“We must hold the hand of the one in need, of the person who has fallen into the darkness of dependancy perhaps without even knowing how, and we must say to him or her: You can get up, you can stand up. It is diﬃcult, but it is possible if you want to. The church and so many people are close to you. Look ahead with conﬁdence. Yours is a long and diﬃcult journey, but look ahead, there is ”a sure future, set against a diﬀerent horizon with regard to the illusory enticements of the idols of this world, yet granting new momentum and strength to our daily lives” (Lumen Fidei, 57). To all of you, I repeat: Do not let yourselves be robbed of hope! And not only that, but I say to us all: Let us not rob others of hope, let us become bearers of hope.”
The Christ in the City program includes three types of formation: spiritual, charitable and intellectual. Charitable activity stems from a individual’s encounter with the Risen Christ. Charity is the natural outpouring of Christ who comes to us in prayer and the everyday circumstances of life. At CIC I will be formed to be Christ to one’s neighbor, loving “until the end” (Jn13:1). The needs of the whole human person go beyond physical needs. They include mind, body, and spirit. By learning all the resources available to the homeless and being trained to eﬀectively identify the needs of individuals, I will be able to help address the real needs of others.
The Intellectual Formation of the CiC include taking courses in Theology. The courses are accredited through the University of Mary and are taken over trimesters. My courses will give a deeper understanding of my Catholic faith. The classes include topics such as the Catholic worldview, critical thinking, faith and reason, the human person and the social sphere. The three courses are called:
– Theology of the Human Person
– Faith and Justice
– Theology of the New Evangelization
Spiritual Formation of CIC forms missionaries to live a life of intense prayer and action, making daily acts a prayer themselves. Christ in the City is intensely Catholic. Everyday includes daily mass, liturgy of the hours, and individual prayer time. Christ is the one who works through us when spending time with the poor. In order to truly care for the homeless, time in prayer is necessary so He can work through us on the streets.
The missionaries of Christ in the City live together in one house. Community life among missionairies is the ﬁrst place where we seek to live the mystery of divine love. In community we learn how to love others. By living in community I hope to grow in internal freedom, generosity, solidarity, and reconciliation. In community we learn mutual self-giving to the measure of our Lord Jesus. What you live in your community life will be what you transmit to the world.
Community life is the simple life. Only essential clothing is brought. Rooms are shared and have minimal furnishings. Food and money requires resourcefulness and dependence on divine providence. Chores provide the opportunity to love those you live with by keeping a clean space. Community life also includes common prayer:Daily Mass, Litrugy of the Hours, Divine Mercy Chaplet, prayer before meals, weekly Holy Hour, Spiritual Dialogues, and Retreats.
As a Christ in the City Missionary, I will be sent out daily “street walks” to meet the homeless where they are at. The goal of the walks is build relationships with those we encounter. We listen to their stories with a open mind and heart. While getting to know our friends on the street and hearing their stories, we hope to increase their dignity. We keep in mind the goals of substance free living, permanent housing, digniﬁed work and reconciliation with God
The in-depth formation and training I receive will to better conform to Christ. This will allow me to become eﬀective in my service in Denver and wherever God calls me next.