By Dennis Coday
Precious Blood Renewal Center, on the campus of the Precious Blood Center in Liberty, Mo., offers a variety of programs every month. These include silent directed retreats, book studies, seasonal reflections (for Advent and Lent, for example) and commemorations of special days (St. Lucy’s Feast Day and Iftar dinners with our Muslims brothers and sisters, for example.)
We get a lot of compliments for our programing, but a challenge the center staff faced was how to engage and connect with folks between events. We began to address this challenge in the fall of 2019; a newly revamped website, pbrenewalcenter.org, gave us a great medium for center staff to write articles and share resources.
We also have a YouTube channel, youtube.com/@preciousbloodrenewalcenter9297.
Sharing videos on YouTube and articles on our website connects us to folks in between programs. It allows us to promote ourselves and programs to a wider audience.
Our events are promoted in an e-newsletter sent every Thursday morning. Add your name to the lists here: pbrenewalcenter.org/newsletter-signup.
Among our regular events is an ecumenical prayer service in the Taizé style on the first Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. The service is held in the Renewal Center and is live-streamed and then archived on YouTube.
We also offer Assembling God’s Puzzle, a video series by Fr. Garry Richmeier, C.PP.S. In the videos, Fr. Garry, a licensed marriage and family counselor for 28 years, reflects on mental health issues and spirituality. He describes the series: “The people I worked with (as a priest and counselor) have taught me a lot about living life, especially what works and what doesn’t. In this new video series, I pass on some of these life lessons.”
In each video, Fr. Garry describes a situation and then tips on how to deal with it. He posts a new video every other week. Topics include: “Stumbling Blocks to Communication,” “How to cope with crazy holiday gatherings,” and “Failure: when you can’t avoid it, what to do about it?”
In ministry at the center is Fr. Ron Will, C.PP.S. In his newest video series, Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind, Fr. Ron provides a guided meditation on a topical theme. He explains his title:
Many of you probably remember the science fiction movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
- An encounter of the first kind is a sighting of a disk-like object.
- An encounter of the second kind is similar but much closer than the first kind.
- An encounter of the third kind is the sighting of non-human beings.
- An encounter of the fourth kind is the encounter of human beings and non-human beings.
This series will help us to be open to a personal encounter with the God-man, Jesus Christ, in places where we don’t normally look for him.
Each video runs about 10 minutes and is posted on the last Tuesday of each month.
Our director of hospitality, Lucia Ferrara, posts videos in her popular monthly series, Cooking and Spirituality. Each episode presents a recipe and prayer reflection that is inspired by an event or holiday. Her most popular videos, which are still getting viewed today, are making a bread and a spaghetti sauce for St. Joseph’s Day. Her recipe of Easter bread that includes dyed Easter eggs in the loaf is also popular.
Dennis Coday is the director of engagement at Precious Blood Renewal Center in Liberty, Mo.