary writers, and speakers, people who can provide us a roadmap.
“The point of this day is really to give us a focus, to navigate the times in which we live. Then ultimately, how do we embrace the reality of it in the present moment? We’re not running away from it, but facing the reality of how we embrace it in terms of what are the ways in which we are being called to engage in the world? How do we do it in such a way that we are centered, grounded and focused?”
The day will provide the tools for finding happiness and peace in the midst of the ordinariness of everyday life. Resurrection Paris is located at 651 Millbrook Ave. For more information on the Day of Reflection, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 973-895-4224 X104.