By Christie L. Chicoine
CS&T Staff Writer

OTTSVILLE – St. John the Baptist Parish is inviting Catholics across the Archdiocese to enjoy the beauty of Bucks County and to renew their faith by participating in its mission, “Renewing God’s Family,” Aug. 13-20.

Young or old, single or married, the parish mission has something for everyone, such as a session on bereavement for those who are grieving, a discussion on the Church for Catholics who are inactive or questioning the faith and a “Family Together Weekend” that includes a potluck supper.

“The whole purpose is to build community – through prayer, through social involvement, through outreach, through play,” said Missionaries of the Sacred Heart Father Raymond Diesbourg, pastor of St. John the Baptist. “We hope it will give them a final push for the summer and move them into the school year.”

What better place to spend the waning days of summer, asked Father Diesbourg. “It’s vacationland here,” he said. “It’s beautiful. It’s green. We have lots of open fields. We have a lake behind the church. It’s that kind of place where you can come and get renewed and refreshed.

“Every level of the parish here is hungry for learning,” Father Diesbourg said. “We’re saying, this is what we’re about, this is who we are as Catholics. Come and partake in it, and gain from it, because all of us continue to learn.”
Personal and communal devotion to the Blessed Mother will figure prominently into the mission schedule, in liturgies celebrated for the Feast of the Assumption and a session on the rosary titled, “Living the Luminous Mysteries.”

Sacramental sessions are also scheduled: one for children preparing for first holy Communion and another for youth preparing for confirmation.

There are also special sessions geared to men, women and children. “Me and My House Shall Serve the Lord” is for men only. “Women at the Well” is for women only. Children between the ages of 6 and 12 will find faith and fun at “Praise the King,” a group of workshops on music, games and other activities. A day designed with teenagers in mind, “Welcome to My World,” is for those who are 13 to 19 years old.

The Institute for World Evangelization, a seven-member team of lay Catholics dedicated to evangelization endeavors, will lead the mission. According to Father Diesbourg, the organization based in Germany has official status from the Vatican as an “International Association of Christ’s Faithful with Pontifical Rite.”

The mission opens at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 13. Team members will share their experiences leading similar missions throughout the world.

Just as Jesus told his disciples to “get into the boat, go to the other side, rest and be renewed,” Father Diesbourg said, “that’s what we’re doing here.”

CS&T Staff Writer Christie L. Chicoine may be reached at (215) 587-2468 or

St. John the Baptist Parish Church is located at 4050 Durham Road in Ottsville. Registration is requested, but not required. For more information, call the parish office at (610)847-5521 or visit the Web site

Highlights of St. John the Baptist Parish Mission

Wednesday, Aug. 13
Mission opens at 7 p.m. in the church. Meet members of the mission team from the Institute for World Evangelization and learn of their experiences leading similar missions throughout the world.

Thursday, Aug. 14
▀ “Welcome to My World,” a day for teens, ages 13-19; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
▀ Vigil Mass for the Feast of the Assumption at 5 p.m.
▀ Bereavement session, 6 to 8 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 15-Sunday, Aug. 17
▀ “Family Together Weekend,” with simultaneous sessions for parents and children. Friday: Begins with Mass on the Assumption Feast Day at 7:30 p.m. and concludes at 10 p.m. Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., includes a two-hour lunch break. A potluck supper and fellowship follow at 5 p.m. Sunday: 9 a.m. until the 10:30 a.m. Mass.

Monday, Aug. 18
▀ “I Am the Bread of Life,” for those preparing for first holy Communion, 9:30 to 11 a.m.
▀ “Me and My House Shall Serve the Lord,” for men only, 7 to 9 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 19
▀ “Living the Spirit-filled Life,” for those preparing for confirmation, 4 to 6 p.m.
▀ “Women at the Well,” for women only, 7 to 9 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 20
▀ “Living the Luminous Mysteries,” 9:30 to 11 a.m.
▀ “Women at the Well,” repeat session for women only, 1 to 3 p.m.
▀ “Praise the King,” workshops on music, games and other activities for children who are 6 to 12 years old, 1 to 3 p.m.
▀ A session for inactive or questioning Catholics, 7 to 9 p.m.