June 30, 2017, Pensacola, Florida – For the past nine years, seniors at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart Parish in Pensacola have been on a journey – understanding more about their faith and its impact on their lives through Bible study.
Throughout those years, Sister Marguerite Renuart, OP, has been in the privileged and blessed position of guiding them as the parish’s Director of Adult Bible Study.
Nine years ago, Sister Marguerite explained, she was invited to plan and organize a parish Bible study program. “I had no idea where this would go,” she said. “Now as I reflect on my work, I am amazed at where this job has taken me. Class planning and organization are just the nuts and bolts that keep the whole thing going.”
The parish offers the Bible study program five times a week, with more than 100 participants in each course. Through the years, thousands of parishioners have taken part in the program. Among Sister Marguerite’s joys and blessings as Director of Adult Bible Study is the “eagerness of the senior parishioners as they sign up for the two-hour classes, buy their study guide, faithfully attend the classes, watch the DVD presentation, participate in the group discussion, and open up to each other.”
For Sister Marguerite, the success of the program lies in the transformation of participants rather than in their numbers. “Once they start reading the Bible and working out answers to the assigned questions, they come to class longing to understand and to share questions, doubts, and amazement about what is being revealed to them,” she said. “As the facilitator, I have the joy of deeply listening to participants. I am amazed at how God is working through their lives.”
Many of the participants were raised in the faith before Vatican II and see themselves as “catching up” on new understandings of the faith brought about by that Council.“God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit have a whole new meaning in their prayer lives,” Sister Marguerite noted. Her role has been to accompany them on this faith journey.
It has been a “unique privilege” to walk with parishioners as they attend Bible study, “longing to know and grow in faith, desiring to grow closer to Jesus and His Church, and wanting to participate fully in the spiritual life offered to them,” Sister Marguerite said. “I thank God every day for this opportunity to know, love, and serve Him.”