Story by S.L. Hansen
(SNR) - With the annual diocesan Charity and Stewardship Appeal (CSA) fast approaching, a theme has been set: “Fruits of Discipleship.” Four videos will soon be released that explain this concept from the perspective of different roles within the diocese.
“Pope Francis has encouraged discipleship,” explained Father Michael Zimmer, director of the Charity and Stewardship Appeal.
He continued, “We’re trying to bring some freshness and life to a campaign that’s been very successful. We’re just following where Pope Francis is leading us.”
Father Zimmer acknowledged that a lot of Catholic laypersons are intimidated by the concept of discipleship.
“Discipleship is a scary word, but the word really means student,” he said. “We’re students of Jesus. It just takes time. It takes patience to learn.”
To help people grasp the concept, Bishop James D. Conley asked Father Zimmer to spearhead a video project that will introduce people all across the diocese to this theme.
Working with Seth DeMoor of OneBillionStories.com, a Catholic web site based in Denver and well known to Bishop Conley, Father Zimmer focused on four different perspectives on discipleship.
One video features Father Steven Major, pastor of St. James Parish in Crete.
“It’s about his work in the Hispanic ministry and with the school and church,” Father Zimmer said.
The next video features Sister Ann Marie Zierke, M.S., who teaches youth at Aquinas high school in David City.
During Holy Week, there will be a video featuring Jerry and Krisit Meyer, members of the parish council at St. Anthony of Padua in Steinauer. The Meyers had an instrumental role in the parish’s recent renovation.
Finally, the last video will feature Mike and Emily Villa of the Cathedral of the Risen Christ Parish in Lincoln. Their story is about fulfilling the call to discipleship through their vocation as parents.
Each video is designed to help open minds and hearts about what discipleship means.
“We’ll have a much better foundation when the CSA begins,” Father Zimmer speculated.
He is confident that the way videos show discipleship as it applies to real live individuals will make the concept easier to understand and embrace.
“It’s the little things that enable us to become disciples,” Father Zimmer said.” You can be a normal person and be a disciple of Jesus.”
Beginning the fourth week of Lent, one video will be posted each week on the diocesan website, www.lincolndiocese.org. Everyone in the diocese is encouraged to watch and share these videos via email and social media.
The annual Charity and Stewardship Appeal raises funds to support 19 different diocesan-wide ministries, as well as every single parish and school. Proceeds are used to educate people of all ages in the riches of the Catholic faith, provide important diocesan services such as retreats and Natural Family Planning classes, support retired religious sisters, minister to the hungry, the poor, and other underserved people in both cities and rural areas, and more.
For more information about CSA, or to volunteer with your parish’s efforts, contact your local pastor.