What is this
“Amazing God!” initiative?
This is a
three-year initiative with a goal of re-kindling
the light of faith and the enthusiasm of belief
for Catholics within the 14 counties of the
Albany Diocese. This includes nurturing the
faith of those who already are active and
enthusiastic, seeking out those who have no
particular church, as well as welcoming back
those who have left active participation in the
Church. The goal is to reach all these people,
using whatever resources and approaches to faith
will address their needs.
Will there be
different focus areas during these three years?
God! will focus on three key themes or modes
of seeing and feeling God’s amazing presence in
the world and in our lives. Those themes are:
Year one: God is
Love - focuses on the outpouring of God’s
love and faithfulness throughout the course of
history and most notably reflected throughout
the Old Testament;
Year two: The Heart
of Christ - focuses on the person and the
work of Jesus as the ultimate gift of God’s love
to the world; and
Year three: Filled
with the Spirit - focuses on the mission of
Jesus and the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in
Is this an effort
to convert to Catholicism those who are not
No, this is not an
attempt to proselytize or to sway people from
their beliefs. It is an initiative of joy and
excitement about the Good News of Jesus, but
never an attempt to disrespect or to negatively
attack any religious denomination. It is an
attempt to deepen the faith of those who already
are practicing the faith, as well as a way of
lending a compassionate ear and a healing hand
toward those who have left the Church or who are
seeking a faith life.
How will I know of
the planned activities on the Diocesan or parish
Please visit our
website periodically for updates on activities
and events that are planned, on the Diocesan
level, to celebrate the Amazing God! themes.
Likewise, parishes and deaneries also are
planning their own events and activities that
celebrate our Amazing God! See the “Events” link
to find out how a parish’s event can be listed
on our website.
Each year, Bishop
Howard Hubbard will record and lead a retreat on
that year’s theme. It will be available on a DVD
and on our website, for anyone to view. Other
Diocesan initiatives will include a
Reconciliation project to celebrate God’s mercy,
in Lent of 2011. The Autumn Gathering event and
the Spring Enrichment week will be important
large venues where the whole Diocesan community
can break open the yearly theme.
Does a parish have
to follow a set program for this initiative?
No! From its
inception, the Amazing God! program has been
intentionally formed to be totally voluntary.
For that reason, each parish community or
cluster is free to develop its own unique
approach. The roles of the Diocese are to create
and to make available helpful guidelines,
suggestions and recommendations. A free resource
toolkit will offer many different techniques for
How can a parish
learn more about this new initiative?
www.amazinggodrcda.org, is dedicated to this
initiative. It will include a regular supply of
ideas, resources, best practices and a calendar
of events, among other things. In addition, if a
parish is interested in learning or
participating more, please contact the
Amazing God! Coordinator, Peter Avvento, at
(518) 453-6628 or at
email@example.com. Peter is available
for presentations and site visits.