Saint Max Church

Hearts Afire

"Hearts Afire: Parish-based Programs from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception (HAPP) is a bold and fresh approach to small-group, parish-level, faith renewal programs.  It's designed to help us live the complete Catholic life.  It aims to help set our hearts on fire with love of God and neighbor and inspire us to works of mercy in our families, parishes, and communities."

A multi-stage program, all Hearts Afire group retreats involve weekly gatherings to watch a 30-minute video and discuss the week's assigned readings.  The small group format allows participants to share their experiences and wisdom with one another.  Group facilitators encourage people to bring their questions, their concerns, and their insights to the group and ask the Holy Spirit to guide the discussion.

Although one can enjoy the retreats in any order, ideally the Hearts Afire Program begins with the 33 Days to Morning Glory group retreat.  In this retreat, one is invited into a deeper relationship with Mary, to get to know her as a spiritual mother and entrust one's faith journey to her.  33 Days to Morning Glory is a 6-week retreat, usually offered once in the Fall (mornings) and once in the Spring (evenings).

Naturally, when Mary is invited to assist in one's spiritual growth, she begins to lead us closer to her Divine Son!  The next retreat in the series is the Consoling the Heart of Jesus group retreat.  In this retreat, participants discover the joy and peace that come from accepting and trusting in Jesus' merciful love.  This is an opportunity to encounter the living Jesus in a deeply personal way and discover what obstacles are keeping us from getting closer to Him.  Consoling the Heart is a 10-week retreat, typically offered once in the Fall (evenings) and once in the winter leading up to Divine Mercy Sunday (mornings).

The third retreat offered is The One Thing Is Three, a more deeply theological group study aimed at fostering growth in wisdom.  Participants learn why our belief in the communion of the Trinity forms the foundation of our Catholic faith.  The conversational tone of the book makes it accessible to anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the Church's teachings.  Even lifelong Catholics will discover amazing new beauty and richness in concepts and practices they had thought "familiar."  The supplemental book that accompanies this study, You Did It to Me: A Practical Guide to Mercy in Action, offers very concrete and practical ways to perform works of mercy in one's daily life.  Group members are encouraged to read the book and then meet to discuss whether they would like to choose an apostolate together.  The One Thing is Three is a 10-week group study, usually offered every winter (mornings and evenings on alternate years).

Ministry Contacts

Jane Rowland
(513) 755-0625