Msgr. Robert Tucker, rector of the Cathedral, announced the series at the parish’s Sept. 24-25 weekend Masses. He explained that during the parish’s spring survey, which was completed by more than 600 parishioners, he noticed a common theme among the responses.
“They are attending Mass and they want to grow in their faith,” he said. “Of those who responded, 92% said they feel close to God, and yet 72% said they want to feel closer to God. The thing that they said would help them in their relationship with God can be simply stated as ‘prayer.’”
He said respondents indicated they would like to know how to meditate on the scriptures, how to examine their consciences, how to pray the Liturgy of the Hours and how to spend an hour of Adoration.
“The priests at Cathedral will help you in these types of prayer through their homilies, and we are also willing to talk to you individually to help you in your prayer life,” Msgr. Tucker said in a letter to the parish. “I am encouraged by this response, as it shows a strong faith and belief in prayer, and the desire to grow closer to God.”
Simmons’ series was a way to further assist parishioners, he said, and anyone else who would like to deepen their knowledge of and love for God through prayer.
The five-week retreat will teach participants how to deepen their personal relationship with Jesus through prayer. The topics will be “What is prayer?”, “Relational prayer,” “Healing through personal prayer,” “Distractions, dryness and desolation” and “How mission flows from prayer.” Each session will include time for questions and answers.
Each event will begin in the Cathedral, during a time of Adoration, Msgr. Tucker said. Simmons will talk for about 30 minutes, and then the group will proceed to one of the halls in the basement to talk practically about how to pray.
“Matt is a strong spiritual man,” Msgr. Tucker stressed. “His last session will be on prayer and engagement in our faith, in which he will help you to listen to God, and act upon His word.”
The Cathedral’s parish survey generated other changes of interest outside the parish family, such as the addition of a noon Mass on Holy Days of obligation. A noon Mass was celebrated on Aug. 15, the feast of the Assumption, and Msgr. Tucker said the positive response encouraged him to continue that time for holy days.
The Cathedral offers three daily Masses each week—four, on days Cathedral School is in session.
The parish survey also included requests for different types of music, so the decision was made to subscribe to a new pew missal and to purchase a new hymnal. The “St. Michael’s Hymnal,” well known across the country for being doctrinally orthodox, and having been created in a spirit of obedience to the Magisterium, was first used in the parish at weekend Masses Oct. 1-2.
Msgr. Tucker said the decision to purchase the new hymnals was confirmed by parishioners’ willingness to purchase hymnals in memory or in honor of a friend or relative. Each hymnal has a permanent nameplate inside the front cover from these donations.
Over the next several weeks, Msgr. Tucker and the other priests at the parish—assistant pastor Father Justin Fulton as well as Father Michael Zimmer and Father Sean Kilcawley who are in residence at the Cathedral—will continue to present information about the parish survey, including finances, education and community life, as well as the buildings and grounds.
“There are many good things happening in our parish which everyone can be proud of and benefit from,” Msgr. Tucker said. “Yet everyone needs to grow in faith and love, rejoice in our gift of faith and God’s blessings, and be more engaged in sharing this goodness with others.”
The Cathedral of the Risen Christ was dedicated in 1965. The parish serves approximately 1,500 families in south-central Lincoln. The parish school, opened in 1954, serves more than 350 students in grades pre-K through 8.